We were invited to present at the Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry to speak about a topic that most B2B companies run quickly away from – Social Media Marketing and how to start this process. More specifically, the focus group consisted of about 20 builders, architects, contractors and engineers also known as the “Building Industry Shared Interest Group” (SIG).
The group meets about once every two months for industry-related discussions and practical activities that may help build this business industry in the Chester County area. As many businesses often respond, when they are told “you need to do be on social media” (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ to name a few), business owners or partners quiver and shake. But when you approach this corporate strategy as “social media marketing,” as we witnessed this morning, more and more businesses are listening to the message.
The Power of Social Media in Today’s World
I will give you two “real time” examples of the power of social media which, is currently the way we communicate, whether you like it or not. On April 23, 2013 the DOW dropped 147 points as a response to the AP Twitter feed! In a few seconds, after a computer algorithm read the AP headline, the market literally “plunged.” Regardless of the tweet or the post, the NYSE creates programs that respond to Twitter and that will change the way the market reacts to daily trading. Second, let’s consider the tragedy at the Boston Marathon, which was a shock for most and a nightmare for some. The people of the Boston suburbs remained safe and a resolution came quickly largely due to Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms; these were used for widespread communication and information distribution.
These examples simply show the change in the use of social media, just in the last 5 years. Citizens, organizations and now even government officials will use social media as a common channel for communication. In short, growing business needs to stop thinking of social media as what it was 5-10 years ago and realize the importance of social media marketing, as it applies to improving business metrics.
Did you know that Facebook is now the most preferred way to share content, second only to email?
So, how does this effect your business? Here are your steps in building a successful marketing strategy around the power of social media.
How to Make Social Media Marketing Work for You
1. Create a corporate account for LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and Twitter
2. Learn how to use them and start searching for other businesses within your industry or that you have connections to.
3. Ask your staff/employees to create content about the work that they do, the people that they meet or the projects they are working on. (For free keyword ideas to base content topic on, you can use Google Adwords or take advantage of Farotech’s free resource, a customized keyword spreadsheet for your specific industry!)
4. Post this content consistently, frequently and with a focus on relevance for your target audience
5. Ask a marketing agency to do an assessment or use a free tool for website analytics to measure website activity generated by your content creation and social media marketing
6. Keep it up because we promise, this will pay off!
Chris Carr (President) and I were amazed at the amount of businesses that are participate in social media, but didn’t necessarily have a marketing strategy or a purpose for “posting or tweeting.” The simplicity of social media marketing is obvious in what it attempts to create (a vast network for you to gain exposure online); however, the frequency, consistency and quality of the “posts or tweets” you publish will surely determine the actual success of your marketing attempts.
I will leave you with this final statistic to ponder: Spend on Interactive Markets will near $77 billion in 2016. This represents 29% of all marketing budgets combined. (Source: Ipsos)