How would you define success on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and/or Twitter?
Steve Smith, President and Managing Partner, Equipment FX (Montgomery, TX)
Jerry Weidmann: At Wisconsin Lift Truck, our managers and sales staff have accounts on LinkedIn. They extend their networks to our customers and suppliers and actively participate in LinkedIn groups on subjects of interest to themselves, our customers and our suppliers. As a result of such participation, they have continuous, meaningful outreach to our customers and suppliers. We established a Wisconsin Lift Truck Facebook page. It is very effective for posting information, including video content. I believe this can be an effective method of offering ongoing material handling advice and content, including video content on products and services. Our goal is to provide updates that will lead to more individuals seeking to be a “friend” of WLT.
Scott Hennie: The success of social media is a great question and probably a greater mystery! After you’ve gotten over the “social media mystique” and break it down to what it is—marketing and promotion of your business—the measure of success is like any other marketing tool you use. You should have a way to track and measure the response you receive from social media and ultimately the profit generated from the investment made in the media. You need to decide what the right measurement is—phone calls, website hits, sales, leads, etc.
Mark Juelich: Success on any platform is very subjective. A good first step is to define the goals you would like to reach through social media. If, after research, you determine these goals can be attained through social media, then it might be a viable option for your company. There are three things social media are very good at today: recruiting, business development and branding. All three areas boil down to communication in the social media world, each in similar but slightly different ways. If your defined goals fall into one or more of these large spheres, social media might be a part of the solution for you.
Distributors Talk Social Media!
Check out Social Media Success Stories. Three material handling distributors share the details of how they used social networking platforms to impact their bottom lines.
Once you decide to get involved with goals in mind, it’s quite easy to determine success. If you are making progress toward your goal, you are succeeding. If you aren’t making enough progress, you may have to redefine your goal, alter your social media resources or find another marketing strategy to reach your goal. I believe the number one mistake for companies entering social media is that they have no pre-defined goals. They get involved because they think they need to. Ultimately, most of those folks give up because they think it is a waste of time.
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