Guest Article: Social Media Platforms

Phil Samuels North American Tool

Phil Samuels is a long time veteran of our industry who has worked for distributors and cutting tool manufacturers along the way.  He is the Director of Sales & Marketing for North American Tool. 

So you are thinking about starting a Social Media campaign and you have no idea where to begin. The following ideas are “thought starters” for your consideration.

A variety of Social Media platforms exist. At last count, there are at least 57. The conventional wisdom among people who participate in Social Media is that it is better to do ONE well, rather than multiple platforms below average. For that reason, this blog will discuss the four platforms that are the most influential in the industrial/construction space.

The 800 pound gorilla is Facebook or FB for short. Despite some recent less-than-flattering publicity, it is the largest user group on the planet. Literally 2 billion users around the globe are on FB every month. The gender split is almost even with females outnumbering males 52 to 48%. One metric you might find interesting is that 77% of people who earn $75,000 or more annually have a FB account.

One might wonder if one participates in the industrial/construction space “isn’t FB for friends and family?” Who will we reach with our FB posts if we choose this platform? Our company uses FB to promote local events, showcase when we have a community activity or highlight our company events (personal and professional). Will that sell more product? Maybe not, but FB can be used as a recruiting tool. If your employees “like” and “comment” and “share” your company FB posts, their friends and family have the opportunity to see your involvement in the community and it may encourage them to apply for a job where everyone is so happy and involved.

Instagram is another platform to consider. With nearly 800 million users worldwide, the reach of this platform is substantial. Like FB, you choose who to follow and frequently as a courtesy, they choose to follow you back. One potential downfall, lots of Social Media gurus are active at following new accounts because they see you as a potential customer. You do NOT have to follow everyone who follows you.

The appeal of Instagram is the number of videos and photos people post of products in use. Depending on who you follow, you can see many cutting tools operating in shops around the world. You might see ladders being unfolded and put up on the side of construction projects. There are lots of pranksters who post jokes or internet memes.

In any case, you can introduce a product or showcase a product in use and give your potential customers insight they might not have with just your catalog. In all likelihood, these photos and videos can also be transferred to your website.

Another platform of note for NetPlus Alliance members is Twitter. Again, there has been recent unflattering publicity, but with 317 million users, your account can choose what news you receive. My personal account has college sports and metalworking users. Yours might include food and home remodeling sites. 75% of the users of Twitter check the site daily as their first source for news.

The final platform for this blog is LinkedIn. This is THE business/professional platform. Many people see it as a job hunting site. My personal experience is it serves as a dynamic rolodex. If you have your suppliers, associates and customers business cards, what are they worth when they change jobs? This platform allows you to see a person’s career in total and you can assess if they might be someone who would have the answer to a question you have. This platform is the most popular among Fortune 500 CEO’s.

Why choose any or do this at all? The idea is to improve awareness of your company and drive people to your website. Google Analytics is available for any website at no charge. You can see how many visits, how many unique visitors and how long they stayed on your website. It is one way to measure the success of your Social Media activity.

When the “hits” go up on your website, sales should follow over time, provided you have given your customers value on your website and a reason to return.Ali

*Statistics on social media platforms from the Spreadfast 2018 Social Audience Guide.

 

Who IS this guy? https://www.linkedin.com/in/philsamuels/

Phil Samuels is a long time veteran of our industry who has worked for distributors and cutting tool manufacturers along the way.  He is the Director of Sales & Marketing for North American Tool.  (www.natool.com)  Just happens to have had some exposure to some young folks who understood this better than he does.  If he can do it, so can YOU!