Reading time ( words)
Despite the generally poor level of social media use among PCB manufacturers when I conducted my annual survey in December and January, there were some bright spots. A small subset of companies really “get” it.
Win: Using social media in the first place, and then doing it well.
I found around one in every 12 manufacturers was using social media in such a way that it would be effective and help them with their sales and marketing. These companies are on the right side of the B2B purchasing trends:
- 81% of B2B purchase cycles start with web search, and 90% of buyers say when they are ready to buy, “they’ll find you.” (Source: Earnest Agency)
- 40% of B2B buyers say LinkedIn is important when researching technologies and services to purchase; 19% say the same for Twitter. (Source: Social Media Today)
These days, when a customer is ready to make a change, what does he or she do? About 81% go to Google or Bing to do their research. LinkedIn – between company and showcase pages, LinkedIn groups, long form posting on Pulse and individual LinkedIn profiles – is a tremendous resource on both technologies and companies. And through using hashtags on Twitter (a hashtag is just a number sign attached to a word of phrase with the spaces omitted, such as #PrototypePCB) users can search for relevant articles, posts and companies on the topic of their choice.
Winning PCB manufacturers are using social media so that when potential customers do their research, the winning companies are more likely to show up in the search results.
Win: cross promoting networks, blogs, websites and channels
Prospective clients use different channels – some prefer LinkedIn, others Twitter or YouTube. The best social media using companies know that offering a follower the possibility of using their favorite social network to follow the company makes good business sense.
I came across one company a couple of months ago with a terrific blog. And an empty Google Plus page. An obvious (to me anyway) missed opportunity. Putting a headline and link on the Google Plus page leading back to that week’s blog post seems a no brainer to me. And putting it on Google Plus sure wouldn’t hurt their search rankings.
Win: Length doesn’t necessarily mean strength.
Companies winning in using social media understand the proper length for any piece of content, whether it’s a white paper or blog post, is the minimum length required to get the idea across to the reader in an engaging manner. A typical blog post is four hundred words long. But that isn’t how long it “has to be”. The reader is not served by taking a three hundred word post that does a fine job of getting an idea across and inflating it to eight hundred words just so it looks more impressive.
Prospective customers have more tools at their disposal to find out more about prospective supplier partners. But, they also have a lot to do, and attention spans are short. Companies that understand this and tailor their content to it are staying way ahead of their competitors.
Bruce Johnston is a sales consultant specializing in Social Media and especially LinkedIn. He has 30 years experience in high tech sales and management. He can be reached at email@example.com or through his profile on LinkedIn.