Most modern companies rely heavily on social media in order to connect with their customers. They thumbs-up Facebook posts on their fan-page walls and reply to tweets with brand-related questions. This tool is not only helpful to clients, but it can also help humanize your company.
Of course, there are certain industries that seem perfect for social-media marketing campaigns. Staffing agencies, marketing firms, search engines, telecommunications companies, computer-security companies—these types of businesses are some of the most prominent on social media. This is because the crutches of their success just so happen to coincide with the many benefits of running a social-media campaign (more on that below).
But what happens if your business doesn’t seem to fit the mold created by companies that excel at social media? There are many industries that don’t have much of a social-media presence at all. It’s easy to see the difference between the tech-savvy examples above when compared to the least-active industries online today: mining, EMS and police, libraries, veterinary clinics, hospitals, cities, lumber-product retailers, etc.
These industries have many reasons as to why they’re not active in the social-media sphere. Some don’t see a return on their investment; instead, they find that hiring a social-media specialist breaks their budget. Others might not realize that they can benefit from social media: they wonder what the point of social media is for their company in particular. And then there are organizations like hospitals that fear a social-media campaign could somehow affect privacy laws.
Even with all of these trepidations taken into account, it turns out that a social-media campaign has a wealth of benefits for business of all types. For one, it won’t do anything but increase your business’s exposure amongst Internet users. Furthermore, it’ll increase their loyalty to your brand—a loyalty they’ll take with them, especially if you’re using social media in an untapped market, such as mining or any of the other low-use industries listed above.
One company that has used social media to their advantage despite industry trends is McElroy Metal. A family-owned business with 12 manufacturing facilities and 20 service centers, McElroy Metal might not seem the type to vest any time in social media. On the contrary, they have grown a strong social-media presence thanks to a well-kept Facebook page. Here, not only will clients find the company’s latest updates, but they can also ask questions and receive answers through the fan-page’s wall. They’ve also created a YouTube channel where clients can see videos of the team testing out some of their products.
While some of this may seem irrelevant to the everyday web surfer, McElroy Metal’s social-media presence represents one of the most important truths about a non-traditional industry’s participation in this realm. Because they’ve taken the time to create a social media page that’s helpful, personable and informative, they’ve effectively set themselves apart from other metal manufacturers. And it’s this benefit that shows that, no matter how little your industry has to do with social media on its face, you should make an effort to insert your company into that sphere.
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