In my last blog, “An Open Letter to Manufacturing Companies” I addressed a specific community because I see social media as a critical piece of engaging in today’s marketplace by industrial companies. While others scoff, I see the power of leveraging this technology into an invaluable communication tool. Social Media isn’t just for the narcissist-selfie-sharing users, it can actually be a fantastic way to engage with customers and open up dialogue on a wide array of topics.
Discussions which ensued from the last blog brought to light a question I wanted to address. What keeps manufacturing companies from entering these already-chartered waters? Social media is not new and no company is going to carry the burden of pioneering through this medium – it’s already been done. Besides, there are so many resources to guide companies now there is no reason to fear to make mistakes like the early adopters faced. So why exactly are companies still avoiding these popular and powerful communication tools?
I suspect it’s for the same reason that keeps us from doing anything we haven’t done before – lack of awareness, lack of resources or a lack of confidence. I’m going out on a limb here to state that in this case, it can’t be an awareness issue. Nor do I think it’s lack of resources because I’ve never worked for a company who couldn’t budget for a much-needed person or project if there was a desperate need. Something else might have to give in order to make it happen, but there is always a way!
This leaves me believing the reason so many manufacturing and industrial companies haven’t made the step toward social media is that which plagues everyone to some degree – fear. Fear runs a lot of people, so it stands to reason since individuals make up corporations, that fear runs rampant in most companies. Fear of looking incompetent and fear of failure paralyzes people from making courageous decisions . . . and from making progress.
As long as the industrial mindset relegates social media to the fringes and they collectively deem it as a “nice to have” and not a “must have” there will be no impetus to change. It will be the forward-thinking CEO or Marketing Director who sees what others don’t – for that company, they will take command of their presence and they will change the game for the manufacturing community. Then once again, those companies who were too afraid to start, the companies hamstrung by fear will be playing catch-up and will continue to lag in their market.
One way to face the fear is with a marketing coach, someone who can walk you through how to properly start up a social media process. If you need help, this happens to be one of our specialties and we can help advise on the policies and procedures you need to put into place in order to successfully transition into the 21st century.
Don’t want to give in to fear? Then take the plunge! If you do it as professionally as you handle the rest of your marketing you’re going to be just fine. And, our social media coaches are here if you need us.