Suppliers, Where Are You? Distributors, Where Are You?
I am hardly an expert in the area of social media. In my personal online life, I will post pictures of my cute, but very weird dogs and family outings. I’ll occasionally “check in” at restaurants, since it’s important for my “friends” to know I’m eating well and hanging with the right people that I “tag.”
A Promo Marketing blog, “6 Reasons to Join or Rejoin Twitter,” written by Dale Denham—who is actually an expert on social media—is a great commentary on Twitter. If you missed it, check it out.
I don’t have a personal Twitter account. (My life is not that exciting.) However, on the business side through my industry resource program, FreePromoTips.com, I am active on Twitter and all social media platforms. FreePromoTips.com focuses on relevant content and has a pretty good presence, with a Klout score ranging from 55 to 58, which according to Klout indicates we are in the top 20 percent of social media users.
In addition to the business applications, I think Twitter is great for following events like #SuperBowlXLIX, #Grammys2015 and #SNL40. You get a real taste of what people think, catch things you missed and there are some pretty funny comments.
Dale’s article nudged me to spend a little more time on Twitter and I have been surprised to discover how few suppliers are involved there and taking advantage of engagement opportunities that are available. I found this shocking and that’s what stimulated this commentary on the topic.
Those who are engaged in social media should also consider what they post. In today’s marketplace, suppliers and distributors need to move past posts of only product specials. When will we understand that we are in an industry that offers proven effective marketing and brand building tools? Geez! Whoa, I’m shouting, and I’ve been off coffee for a while. But shouldn’t we address this?
I get fired up because I think the future of our industry is based on us effectively sharing our value proposition. If we can’t do that, the whole supplier, distributor, end-user model will become extinct. Some feel this demise is eminent, but I don’t think it is.
There will be a group of savvy suppliers and distributors who will utilize the new interaction tools we have available to stay relevant. These businesses will stand out in a crowded marketplace filled with distractions. In a previous commentary, I shared a blog post from the brilliant Seth Godin.
There is so much information flying around every day online that none of us can grasp it all. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just reality. Some people in our industry may not accept it yet, but to be relevant, now and certainly in the future, businesses must be engaged online and have relevant information that is beneficial to the audience.
What I have discovered is that FreePromoTips supplier sponsors with a strong social media presence love what we do because we extend their already large reach. Companies that have less of a presence also love what we do, because we give them some exposure in the fast moving online community.
My social media approach is simple. Share relevant content that we feel people will be interested in. We don’t automate posts, or randomly pull content from sources. We post what’s going on in our industry including business articles and commentary from a variety of people.
Coming soon is the formal launch off YourPromotionSolution.com. This is an end-user safe video resource website that makes it simple for distributors to share short, informative videos from good suppliers, across all the key social media platforms and via email.
Suppliers, if you are not providing the tools for distributors to effectively share your products, you are missing an opportunity. If you want to learn how we do it, let me know.
Distributors, if you are not sharing product ideas with your clients through video, you are missing an opportunity.
Online video is hot! The statistics are staggering as noted in this Online Video Marketing Revolution information we put together.
Our ability to build relationships online has changed the way we do business. Opportunities that didn’t exist in pre-social media days are now easily available for everyone. Social media is a platform that can give you insights you can’t get any other way. This isn’t trolling online or wasting time—it’s about being aware and using the tools we have available.
On the suppler side, wouldn’t it be helpful to be aware of what your customers are doing? And let us know what you are doing? And what might be helpful for us to know? Suppliers, where are you?
On the distributor side, it’s helpful to follow clients. You may learn about new products, services or an event you can help them with. And encouraging them to follow you means you have another way of reaching them with information you might not normally have the chance to share.
I know this industry is about selling stuff, but the cornerstone of good business, should still be relationships. How we connect is changing, but this is where the opportunities are. Are you taking advantage of those opportunities?
Jeff Solomon, MAS, is affiliated with a Top 10 distributor company and also publishes FreePromoTips.com, a popular industry resource. The PPAI award winning FreePromoTips.com website and twice-a-month e-newsletters are packed with beneficial information. On the website, you can opt-in to receive these informative twice-a-month e-newsletters! Check out what’s new in the GP2: Good Products—Good Prices section of the site. Take advantage of free end-user safe product videos you can share from the YourPromotionSolution.com website. Like the FreePromoTips.com page on Facebook, follow it on Twitter and Pinterest, and connect with Jeff on LinkedIn.