NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Industrial companies that hesitate to embrace social media, believing that competitors are not using these platforms, are in danger of losing business opportunities, according to recent research from Thomas Industrial Network. In fact, seven out of 10 small and midsize suppliers (68 percent) are already engaging with prospects through these channels, gaining a competitive advantage over those who have yet to start.
More than 3,000 respondents to Thomas’ surveys say that they routinely use social media to market their products and services, generate leads, answer questions, conduct research, and gain new business. Thomas studied the behaviors of suppliers (i.e., manufacturers and distributors) through its Industrial Marketer survey, and buyers through its Industrial Purchasing Barometer (IPB). The research focused on their use of platforms such as LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, industry forums, and blogs.
The responses paint a picture of an industrial sector that has made social networking a mainstream business practice. Buyers regularly rely on social media to conduct research on companies, and to seek others’ opinions on particular suppliers. Indeed, 56 percent of buyers now recommend that all suppliers establish a social media presence if they want to do business with them.
In response, suppliers are jumping onto the social media bandwagon to provide information on their offerings (41 percent), find new prospects (27 percent), and learn what customers have to say about their companies (20 percent).
“The industrial sector is awakening to the fact that social media isn’t just a passing consumer fancy, but an essential part of any branding and marketing program,” said Susan Orr, Senior Director, Strategic Marketing, Thomas Industrial Network. “Savvy suppliers also understand that the most effective social media programs need constant care and feeding. To influence prospective buyers, suppliers need to continually update their social media content, and to be actively engaging in and initiating conversations.”
But for many industrial suppliers, dedicating the resources and having the in-house expertise to manage social media is a challenge. In response, Thomas Industrial Network recently launched a new, cost effective program to help them take advantage of this important new channel. The Social Media Program helps suppliers reach prospects who are seeking information and advice for their businesses through channels such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Blogs, Facebook and Google+. Thomas takes the work off their hands, handling everything from strategy sessions and goal setting, to writing and posting unique content for each company.
“We’re thrilled to offer a turn-key and affordable program that leverages Thomas’ 115 years of experience bringing buyers and suppliers of industrial products and services together,” said Phil Paranicas, Director of Digital Media, Thomas Industrial Network. “We have made it easy for any supplier to participate in social networking, and to begin reaching and influencing those prospects who regularly use these platforms.”
For more information on Thomas’ Social Media Program, please contact Mr. Paranicas at 212- 629-2134 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thomas has also just published a new, free white paper, Why industrial businesses need to have a social media presence and how to get started, which includes additional results of its surveys, and provides social media best practices. To download a complimentary copy, please visit: http://promoteyourbusiness.thomasnet.com/white-papers/.
About Thomas Industrial Network®
Thomas Industrial Network is an innovative information and technology company that helps industrial businesses to connect, collaborate and grow.
We help companies to develop a complete web strategy, enabling them to share product data through all of their sales channels. As a result, we help industrial companies to increase sales, improve customer relationships and expand into new markets.
One of our key offerings is ThomasNet.com, the premier website for product sourcing and supplier discovery and selection. We also provide strategic website development, tools and technology for industrial businesses to manage and share product and service data internally and externally. They include WebCAD publishing, and syndication of detailed product data to channel partners. Custom SPEC was designed for the unique needs of custom manufacturers. Additionally, we offer social media programs and search engine optimization services to help these businesses build brand awareness and generate leads. Our Navigator Platform is the hub through which we help our customers to manage their information.
Our focus on the industrial sector for more than a century gives Thomas Industrial Network a unique perspective to anticipate and deliver new solutions that help industrial businesses grow. Visit us today to learn more.