snapchat-facebookThe end of the supply chain (retail) is probably the only place that makes any sense for any kind of social media activity. At least that's the common belief. What would a supplier, manufacturer, 3PL, or any other part of the supply chain hope to gain from a Facebook page, a Twitter stream, or even a Google+ account?


The answer is that it depends on what your goals are and who you are trying to reach. There is also a difference in social media platforms, how they work and what you can reasonably expect to accomplish with each. Rather than list them and their possible uses, it's more important that a company develop a set of goals and then a strategy to accomplish those goals.

Disregarding retailers, who have fairly obvious uses for social media for engaging with customers and developing positive impressions of the company, other supply chain participants have the same kinds of goals but with different target audiences. And because business-to-business audiences are significantly smaller than are consumer audiences, the messaging and platforms used to connect with these audiences will be different.

The goals

The first thing to remember about social media is that it is not a sales channel. Participants in social media are expecting to socialize rather than to make purchases. So posting links to promotional information and signups is probably not going to help in this regard. What is needed is to develop an audience that knows your company and also participates with people in similar companies that may eventually be prospects for your services.

Here are 3 high level goals that can apply to most any company.

1. Position the company as the top expert in their industry

2. Increase company recruitment by being known and respected

3. Provide a continuous source of relevant information to all interested in the company's topics

Cautions

Before starting (or if you've already started and need to revise your strategy) consider what Harry Gold, founder and CEO of Overdrive Interactive, a Boston-based digital marketing agency, says.

 

"In social media your brand is not what you say, but rather what consumers say about you. In our experience, high level executives are very concerned with influencing the conversation about their brand and making sure the chatter creates positive sentiment and encourages measurable ROI. So, in the short term, everyone looks to use social media to create a positive image of their brand and company. The long term goal is to convert all these consumer connections and positive chatter into high value behavior and measurable ROI."

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