B2B Social Media for the Industrial Electronics Industry

by Don Lafferty on September 28, 2011

Do Fortune 500 electronics manufacturers like Intel, Fujitsu, FoxConn and  Lockheed Martin have a presence in online communities Facebook and Twitter? You bet they do.

How about the engineers who designed your mobile phone, or sourced the parts for the GPS in your car, your wireless router, and the components in the public address system at your local high school?

Yep. You’ll find them there too.

Electronics Manufacturing Social Media

It’s been difficult for the B2B component of the electronics manufacturing community to get its head around the reasons they should invest in social channels, and with my background of more than two decades in that business, I understand how they might feel that way.

In a business environment where design advantages and leadership to market often mean the difference between razor-thin profits and layoffs, the transparency of social media channels has always run counterintuitive to the secretive nature of the electronics industry’s mentality. And on some levels, that isn’t likely to change any time soon.

But consider this.

  • Five years down the road from Twitter’s launch and Facebook opening registration to the general public, many B2B decision makers are there now, and have organically formed and joined communities of their own wrapped around the common threads of everything from place of employment, to corporate campus locations, to industry associations, like IEEE.
  • In the wake of global economic recession and continued uncertainty, the number of registered users on LinkedIn has doubled to more than 100 million since 2009.
  • YouTube has become so much more than just a place to watch surfing dogs and toilet-flushing cats: it’s the second most trafficked search engine in the world.

And results from every one of these communities are delivered on every search done on the Internet.

What does all this mean for professions in the world of electronics manufacturing?

It’s time to take a hard look at the ways you can use social media tools to engage these existing online communities in a way that effectively supports your business objectives.

Make no mistake; I know that revenue growth is THE objective, but there are many cogs in the machine that drives those dollars to the bottom line. We often illustrate those cogs as measureable milestones in the sales funnel. Those milestones are achieved by inciting a variety of human behaviors, both inside your company and outside your company.

Gaining an understanding of the nature of those human behaviors in the context of online communities is critical to crafting a successful social media strategy, be it for marketing, business development or HR purposes, and the first step to gaining that understanding is joining in.

Next week I’ll be in Chicago, speaking at the annual Electronics Manufacturer’s Representatives Association’s Management and Marketing Conference, a gathering of independent manufacturer’s reps, and manufacturers in the electronics industry, where I’ll bring my unique combination of electronics industry experience and social media leadership to bear on the issues facing these companies and their effective use of social media tools to achieve their B2B objectives.

Following the conference, on October 15th, I’ll release a downloadable ebook, B2B Social Media Starters for Industrial Sales and Marketing. This book will provide electronics manufacturers and their independent reps with detailed instructions for creating a world class social media footprint and listening post, as solid first steps to staking out their claim in the social media landscape.

If you’re interested in getting a copy, please fill out this simple form and I will email it to you upon publication:

  • Nicoleelarson

    Hi Don – this is really interesting – thanks for writing.  I work for an electronics distributor here in Chicago – element14 and everything you’ve mentioned here hits close to home.  I’d wish I’d known about the conference before today, but would love a copy of your downloadable book – I was having trouble with the form though (I think it might be a network firewall issue).

    thanks!
    Nicole

  • lillian

    printed circuit board manufacturer from quickturn rigid board to aluminum LED board with best quality and competitive price.welcome to http://www.leappcb.com to get a free quote.

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