Mobile Marketing is Our Reality
Meetings, conferences, or any social activity in both my professional & personal life has a relatively new constant; everyone is glued to their mobile phone. Emails are retrieved, texts from friends and family are read and content is consumed. As soon as someone feels any sense of boredom, awkwardness, or curiosity, they instinctively reach for their smart phone. Remember when cell service used to drop as soon as the elevator doors closed? Well, that still happens, but it does not stop me from attempting to read my timeline in a crowded elevator. According to a 2019 study by the Pew Research Center, 81% of Americans own a smart phone device which is a substantial increase from what was observed in a similar study in 2011 which noted that 35% of Americans own a smart phone. We are in the age of on-the-go connectivity.
Our smart phones have become part of us, they have become an extension of our minds. Smart phones have enabled our society to untether from the desktop experience which allows users to consume information while on the go. One of the major streams of information that flows through our phones is social media.
I have some experience with social media and I currently manage several social media accounts as a Marketing Manager. I have never received any formal training on how to develop a social media marketing plan, and I am eager to progress through the 5603 MIS & 5606 MKTG courses to learn about effective strategies for planning and managing social strategies successfully. As I was watching the LinkedIn learning assignment “SEO for Social Media” one line stuck out to me immediately. My social media strategy thus far is described perfectly in one of the learning modules. My social strategy consists of random acts of social media.
I am responsible for the marketing efforts of an overhead lifting and rigging company that has locations all over the United States. Currently, the company has established social media channels, however engagement is low, and success has been limited. Social media has never been a priority for top management and minimal resources have been allocated to growing social channels. Surprisingly the channels have grown organically over the past few years with minimal effort, we randomly post pictures or product promotions with no real content strategy or posting schedule. I believe this organic growth gives credit to the strength of our brand in other channels. Our most followed page is Facebook with a following of around 5,000 users.
The overhead lifting and rigging industries are very niche and our target customers, who are safety management and industrial construction teams, are historically slow at adapting new technology. Inside Sales, Outside Product Advisors, email marketing, and the company website has been the go-to strategies for distributing new content and promoting products. Typically, the sales funnel begins with Outside Sales establishing a new contact which could be the result of a cold call interaction, website lead, or call to the office. Outside Product Advisors then meet with the potential new customer and provide advice as to which one of our rigging solutions would be ideal for their problem or lifting plan. Once contact is established the inside sales teams receive orders, process the orders, and ensures the order is entered correctly into the system for fabrication.
And Then a Global Pandemic Hit the United States.
Most states in our country instituted varying degrees of lockdown measures to slow the virus and as a result our sales teams lost an integral part of the sales funnel – the in-person relationship building experience. Even as social distance requirements relax in certain areas of our country, many customers have put strict visitation policies in place that have no end in sight.
Gaining a Better Understanding of Linkedin
I am very much interested in learning how to effectively plan out a social media marketing plan that leverages my company’s experienced Product Advisors and brand awareness to engage current or prospect customers, build relationships, educate, and ultimately increase sales. Specifically, I would like to focus on educating customers and increasing brand awareness on Linkedin. Linkedin boasts 650+ million active users, of which 60 million are influencers and 40 million users are in decision making positions. With 40% of active monthly Linkedin users reporting that they use the platform daily, it is an obvious social media channel to focus on in the B2B space.
There are already a few large companies in the overhead lifting industry that take advantage of Linkedin. They constantly release relevant content, and they have their sales staff share that content to further boost audience reach.
I have noticed that companies that consistently post informational content have a larger number of followers, consistent engagement, and become a trusted resource to customers within the industrial space.
COVID-19 has forced many companies to rethink strategies and I believe that by gaining a new understanding of what a social strategy actually is and sticking to a plan, I will be able to greatly influence increased sales. Additionally, when COVID-19 restrictions end (whenever that may be), and my company’s Outside Product Advisors are permitted to travel to customer locations again, having an established Linkedin strategy will be the perfect digital compliment to the in-person strategies that work. I hope that this semester will equip me with information on how to navigate some of the challenges I anticipate such as content planning, measuring results, and obtaining approval from upper management to allocate resources to a new channel that may or may not produce tangible ROI.
Gallant, Josh. “58 Eye-Opening LinkedIn Stats For Marketers In 2020.” Foundation Marketing, 23 July 2020, foundationinc.co/lab/b2b-marketing-linkedin-stats/.
Villamizar, Gabe. “SEO for Social Media – Social Media SEO: What You Need to Know.” LinkedIn, 16 Mar. 2020, www.linkedin.com/learning/seo-for-social-media/social-media-seo-what-you-need-to-know?u=2206009.
Glover, Lauren. “5 Reasons to Use LinkedIn for B2B Marketing.” Vende Digital, 17 July 2020, vendedigital.com/blog/5-reasons-to-use-linkedin-for-b2b-marketing/.
“Demographics of Mobile Device Ownership and Adoption in the United States.” Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech, Pew Research Center, 5 June 2020, www.pewresearch.org/internet/fact-sheet/mobile/#:~:text=The%20vast%20majority%20of%20Americans,range%20of%20other%20information%20devices.