We all assume that high tech companies are well-positioned to reach “online” users and influence their choices. Social media should be one of their strengths, right… Not so! A recent study reveals that many high tech companies lack integrated social media strategies and are failing to engage customers/prospects using these marketing channels.
As social media has become more important in streaming news and entertainment information and even instrumental in toppling political leaders, business’ use of social media has increased exponentially. However, a majority of high tech businesses are still fairly insulated from the use of social media channels and are behind the curve. This is contrasted with “consumer” technology brands who dominate the top ten in social media impressions with Apple ruling followed by Google, Amazon, Samsung and Microsoft.
Many in the technology industry see it as a distraction for anything beyond basic promotion of a press release or live-blogging their conference. There are a few innovative high tech marketers that are leveraging social media opportunities today to meet objectives such as building their thought leadership footprint, raising brand awareness, promoting events, enabling better customer service and enhancing their inbound marketing efforts. They have realized that just setting up social media channels as Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook is not going to cut it as a strategy anymore. They have incorporated social media efforts as part of a robust content strategy. They are using social media channels as platforms for delivering something that their tech audience wants or needs, such as useful, high quality and unique content.
A high tech company’s success in using social media depends on knowing their audience which can vary from existing customers, industry thought leaders, suppliers or potential new customers. In trying to reach tech audiences, social media can’t be the end in itself. Instead, social media can be a channel to deliver well-written traditional white papers, case studies, videos, infographics and materials that their tech audience will enjoy, learn from and share.
So, if you are targeting CFO’s responsible for technology purchases at large organizations, it is important that the content provided is helpful, informational and aimed at solving their business problems. When you offer great content, you’re offering to your audience something valuable and that creates readers, likes, shares and retweets that grow audiences and affinities.
A recent study found that social media is now entrenched into the decision process of business technology decision makers:
- 66% of tech professionals say that they have used social networking sites to obtain information for a technology purchase.
- 92% of IT respondents have taken one or more actions as a result of using social media
What’s more beneficial for a buyer than specific content that will help them make a purchasing decision. Imagine what your high tech products or services would say if they could talk to your customers. Social Media provides new ways to elevate your products, build engaging communities, provide online support and relate customer experiences.
Despite the vast potential social media brings, many high tech marketers seem focused on social media activity primarily as a one-way promotional channel. The more savvy ones have learned not only to “listen” to what others say about them, their company, product, or industry but also analyze consumer conversations and turn the information into insights that impact the bottom line. That is why the innovative high tech companies are connecting and engaging in social media.
Unfortunately, for many high tech companies, social media use is still viewed as an experiment, where discrete projects are launched. They limit their activities because they are in a “test” mode and lack resources to do more. Others say they are wary because they perceive dangers in exposure and lack of control of the conversation on these channels.
There is no doubt that social media provides high tech marketers with a unique opportunity to engage cost-effectively with their customers and prospects with the potential to drive revenue.
Is your technology firm on the sidelines watching or just “playing” at it?
Isn’t now the time to get serious and develop a congruent social media strategy.
To get you started, please read my blog 5 Easy Pieces for a Social Media Campaign.