Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Why Did This Industrial Trade Group Give Social Media A Bad Rap - What Do You Think?

@IndHeat - The folks over at "Industrial Heating: the International Journal of Thermal Technology" (heat treating & thermal processing) posted an Oct 2011 article titled "Is Social Media Relevant to Technical People?"  So please read this article, and then come back to this post to share your thoughts.

Working in industrial marketing for over 10 years, I've sometimes wondered how some SMB industrial companies can be so averse to the marketing opportunities offered by the internet. But if their own industrial trade groups are misleading them, as Industrial Heating has done, then it begins to make sense. Sure, SMB industrial companies are conservative by nature, but shouldn't their trade groups try to reach beyond their own limited world to help their members by seeking outside expertise for areas beyond their scope?

Admittedly, the folks reading "Industrial Heating" are highly technical in their knowledge and application of heat treating and thermal technology solutions for industry. But that also means that they could easily adopt the minimally technical aspects of social media marketing.  So, what are they missing?

  • Do agree with the analysis of the folks at Industrial Heating? 
  • Do you agree with their conclusion that "chances are very good that your disinterest in social media will not hurt you in the short-term or intermediate-term future"?
  • Do you think that none of their thousands of industrial prospects and customers that use heat treating services are using social media?
  • They're reluctantly conceding that maybe, just maybe, video might have some value. What do you think? Would quality videos benefit the thousands of metal fabrication and other industrial companies that might need their parts heat treated? Could videos be helpful in explaining the different types of thermal treating like carburizing, nitriding, induction treating, vacuum treating, etc. Do you think all of their customers know all of those details? Do you think their customers care about those details?
  • Are they perhaps missing the point that their companies are not actually heat treating companies but, instead, there companies are sales companies?
  • Are they missing the point that every single employee at a company is part of the sales and marketing effort?
  • Did they do a sufficient job educating and encouraging their readers to adopt twitter? 
  • Did you notice a lack of links in their article, even when they referenced clearly linkable information?
  • How about the lack of interactivity in this article (and many of their articles)? There is no ability to have a discussion. Hmmm, what's that word...? Oh, "interactive" !!!
  • Did you search for #hts2011 on twitter? What did you find? Did their Twitter efforts at their trade show work?
  • How could they do a better job of helping their users adopt social media?
What's interesting also, is that they include sharing & bookmarking links at the bottom of the article. They apparently want people to share their content, but not to interact with them. And, they have their own LinkedIn Group, Twitter and Facebook accounts. So maybe it's just the author that hasn't gotten the message, but others in their organization have.  Regardless, I surely hope that their members aren't following the advice they gave in "Is Social Media Relevant to Technical People?".  What do you think?

by Brian Baer,
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