Electronics retail giant Best Buy recently posted a job listing for a senior manager in Minnesota. The job requirements were a Bachelor’s degree, two years of social media marketing experience, a year’s worth of active blogging experience and at least 250 followers on Twitter.
The company seems to appreciate the importance of Internet marketing and social networking sites as business tools. No longer are these resources classified as minor projects that are delegated to entry-level employees with nothing else to do. Too often, upper management doesn’t want to concern themselves with something as seemingly trivial as Twitter or blogging. Best Buy’s approach, however, is a clear indication of the emphasis they place on online marketing.
The gases and welding industry is no exception to this trend. It’s easy to scoff at the retail industry and assume that you don’t need this social networking stuff because your business is different. This isn’t a trend that is going away, though, and the sooner you get involved, the more successful you’ll be in the long run. This doesn’t just involve telling an intern to start a Twitter account and make posts every now and then. Management should be involved and should have some sort of strategy. This should be a policy that permeates the company. All employees should be encouraged to blog and tweet and join LinkedIn in an effort to promote and publicize your company. The best part is, it’s all free.
While social media will never replace a face-to-face sales call, it can be used to augment current marketing efforts and give an edge over competitors. Even if you aren’t wild about doing business on the Internet, you can be sure that your customers are on there looking you up and looking up your competitors. Will they be impressed with what they find? It’s your job to make sure they are.