It’s more than a hot new marketing channel for making friends, influencing people, and looking cool. Social media for distributors offer advantages that go beyond ‘warm fuzzies’ and have a corresponding impact on the bottom line too.
Correctly used, social networking offers distributors possibilities for increased efficiency and reduced costs, together with enhanced reseller empowerment and loyalty. In short, the things that are critical to profitability for most wholesaling enterprises.
1. A Sales Lead Generation Machine
Social networks are increasingly where prospects argue the merits of different suppliers and ask for suggestions about where to shop. Customers are happy to download a catalog, terms and conditions and special offer newsflashes. But they are also savvy about sales talk (or twice shy after having been bitten once).
They see social media as an opportunity to get more objective information and feedback from their peers. Consequently, end-user and reseller leads are likely to start appearing more on social networks, rather than directly on the distributors’ website.
2. Automatically Adapted for Attractive Content
Social media for distributors offer a new outlet for reusing (‘repurposing’) existing content. They also open up new possibilities to reach new markets such as mobile device users with new formats like microblogs (the tweets of Twitter, for example) and video clips (on services such as Vimeo and YouTube).
Yes, you can also zing out snappy messages and links to video clips by email or post them on your website. However, that already assumes you have permission to email people: or that they will remember to visit your webpages. Social networks on the other hand are the de facto channels for these kinds of communications and readily attract interest.
3. A Viral Army of Advocates
Once your content has been viewed on a social network, it’s easy for viewers to send it on, again and again. Whether via friends, followers or circles, social networks are designed for sharing content and comments. Opinions can be positive or negative; the viral sharing effect will amplify both cases.
For that reason, distributors should help develop a positive trend with content that puts them in a good light and that incites viewers to then share it onward with others.
4. Empowering Resellers
A distributor that produces social media content for its resellers, enables them to generate more sales leads and more business too. Micro-messages, images, videos and audio clips are all possibilities, with reseller branding or co-branding to attract end-users and set the sales prospection and buying cycles in motion.
Social media platforms also allow distributors to interact more closely with their resellers with secure, private communication and collaboration.
5. Cost Reduction
All of the items above also help reduce costs. Direct marketing lead generation expenses can be lowered and content can be reused. Video clips that viewers can relate to often need only modest budgets – possibly made by using a webcam and following a few simple rules.
Getting other people to do your advertising free of charge through viral content is every marketer’s dream, while helping resellers to contain their own advertising and communications costs can boost loyalty and reduce churn.
What do you see as the biggest benefit of social media for distributors? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments box below.
And to follow-through on the tips introduced in this short article, be sure to download your free guide, How COOs at Los Angeles Distributors and Manufacturers Get More Done: A Guide to Productivity, Data, Staffing, Delegation, and Making It Home for Dinner Most Nights.