Social Networking in Supply Chain and Logistics

“Has your company implemented a business social networking solution?”

At the start of August 2013, Facebook peaked at 1.15 billion users, Twitter 500 million users,  Linked in 238 million users and Dropbox 200 million users, to name a few.

Experts agree that we are in the midst of a second industrial revolution where the adoption and use of social media as an information gathering and communication medium has come into the fore and that traditional marketing methods are no longer effective on their own.

With more than one billion people using social networks today, social media is forging a new era in business opportunity and engagement, creating two-way communication that enables customer feedback and response in real-time. Furthermore, according to recent reports most Fortune 500 companies now have a social media presence.

It is surprising, considering these figures, that, surveys indicate that less than 40%  of Supply Chain and Logistics companies are yet to embrace social networking as part of their current business model.

Social media is no longer used solely for personal use; at a basic level, social networking gives your company the opportunity to:

  • Reach a larger audience and expand your customer base with followers outside of your email list
  • Share your message, engage with others in the industry and reach new customers
  • Listen to your audience and your customers, improving customer relationships
  • Be aware of negative social media comments, which is a risk whether you are on Social Media or not.
  • Enable others to share your relevant message, and become a resource for your readers
  • Stay relevant and current

The key point most companies fail to comprehend is that Social Media is about relationships NOT pitches.

Social Media for Logistics Companies

If the above is not reason enough to convince you, social networking will also give your company the opportunity to:

  • Grow your market awareness and develop a social database to help open new opportunities for you, particularly in new markets.
  • Give your business a face, and the opportunity to create new personal and business relationships with your customers.  Facebook is particularly good for creating and sharing your business personality, let people get to know and trust your company.
  • Use it to let people know of useful issues.

Some Examples look at how UPS uses facebook, or Fedex uses other social media forms.  They can provide some inspirational ideas.

Social Media can help Your Website Get Found

How do your determine if someone or something is credible?

That is a big question for search engines.

They want to deliver you credible and relevant options each time your undertake search. Since the late 1990’s the credibility of a website or even web page has been based upon a complex algorithm developed by Larry Page (hence the name – page rank).

But whilst machines loves that, people don’t.  It is not how people intrinsically determine credibility.  One of the most common key ways we, the people, determine if something is credible is by seeing what other people think.

Search Engines Now Relying on People

So now the search engines, in particular Google, are saying the same thing.  A web site authority or credibility is not determine by page rank, but rather what other people are saying or doing about it. What do we mean by that.  Well each time people come to your site, refer to your site or share it with their friends your site is gaining more search engine credibility.

That makes sense, but how do you get people to do this?

How to be Interesting

Fairly easily actually, simply write or video something (called content) that people are interested in. What are people interested in? Well put yourself in a party, lots of people and your chatting away.

If you give your companies sales pitch or product pitch the chances are you will be well ………..boring. However lets say instead your talked in general terms about issues that people would find interesting about your industry. Say in real estate it might be property trends in the area, pharmacy it may be about health and well being, etc. When you do, people are engaged and ask questions and guess what, no sales pitch.

Now its time to Share the Content

Now you have something interesting the people want to read or see, you simply need to find a party of people who would be interested in your content. That is where social media comes in to play. Social Media is how:

  • you share your content,
  • get people to come to your site,
  • how people share your content with their friends
  • And talk about it with their friends

But if you want people to do that – you need to listen to what they have to say too.  Do that and they will like you and take the effort to visit, read and share your content.

And in so doing, give your site more credibility with Search Engines – leading to better search engine results for you.

It is time to move towards the future for Supply Chain and Logistics companies. Social networking is here and it is here to stay.

Emma Baker

Emma Baker is a senior consultant for Latus. Emma has a background in communications and marketing, with a focus on business development. Her primary focus for Latus is assisting in spearheading the growth and direction of the company´s marketing initiatives in Australia as well as; channel development, strategic partnerships, brand image, and customer acquisition through both online and offline advertising. Emma resides in Melbourne Victoria and holds a degree in Business from Victoria University and Arts, from the University of Ballarat.

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