Staying Competitive: Zekelman Industries Social Initiative Seeks to Enhance Relationships, Offer Technical Advice
At Zekelman Industries, we know our customers are not only shifting the way in which they search for product specifications and code requirements, but also the way they conduct business.
Just take a look at the National Electrical Contractors Association’s (@NECAnet) Social Media Guide, where they dedicate a whole section of their site with information on how to get started with various tools to keep up with the industry and connect with business contacts online.
The American Institute of Architects (@AIANational) is also leading the digital charge. In a blog titled “10 Tips for Using Twitter to Support Your Practice,” Jason Wagner, a Project Manager at Oculus Inc. (a 30 person architecture firm in St. Louis), writes “Traditionally architects have been reliant on outbound marketing, traditional networking and relying on relationships and referrals to promote their business. The new rules of marketing 2.0 will rewrite how architects must market themselves to stay competitive.”
We couldn’t agree more. Adapting to these changes, Zekelman Industries is moving rapidly to support this shift through our digital platforms on social media and our blogs (Zekelman Industries Perspective, Wheatland Standard and Atlas Observer).
Bringing Credibility from the Field to Online Communities
Our blog provides a professional community for industry-specific insight on issues that impact our customers, including emerging technologies, engineering and construction best practices and current events and legislation. We’re also calling on you—steel tube industry engineers, contractors, distributors and third-party representatives—to comment and share your own expertise with us.
In addition, we’re utilizing LinkedIn and Twitter to engage in conversations with our customers and respond to feedback, essentially in real time. Our three recently launched Twitter accounts include @ZekelmanIndustries, @WheatlandTube and @AtlasTube, all of which are sources for both company and industry news. To get started, we recommend following industry associations and publications, distributors and design software companies, to name a few.
We see this integration of social media and online communities changing the way we do business for the better. It’s an opportunity to interact with the industry around issues of all types, displaying our expertise, facilitating the conversation and increasing touch point opportunities with customers, prospects and vendors.
Keeping Up with Social Media
Not sure how to get started? Below is a daily routine you can start now to make the most out of social media:
1. Read daily news and scan for items you may want to share.
2. Login to your profiles on each channel (Twitter, LinkedIn) and check your inbox.
3. Then, engage by either sharing a news item (from step 1) or responding to a blog post, tweet or LinkedIn update that caught your attention.
4. Participate in LinkedIn Groups at least every other week, make new connections and reply to thought-provoking blogs, tweets and posts.
To get you started on Twitter, here’s a top 10 list of industry-specific sources to follow:
- @IDSA (The Industrial Designers Society of America)
- @SolarPowerWrld (Solar Power World Magazine)
- @RCD_Canada (Canadian construction industry news and information)
- @TEDMagazine (The Electrical Distributor Magazine)
- @EngineeringEX (Engineering Exchange – a social network for engineers)
- @SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association)
- @KeepitMadeinUSA (The Alliance for American Manufacturing)
- @ERNews (Engineering News Record)
- @ArchRecord (Architecture Design Publication)
- @PilebuckINT (Pile Buck International Newspaper)
We’re proud to share our knowledge and open up a dialogue with the industries we serve. If you have any questions or suggestions regarding JMC Steel Group’s social media and blog program, please leave a comment below.