What is the value in social media for manufacturers?

Nauvou Monthly Newsletter

October 10, 2012Serving Manufacturers with Partner Networks

In this issue

  • What is the value in social media for manufacturers?

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What is the value in social media for manufacturers?

Using the Web to SellThis morning I received an email from Today In Manufacturing.  The email told of Toyota recalling 7.43 million vehicles.  This information was interesting, but not of immediate value to me.  We don’t count Toyota among our customers, and I don’t own a Toyota, so it was simply interesting.  This information just cluttered up my memory.  We sell to manufacturers so much of the information in this journal is useful to me, but not everything.  I know that Toyota dealers have a partner portal to make sure that the dealers know well in advance of the general public. 

Do you have a “insider” communication channel?  I hope your partner communications channel is better than email!  Really, I hope you are using Nauvou Partner Portal. However, I’ll talk about how to leverage any partner portal using social media.

Magazines and Journals and web sites and television have made a huge business of distributing the information that you want delivered to prospects.  Consider the millions or thousands that you now spend simply to get the word out about your products.  It’s important, attracting new customers, making sure that the world knows what your company is doing.

The other side of that coin is holding those customers who you have already found.  Caring for their needs and making sure that they stick with you.  Today, I’m going to talk a little about how you might use twitter in conjunction with Nauvou Partner Portal.

Most of us are pretty busy doing our job.  If I sit at the manufacturer, I’m focused on building the best product, keeping up with my suppliers, promoting my product to my partners.  In the course of doing the job of a manufacturer, I have some very specialized knowledge.  Some things like:

1. We are placing a new full-page ad in MBT magazine, to run 3 months from now

2. Due to regulations, we can no longer ship propane tanks with our product

3. We are changing all of our lighting to LED from OceanLED.

4. We just stopped production of our least-expensive model.

Each of these items seems random, but your partners care.  None may be newsworthy, in that the trade journals my not care.  Your business partners consider this KIND of information VERY important.

1. Your partners (dealers, distributors) want to make sure that they have a copy of the MBT magazine for their customers to see.  Perhaps you will receive a request for an early copy of the material.  Everyone likes to be in the know.

2. Your partners may need to put in one of those lines of refillable propane tank vendors to take up the slack.  Perhaps they can even make additional revenue, and have another reason for customers to visit regularly.

3. Wow, reduced power, brighter illumination, who knows what other new selling points this might bring.  It’s good to know what is coming.  Perhaps your competitor has already gone to LED, and your partners need to know that you are also on track.

4. What is replacing the cancelled model?  Conceivably this is the opportunity to push someone who is on the fence to purchasing since next year, they will have to buy the more expensive model.  Perhaps your partners will really speak out and you will reconsider.  There is lots of value in hearing from your partners early, before your are totally committed.

Hopefully, you already had the desire and are communicating with your partners.  When you add twitter, you have your own personal news network.  Each of these subjects can be effectively tweeted; your partners can be linked into your business processes much easier than you would have ever thought.  

1. New model year Ad MBT, July 1 edition. http://link_to_artwork

2. No more propane shipped with units, starting August. http://link_to_our_article.

3. Change to all LED next year. http://link_to_our_internal_article.

4. Model XYZ cut from line next year. http://link_to_our_article.

I bet your tweets will be better than these illustrations!

You can see that twitter announcements are short.  It’s important to convey enough information that your partners can decide if they NEED to read the full article.  Don’t waste their time on long articles that don’t apply to them.  One other point to consider, your service manager might tweet as well. All of your partner service managers have to keep up someway.  

Our product Nauvou Partner Portal is a cloud based service, which hosts your articles.  We provide security so that ONLY your partners can access the articles.  Your links will look something like.  ”http://partners.your_company_name.com” so instead of “www.” your partners will use partner.  Using Nauvou Partner Portal, gives your partners a place to access private information only intended for them.