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Social Media Gives Industrial Companies Competitive Advantage, Says Thomas Industrial Network Report March 29, 2012 New York, NY Industrial companies that hesitate to embrace social media, believing that competitors are not using these platforms, are in danger of losing business opportunities, according to recent research from Thomas Industrial Network. In fact, seven out of 10 small and midsize suppliers (68 percent) are already engaging with prospects through these channels, gaining a competitive advantage over those who have yet to start. More than 3,000 respondents to Thomas surveys say that they routinely use social media to market their products and services, generate leads, answer questions, conduct research, and gain new business. Thomas studied the behaviors of suppliers (i.e., manufacturers and distributors) through its Industrial Marketer survey, and buyers through its Industrial Purchasing Barometer (IPB). The research focused on their use of platforms such as LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, industry forums, and blogs. The responses paint a picture of an industrial sector that has made social networking a mainstream business practice. Buyers regularly rely on social media to conduct research on companies, and to seek others opinions on particular suppliers. Indeed, 56 percent of buyers now recommend that all suppliers establish a social media presence if they want to do business with them. In response, suppliers are jumping onto the social media bandwagon to provide information on their offerings (41 percent), find new prospects (27 percent), and learn what customers have to say about their companies (20 percent). The industrial sector is awakening to the fact that social media isn t just a passing consumer fancy, but an essential part of any branding and marketing program, said Susan Orr, Senior Director, Strategic...
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