Social media platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn are gaining ground in distribution, but when it comes to using them as a part of a strategic marketing plan, many distributors are still questioning their worth.
But some distributors have reaped the benefits of social media in very tangible ways.
Jim Sobeck, president and CEO of distributor New South Construction Supply in South Carolina, took on a new supplier that connected with him via his company’s Twitter account. In one month, the new line resulted in $30,000 in sales.
To measure the return on investment, it’s important to understand that the websites are free, and the investment in them is time, and as with any marketing initiative, what’s put in is what will come out of it, says John Sonnhalter in The Social Media Challenge: ROI. Don’t underestimate the potential benefits of social media platforms.
Julia Klein, CEO of specialty building materials distributor C.H. Briggs, put it this way in a recent interview: “’What’s the ROI on social networking?’ is really kind of a dumb question. It’s like asking ‘What’s the return on the telephone?’ Nobody would ask that question,” she says. “It’s not really a question of ROI; it’s a question of relevancy.”