While many companies and industries have embraced Social Media to boost brand messaging and interact with customers, you will find sectors with a higher number of so-called laggards. Although success stories are certainly there, the chemical industry is one of those sectors that is behind with integrating Social Media effectively within the overall marketing strategy.
Does that mean that Social Media simply isn’t a right fit for chemical companies or do they perhaps fail to see the opportunities out there? How can a chemical company make successful use out of Social Media?
Distinguish yourself from others
One of the more overlooked social networks is Facebook because its informal nature is deemed a bad fit for companies that operate in a B2B environment. Yet it’s the very nature of this network that could offer a chemical company the opportunity to distinguish itself from others. The key challenge that most chemical companies struggle with here is to translate core business lingo into status updates that appeals to a broad audience. It should for example appeal to them because there is a direct connection with something current, their profession, environment or interests.
A company that manages to find a personal way of linking the corporate values and products with the interests of their (potential) customers is often successful. They build an audience that feels connected to the brand and the strategic course of the company. However, the biggest challenge is often to find the right tone of voice to communicate and translate values and corporate activities in a way that a wider audience can understand and relate to it.
Dow Chemicals is a good example of a chemical company that is using Facebook effectively and found a very personal way of communicating their core values. On their timeline you will often find highlights of community involvement and social impact. They have partnered with Habitat for Humanity for example; through the joint Build a Better Community initiative. This partnership clearly shows that they are at the very heart of society. They serve as an example that shows that a company dealing with often complex, technical processes can find topics that a wider audience can relate to.
Vision, Strategy and Results
To use Social Media effectively, a company has to develop a proper vision, strategic goals and think about which results they care about. If we look at the example of Dow, we see that an important component of their presence on Facebook is to influence the public opinion. Even though they are operating in a B2B market, we see they are mostly investing in corporate branding.
An example of how a chemical company could describe its vision for Social Media may be to use social media to communicate core company messages through quotes, interviews and behind the scenes stories, to stimulate people talking about them.
Goals may include: to develop a platform dedicated to the company strategy for employees, customers and other stakeholders, create awareness and stimulate an interactive dialogue about the company, its mission and vision and its products or to create a more transparent organization.
The results a company could be after may be described as: increased level of brand awareness, more people talking positively about the brand or company and/or development of strategic partnerships.
Chemicals Sales & Marketing Toolbox
Having hosted two annuals of the Chemicals Sales & Marketing Toolbox, we know what our attendees’ value most is being among peers that face very similar challenges to theirs.
The Chemicals Sales & Marketing Toolbox is a platform where Sales and Marketing professionals in chemical companies can exchange valuable industry knowhow and experience.