Marketing for the security industry has always had its challenges. After all, what company really wants to talk extensively about its security? Talk with any marketing, public relations or media person in the industry and he or she will tell you that one of the most difficult things is to get end-users to talk openly about their security systems. Now, add social media to the marketing mix. We are talking about Facebook, Twitter, blogs and all the other social platforms vying for attention these days. Social media is meant to be just that – "social." It is meant to frequently and openly communicate about a company, its products, solutions, people, events and expertise. So, it might seem that social media and the reticent world of security are not a good fit, but it would be a mistake for any tech-savvy company today to ignore its potential marketing power.
Social media is a way of showing your customers, investors, vendors and employees just who you are. It gives them a peek behind the scene, builds brand awareness and sets your company up as an industry leader. To do this, it should provide frequently updated information on the company and its industry. It is a way to add another dimension to your online presence by starting conversations and allowing people to interact with you and your brand.
To see why social media makes marketing sense you only have to look at the numbers:
- Facebook is now used by one in every 13 people on earth, with over 250 million of them (over 50 percent) logging in every day.
- 22 percent of Fortune 500 companies have a public blog.
- Americans spent nearly a quarter of their 2010 online time visiting social networking sites and blogs.
- Over 90 percent of business-to-business (B2B) buyers are already using social media tools to research and execute purchases.
With all of this in mind, we started working with a large security systems integrator to help the company expand its digital media presence and take advantage of new marketing platforms such as Twitter, company and consumer blogs, Facebook and LinkedIn. The company has consumer and commercial divisions so we helped tackle both business-to-consumer (B2C) and B2B campaigns. We worked with the support of a very strong internal digital team and other digital agencies. Each member of the team brought its own expertise to the table. As a public relations and communications specialist, our expertise was providing solid content for the social media efforts.
One of the first things we implemented was a consumer blog. The goal was to attract people to the blog site with strong informative content on safety and security. We did that by providing a daily safety tip and three or four safety and security blogs per week. Our articles were meant to be non-commercial. The point was to provide people with good information that would lead them to the blog site where they would also find information on company products and services. This blog site very quickly became a lead generation tool with a high page ranking. The site also won awards including a Stevie from the American Business Awards.
We also started a B2B blog site for this client. The goal was to get a solid site up and running quickly and without a lot of development costs. We decided to use WordPress to put together this site because it is easy to use, offers a number of different templates and is pretty versatile. We were able to pull together a good-looking site, fairly quickly and with minimal development help. The blog concentrated on providing two to four blogs a week on topics within the integrator's expertise. Again, these were meant to be informational and non-commercial, although we did also include information on company events and white papers. The point was to provide people with what they want online – information without sales and marketing jargon. The blog built a solid following during its first six months and by the end of its first year was getting more visits than the company's three top B2B website pages.