t’s not that distributors aren’t social; they’re very social. So the question for building products brands is, if distributors are already social, why should you help them be more social?
The short answer: build sales. The longer answer is a little more humbling.
What Distributors Are Doing On Social Media
According to a recent Point To Point research study of 499 building products distributor attitudes and behaviors, some 46% of respondents said they’re now using social media to promote their businesses.
What’s more, two-thirds said their companies were engaging on Facebook on a daily or multi-weekly basis—and around half said the same for Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Additionally, 30% of respondents said they communicate with contractors through social media, too.
Clearly distributors have tapped into the power of social media. This is not only good for their business, it’s good for yours.
Distributors Have a Distinct Social Media Advantage
The truth is distributors can do things socially that brands can’t. And those things add unique value. Here’s why:
- Distributors know the contractors personally and have high-touch relationships with them
- Because distributors carry multiple products they don’t manufacture, they’re viewed as an authoritative, unbiased and trusted source by contractors. A source seen as adding value
- Providing value to a community is the key to engagement
- Engaged contractors translate into loyal customers—and added business
What Brands Can Do To Help Distributors Be More Effective Socially
There are three things brands can do to facilitate social media engagement on the part of distributors. Brands can:
1. Supply quality content. Quality articles, white papers, videos and blogs are key to value and engagement, establishing distributors as topic experts. But overloaded distributors don’t have the time—or the budget—to create these resources.
- According to our research study, time management is distributors’ biggest business frustration
- Many distributorships are small. About half our study respondents have only one location and fewer than 50 employees. These lean operations don’t have the budget or manpower to devote to content creation
2. Build the social infrastructure. With the right distributor filters, content from brands can be automatically be pushed out to distributor social networks as if the distributors had created it, saving them time. Distributors can then share the content and engage in the conversations that follow.
3. Empower distributors. Provide social media training to help distributors use the medium more effectively. This will help them promote their businesses better, strengthening distributor loyalty and adding sales.
Responding to the evolving digital landscape and the changing buyer behaviors it has created, today’s building products distributors have embraced social media as a way to engage with contractors and build their businesses. But time and budget concerns have made it difficult for often smaller distributorships to create the quality content necessary for growing engagement. Building products brands have an opportunity to turn brand power into social power for distributors by creating the needed quality content, building the necessary social infrastructure and empowering distributors through training to use social media more effectively. This will make it easier for distributors to do business with contractors and stay on top of evolving social media opportunities, building brand sales and distributor loyalty.
For more distributor insights, read our whitepaper, Why Building Products Brands Are Falling Short With Distributors.