The cohesion of conversations; brands taking a #(pound)ing
links for 2009-05-01

Ball bearings, social media and you

iStock_000004515838XSmall.jpgAbout three years ago I spoke at an event in a town to the south of Cleveland. The audience was a more traditional marketing audience and they were very receptive to what I had to say...except for one guy at the side of the room. If you give presentations, you know this guy. He nodded a little, but shot an occasional contrarian scowl.

If there is room to become a social media leader in the ball bearing industry, there is room to become a leader in your industry.

After I was done I saw him hanging out toward the back of the room and as I wrapped up my obligatory mingling, I approached him. After introducing myself I asked if he had any questions that he wanted to address with me.

He started, "Matt, I know what you're saying, but this doesn't work for every company. People don't care about some of these products."

I had to wonder what the heck this guy did to have such a low image of his company. I probed a little further, "I think it does apply to every company to an extent and you need to be listening to know when the timing is right. What is your industry?"

Sheepishly the guy said, "We make ball bearings."

I do love a challenge. I mentioned that his company could take a leadership position with customers and in search engines by adopting social platforms now versus waiting to play catch up. He agreed to watch, but I am doubtful that he actually took my advice.

Tonight, I took a quick stroll through the social web. Here is what I found surrounding the ball bearing industry.

How bearings are made:

Bearing service center tour:

Advances in ball bearings using ceramic:

Photos of ball bearings on Flickr:

  

Wikipedia has a good overview of the industry.

Chinese ball bearing company uses a blog to post information about their products

Other companies syndicate their news via RSS to be listed among related blogs.

Bearing manufacturers have Facebook groups as well. On Facebook there are poeple who love ball bearings and people who hate bad ball bearings.

Ball bearing companies are on Twitter too as are fans of ball bearings and the media that covers the space and professional groups as well. There is actually a lot of conversation on Twitter about bearings.

So, what the heck does this mean for you? Ask yourself, who owns my space in the social sphere online? Do a search inside the top social networks. Who is already forming relationships with my customers/potential customers/influencers? What is the best entry point for my company? How can I get involved NOW in order to not lose more ground?

If there is room to become a social media leader in the ball bearing industry, there is room to become a leader in your industry.

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