By embracing social media, defense contractors can keep up with opinion leaders, learn how their company is perceived, gain valuable insights for company growth and tailor different messages to different audiences.
Many defense contractors have been reluctant to embrace social media. Reasons for this reluctance include lack of management familiarity with social media, security concerns, and unease at the organizational change required to implement an effective management of this new medium.
In an article in National Defense, David J. Albritton, vice president of communications at ITT Defense Electronics & Services, outlined the benefits of embracing social media, and the perils of ignoring it. Here’s my summary of 5 key points from his article as it relates to marketing.
- Be Heard. Social media enables you to engage with increasingly tech-savvy journalists and bloggers. This group prefers and is coming to expect their primary communication via social media.
- Free Marketing Research. In certain ways, social media can provide even more candid and honest insights about your company and services than more formalized marketing research. By listening in on the conversation, defense contractors can better understand how they are perceived by various groups. Additionally, social media enables you to learn how your competitors are faring in the court of public opinion.
- Join the Conversation. What many defense contractors may be uncomfortable with in social media is not being able to control the one-way conversation like in the past. But therein lies the opportunity. Social media allows defense contractors to have a more open dialogue with various audiences, thus being able to convey accurate and timely information to groups with enormous influence. Defense contractors who avoid social media's ability to join the conversation may be held in greater suspicion, like the corporate monolith that says "no comment" at their own peril.
- Nature Abhors a Vacuum. As the traditional news media goes through radical transformation and the occasional death throes, social media and bloggers are growing in influence and filling the void. Defense contractors need to be prepared to respond to the ongoing conversation.
- Pinpoint Messaging. Social media enables a defense contractor to communicate with a variety of smaller audiences. And the technology is developing to deliver ever more specific messages to smaller groups.
Click on the following link to read the full article, Defense Industry Must Embrace Social Media.