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Why Defense Industry Executives Should Not Fear Social Media

While some defense industry executives fear social media, many of them just don't know how to get started taking advantage of it. This will get you going.

defense industry social media

In the first-ever analysis of the defense industry’s use of social media by UK-based DefenceIQ, 62% of respondents "believe that it is very important, if not critical, that defence contractors improve their online and social media presence..."

DefenceIQ Social Media Study Figure 3

The report addressed "irrational fears" of social media by some in the defense industry

What we are seeing here is the unsupported and irrational fear of exposure being used as an excuse for online discretion to the detriment of the company’s brand and, ultimately, bottom line performance. The climate of suspicion that surrounds social media in the defence industry does not reflect the reality. If managed properly social media platforms do not leave companies open to risks relating to IP and corporate strategy; they do, however, provide an excellent forum to enhance brand awareness, as underpinned by the survey data. -DefenceIQ

Despite "irrational fears" held by some defense industry executives and their companies, there are numerous reasons to embrace social media.

Social media is one of the most significant communications advancements since the invention of the printing press. It is changing the way people communicate, do research and make decisions. It is changing long-established industries, institutions and even governments. Social media is not going away.

In his latest video, Socialnomics author Eric Qualman affirms the ubiquity and permanency of social media:


Defense industry executives who balk haughtily at social media risk conveying that they are not comfortable with change and that they don't have the ability to evolve. While this not always true, to many observers perception is reality.

Defense industry executives with an understanding of the power of social media and how to leverage it for their companies are increasingly in demand.

Bill Swanson's Twitter cufflink

For defense contractors who want to convey innovation and technical savvy to prospective employees and customers, social media serves as a subconscious litmus test.

In truth, many defense contractors are not held back from social media by fear so much as not knowing how to get started. And the fact that the defense industry has an overabundance of risk-averse perfectionists doesn't help.

Well, fear no more. Barry Feldman has published "The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Social Media Marketing" and I recommend it to any defense industry executive ready to take the first social media marketing step. The guide applies to individuals and businesses.

Feldman explains:

Just four years ago, I felt like you do. Social media was another language. Foreign. Frightening.

Your insecurities are natural… Will I look lame? Am I too late to the party? Will anyone care what I have to say?

Let ‘em go. Relax. Social media is a conversation. You can join any time. Join now. You’ll be welcomed.

Social media is not a trend. It’s essential. Just as your customers rely on the phone and email, they rely on social media. It’s where you connect. To believe otherwise can limit and threaten the growth of your business or career.

I intend to help you blast through the hardest part: getting started. Right here. Right now.

Your turn: What's holding your company back from leveraging social media?

photo credit: Tomasz Stasiuk via photopin cc

douglasburdett
douglasburdett
The Principal and Founder of Artillery, Douglas Burdett is a former artillery officer and Madison Avenue ad man. He also hosts The Marketing Book Podcast, where he interviews authors every week about the latest in modern marketing and sales.

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