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Rachel King (@sfwriter) of the Wall Street Journal reports:

Industrial companies are starting to catch up to consumer brands in their use of social media marketing, using LinkedIn, Facebook and even YouTube to reach buyers for decidedly unsexy products such as electrical components, industrial lubricants, generators and contract manufacturing.

eMarketer’s, Debra Aho Williamson, tells King,

Industrial companies are part of the growing trend of business-to-business firms engaging in social media marketing. About 68% of companies that sell products or services to other businesses they engaged in social media marketing, according to a September 2012 survey by Chief Marketer, a publication of Penton Media Inc. In contrast, 79% of consumer brands use social media for marketing purposes.

Electronics contract manufacturer Etratech Inc. is one example. King reports that the company began using LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and YouTube 18 months ago after its president and board of directors set aggressive sales targets that called for new ways of thinking.

Per William Burrows, business development manager at Etratech,

One of the challenges as a manufacturer is that you’re not always a household name, so it can be difficult to market and advertise.

……

With Etratech present on so many social media sites prospects can research the firm before they reach out in person, also helping the company close deals more quickly. Now, a sales cycle that took six-to-eight months is often shortened to six-to-eight week.

YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and even, LinkedIn. Law firms are skeptical that they’ll reach their clients and prospective clients through these social media. Law firm leadership readily accepts the view that these media are cute and best suited to the young, unsophisticated, and non-business crowd.

Very, very short-sighted.

Read about the use of social media in the Wall Street Journal and other business publications.

Don’t find comfort in seeing other business oriented law firms ignoring social media or using social media in a tactical short-sighted fashion. You’re apt to follow those firms right off a cliff. None of you will be engaging and building relationships with clients and prospective clients in the fashion that social media enables your people to do.

Reading this as a law firm decision maker? If you’re looking to increase revenues and grow business, don’t you, like the president and board of Etratech, have an obligation to start thinking differently.

Lawyer or other professional in a larger firm? Ask your law firm leadership for their strategic plans to grow business and engage clients through social media. If nothing else, start sharing with them what they ought to be reading in this regard.

Image courtesy of Flickr by MdGovPics