The Impact of Social Media in the 3PL Industry

The Impact of Social Media in the 3PL Industry

As technology continues to grow and impact the way the logistics industry operates, it also continues to expand the opportunities that we have to reach, educate and interact with our clients and the public.  Just as consumers have become more savvy and specific with how they want orders to be processed and delivered, their opinions, concerns, questions and insights are also more available than ever. 

Social media, in all of its forms, makes this new avenue for engagement possible.  This creates a great opportunity for 3PL firms to establish, foster and enhance relationships on every level.  When considering a partnership with a 3PL for your business, just as you would with a job interview, checking on their social media presence and practices can tell you a lot.  As more and more retail and direct consumer businesses have embraced the power of social media, it’s becoming imperative that any outsourced service, especially one as vital as logistics, is keeping up with technology and consumer communication.  When used strategically, social media can dramatically enrich traditional marketing and corporate relationship efforts.  According to a study by go-gulf.com, 74% of consumers researched social media networks before making purchasing decisions.  In addition 89% of companies are using social media to enhance their exposure.  Simply put, our client’s customers are using it, we should be as well.

Understanding how our clients and prospects are using social media and digesting information is a crucial first step.  Discovering the best social platform on which to engage them, and then providing the content and interaction they desire can pay dividends in acquisition and retention efforts.  Arguably the most important key to connecting brand and value to those looking for, or currently leveraging our services is through content.

Creating and publishing relevant, timely and accurate content on a regular basis through the channels that a target market employs is the quickest way to engage an audience.  Answering common concerns and questions, providing inspiring, thought provoking insight on industry and economic topics can position a brand as an authority and trusted source for queries and interests.  In short, we have the answers; social media simply provides an avenue to provide them to those seeking.  According to Forbes, 78% of consumers say that posts made by companies on social media influence their purchases.  Progressive companies are adapting and sharing innovative ideas, again positioning themselves as industry leaders, you should expect nothing less from your 3PL firm.

In addition to the brand equity and exposure that content can provide, social media activity also allows for the monitoring and creation of dialogue with consumers and clients alike.  Initiating conversations and answering questions via Twitter or LinkedIn forums allows a company to keep its finger on the pulse of an industry as well as the consumer market.  With the emergence of online reviews being offered by Google, Facebook and more, staying active and available for consumer feedback has never been more important.  With so many ways for feedback on your company to be recorded and shared, responding to and managing these reviews and comments can make a substantial difference in your bottom line.  A partner that recognizes the consequences and opportunities these reviews afford, will likely bolster your efforts in elevating and maintaining your brand.  A 2013 study by PeopleClaim shows that 63% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a site that has online reviews and ratings than from a site without any review data; moreover, positive online reviews create a 74 percent increase in product / service conversion.  Leveraging an engaged, educated, open and current outsourced fulfillment center can enhance the image and operations of your company. 

While there are many factors to consider when selecting a valuable 3PL partner, social media can answer many of those questions.  It is becoming a more important element as technology continues to grow and impact every aspect of the supply chain.  

 
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