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Social media is not a new concept by any means. While business-to-consumer companies were quick to jump on the social media trend, it has been an arguably somewhat slow start for business-to-business companies.When you're a Nike or Target, there are always new products to talk about to help create online engagement. It's not quite as simple for companies trying to promote injection molding or the latest advancements in PE stretch film.

Heather Caliendo

April 10, 2012

3 Min Read
Plastic companies of all sizes embraced social media at NPE2012

Social media is not a new concept by any means. While business-to-consumer companies were quick to jump on the social media trend, it has been an arguably somewhat slow start for business-to-business companies.

When you're a Nike or Target, there are always new products to talk about to help create online engagement. It's not quite as simple for companies trying to promote injection molding or the latest advancements in PE stretch film.

Still, despite initial hesitations, more plastic companies are participating in the social media and SEO arenas, as evident during NPE2012.

DuPont and Dow Chemical both have continuous social media presences and kept followers and fans up-to-date about all their companies' activities throughout NPE2012.

social-media-seo-logos.jpgSocial media isn't just for large companies, and some of the smaller players in the field talked with PlasticsToday about their social media efforts.  

Steve Trapp, president of custom injection molder Venture Plastics, said he is completely on board with the company pursuing social media.

Trapp said one challenge of working in a specialized market is finding the right avenue to reach its target market. With that said, social media has served as a successful marketing platform.

"We have actually received leads off of our Facebook page," he said. "That made us stop and pay more attention to those mediums."

Compared to years and decades past, many potential customers are reaching out to companies based upon their own online research. Social media is useful in the fact that it can help a company position itself to potential customers, along with keeping clients aware of new developments at the company, Trapp said.

"We're going to do YouTube videos. We recognize it's not just Facebook, but Google+, LinkedIn, and more," Trapp said. "We've seen business from it, and we expect that to continue."

Jeff Newman, vp sales and marketing for Wilmington Machinery, said his company works in a niche market. The company is a manufacturer of blow molding and injection molding machines and processes for both monolayer and multilayer applications, serving the dairy, juice, foods and liquid yogurt markets.

While there is less competition in the space, there can also be fewer opportunities, he said.

"It can present unique challenges," he said in response to how the company finds different ways to reach new customers.

Newman said in the past, advertising dollars were primarily reserved for advertisements in print publications, but in recent years, the company has put a focus on SEO, social media marketing, and public relations.   

He said the company sees the importance of being ranked high on various online search rankings.

NPE2012 also continued to embrace social media as two new resources provided mobile-technology access to online information about NPE2012 and gave users new capabilities for managing show-related activities.

The NPE2012 iPad app allowed attendees to create a personal schedule, search for and tag exhibitors that they visited, and much more. The NPE2012 mobile phone site allowed anyone with a smart phone and a web browser to access the NPE site on-the-go.

In addition to those new capabilities, SPI established NPE2012 social media sites on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn that gave updates about the conference and the various exhibitors throughout the entire show.

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