Poff shared details about how Mar-Bal developed and now executes a social media marketing strategy that includes messaging on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. He said the strategy has resulted in improved lead generation for Mar-Bal, a higher search engine ranking and more unique visitors to the company’s website.

“It really didn’t take a whole lot of time to see results, and quite frankly, it just started with us experimenting,” Poff said. “In essence, we are doing a lab trial on social media. We’re still learning, but at least we’re participating in it, learning from it and using data to help us make decisions. At the end of the day, the only way to grow a company is to move beyond traditional customers.”

To that end, Beetle Plastics is now mapping out content to coincide with a prospect’s decision-making process. For example, when the firm captures new leads, it sends an email to them 10 days later, inviting them to “Download the Fiberglass Reinforced Composite Engineering Catalog.” The goal is to interest recipients through the firm’s knowledge. Then, on Day 10, those prospects receive another email, this time inviting them to read pertinent posts from the company’s blog. The goal is to entice recipients. Then, on Day 40, Beetle Plastics sends them a link to a relevant case study. The goal at that point is to win business.

“We need to position ourselves as experts in the field,” Hockenberry says. “We can all do that by recognizing and capturing what we already know and can share with buyers.”