Old Spice, Staples, Nike, Pizza Hut, and Starbucks. What do all these companies have in common? Other than the fact that they’re all well known, they also hold a very active presence on social media. Chances are, I bet you’re even following at least one of these businesses on Twitter or ‘liking’ them on Facebook.

In an industry as cut and dry as the one A.Y. McDonald represents, it is hard for some companies to understand the benefits of social media when it comes to their own marketing efforts. But it’s worth noting that the more platforms a company can be reached by, the better the communication is between them and the customer, regardless of what industry is served. After all, don’t they say that communication is the key to a good relationship?

Whether your products reside in the water works, pump, high pressure gas, or plumbing industry, we highly encourage you to increase your presence on the internet, with social media in particular. As Rural Magazine pointed out in their Communications 101 article, communication planning is the art and science of targeting audiences by using direct mail, email, or other communication channels. Simply embracing social media can fulfill a good portion of the objectives that make up a proper communication plan.

You may think that your company doesn’t have enough going on to justify making the effort to update a Facebook status or post a tweet but you’d be surprised to find out how broad a fan base can be. When using social media to your advantage, you are not only creating a brand personality for your company but you are also connecting with people like never before.

In addition to the culture moments and educational opportunities that a great communication plan offers, it can also play a hand in your company’s emergency response plan. Are your phones down? Tweet about it! Is there a water line break in your area? Update your Facebook status! Is there a price increase on a product line? Consult your customer email database!

No matter what a business represents, honest and open communication with customers builds a great rapport and puts your name out there. That being said, social media is the quick and free answer to bridging the gap between you and your company’s fan base. As Nike would say: Just Do It.