2013 Equipment Online

By |  October 29, 2013

Even in today’s increasingly digital world, Pit & Quarry readers tell us they prefer the print magazine as their top source for industry information. Still, the magazine isn’t the only media platform aggregate producers are leaning on these days.

Websites, e-newsletters, blogs, online forums and social media are some of the other sources producers have turned to for information about equipment, supplies and services. Trade magazines are still their top source, they say, but nearly 20 percent of Pit & Quarry readers say an Internet search is their go-to source for information – and more than 15 percent say they first turn directly to websites.

In fact, 82 percent of those who visit our website tell us they’ve sought out additional product information after discovering a product or service on www.pitandquarry.com. More than 70 percent of visitors have clicked through to a vendor’s website from there, and nearly half have directly requested information or pricing related to a product or service after visiting Pit & Quarry online.

Yes, print media is still number one, but print is also increasingly catapulting aggregate producers to the web, where they expect to find further solutions for their businesses. Supplier websites are often the place to find such solutions.

To accentuate a few of those places, Pit & Quarry put together this special guide, 2013 Equipment Online, as yet another place producers can turn to find business solutions. On the pages ahead, you’ll learn about the educational tools and offerings available to you from a few innovative companies online, as well as additional resources that can help you discover useful products and services.

Social media savvy

Social media has quickly become a place to turn for answers, as well. Even if your business struggles with social media, it’s probably best if your business is at least involved with it. According to VerticalResponse, a firm that conducted a September 2012 survey of small businesses, 90 percent of small businesses are on Facebook – and 70 percent of them are on Twitter. Fifty-five percent of small businesses even have a blog.

The time small business people spend on social media each week may surprise you, as well. Twenty-five percent devote between six and 10 hours per week on social media, and 11 percent spend between 11 and 20 hours per week using it. An astounding 7 percent of small businesses spend 21 or more hours per week using social media.

Aggregate producers, like all small business owners and operators, are social media users. According to Pit & Quarry research, nearly 53 percent of aggregate producers use social media for business purposes. LinkedIn is the most-used service, as about 35 percent of our audience uses it. Twenty-one percent use YouTube for business purposes, and 16 percent rely on Facebook as a business tool.

Social media is useful as a news source for aggregate producers, as well. Ten percent of producers say they use LinkedIn as a news source. Nine percent use YouTube as a news source, and nearly 8 percent turn to Facebook for news.

The move to mobile

As fashionable as social media is, mobile websites are perhaps the next frontier online for small businesses. While VerticalResponse says 60 percent of small businesses have a website, it indicates 26 percent have a mobile-friendly website and 14 percent have a standalone mobile website whose layout is designed specifically for mobile phone use.

Couple that information with Google data that says 67 percent of consumers are more likely to buy a product or service because of a mobile-friendly site, and it is probably wise for aggregate producers to consider exploring this arena.

“Having a mobile presence can be a huge competitive advantage for small businesses trying to attract local customers by instantly introducing a potential customer to their business’ products and services in a mobile-enhanced way,” says David Brown, chairman and CEO of Web.com.

The firm conducted its own survey last year and found 69 percent of small businesses consider mobile marketing key to growth in the next five years. Most aggregate producers probably have some catching up to do on mobile-friendly websites. In the meantime, take some time to explore this guide and learn about some of the innovative ways companies and organizations in the aggregates industry are using the Internet to provide your business with solutions.

Did you know?
About 44 percent of Pit & Quarry readers list websites as one of their top three resources for information about aggregate industry equipment, supplies and services.

How many hours do small business CEOs/owners/proprietors spend on social media per week?
1 to 5 hours……………………………… 63%
6 to 10 hours……………………………. 23%
11 to 20 hours…………………………. 0.5%
20 or more hours……………………… 5.5%
Source: VerticalResponse

By the numbers
234 million: U.S. mobile consumers
82.2 million: U.S. consumers with a smartphone
90: Percent of small businesses on Facebook
70: Percent of small businesses on Twitter
50: Percent of Pit & Quarry readers who consider trade magazines among their top two sources of information about industry equipment, supplies and services
36: Percent of small businesses that pay for publishing/analytics tools
21: Percent of small businesses that tweet several times a day
15: Percent of small businesses that post to Facebook several times per day
Sources: Pit & Quarry, VerticalResponse, Web.com

Online resources to consider

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) offers an extremely visual preview of ConExpo-Con/Agg 2014 at the trade show’s website. Visitors will find eye-catching photos and a video preview of the show. They can also make plans for the March 4-8, 2014 event and get details on hotel and travel for Las Vegas. Also, ConExpo-Con/Agg has more than 8,500 likes on its Facebook page.

MSHA isn’t highly visible on social media, but its website is a useful tool for producers seeking quick access to safety alerts, statistics and messages from Joe Main, assistant secretary of labor for the administration.

The association’s monthly “News You Can Use” segments on YouTube featuring former President and CEO Gus Edwards offer unique perspective on key issues the industry is facing. NSSGA’s website offers details on its awards program, board and committees, and government affairs.

Familiarize yourself with OSHA’s laws and regulations on its website, where you can also file a complaint and get the latest news associated with the administration. OSHA isn’t big on Facebook or Twitter, but it does offer some useful videos on YouTube.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is active on both Facebook and Twitter each day, where you’ll likely find links to its YouTube videos. DOT has a range of playlists on YouTube, including “Faces of Distracted Driving” and “On The Go with Ray LaHood.” LaHood, of course, is no longer with DOT, but new Secretary Anthony Foxx is already an active blogger for the department.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) is highly active on social media, typically tweeting several times per day and sharing unique images and factoids on its Facebook page. USGS also has a presence on Flickr (www.flickr.com/photos/usgeologicalsurvey) and Instagram (instagram.com/usgs), where it posts breathtaking photographs demonstrating the beauty of earth science.

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About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or kyanik@northcoastmedia.net.

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