The rivalry between Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) and Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) has reached down to the warehouse forklift.
Wal-Mart has agreed to invest in Plug Power Inc. and buy more of its fuel-cell-powered machines, a move that mirrors a deal struck by Amazon earlier this year.
“Discussion was going on simultaneously” with the two retailers starting late last year, said Plug Power Chief Executive Andy Marsh.
Under the deal announced Friday, Wal-Mart will roll out Plug Power’s forklifts and warehouse vehicles to 10 distribution centers this year, an investment the manufacturer valued at $80 million. Wal-Mart is already Plug Power’s biggest customer, with 5,500 of the company’s units in 22 warehouses.
In April, Amazon agreed to spend $70 million on Plug Power’s vehicles and received rights to buy as many as 55.3 million shares in the company, a 19% stake.
Wal-Mart will receive warrants to purchase the exact same number of shares, though its initial price will be higher than Amazon’s because Plug Power’s stock price has risen 63% since announcing its Amazon deal. Wal-Mart’s potential stake is 17%, Mr. Marsh said.
If you use social media and click around on the profiles of random individuals, you’ll notice that the vast majority of users do not have thousands of people following their activities. But for anyone serious about using social media to build a personal brand, a strong following can be a springboard to untapped opportunities and a robust network of people in your corner who can open doors and help promote your agenda.
But unless you’re famous, attracting thousands of fans to your feed may be a challenge. Not sure how to proceed? Take some tips from Peter Aceto, former long-time CEO of the branchless internet bank Tangerine and author of Weology: How Everybody Wins When We Comes Before Me. With more than 20,000 followers on Twitter, here are his words on the tactics anyone can use to grow a following on social media.
1. Have a point of view to share.
If you are in a leadership position, people want to learn from your insight. This is what social media is all about for me, learning from one another, so if you are willing to learn, be willing to share.
2. Share other people’s content.
When you do, make sure to credit them where possible. This is an easy way build “social” relationships by acknowledging the writer, and their thoughts. You may also disagree with them, and that could make for a great conversation.
3. Engage authentically in conversations.
Don’t just talk at people. Clients especially get a kick from the CEO of their bank helping them solve an issue. No one wants to hear corporate talk, the point of social media is to get direct, quick access. So be direct in your language.
People talk about you without tweeting you directly. Take the time to build the search capabilities that allow you to listen in on conversations about you. You may solve an issue you didn’t know you had about your business. And if they’re talking negatively about you or your business, you may have the opportunity to change their minds, simply by listening.
5. Learn from those around you.
Millennials, for example, may be good at keeping you updated on the latest trends in social media. This platform changes rapidly, so you should know how the changes affect your type of communication, you may be able to enhance your platform, or do nothing. But stay informed.
6. Use software to help you organize, search and schedule your content.
I use Hootsuite because I don’t have time as a CEO to always be social. And so the software helps me to organize my thoughts and manage the content that’s of interest to me.
7. Have fun.
Because this is a medium to connect with folks you’d never know otherwise, so step out of your comfort zone and see what people are talking about. You might learn a thing or two.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.
As a world leader in the production of forklift and pallet trucks, Still have to create products that are at the forefront of technology, transportation design, and ergonomics.
For over twenty years, we’ve collaborated closely with Still to innovate everything from engine technology to driver safety.
As a diesel-electric hybrid, the RX70 boasts the lowest rates of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in its class. Still’s cutting-edge electrical storage and recovery system charges capacitors every time the truck brakes. Upon acceleration, the capacitors provide power from this stored energy, reducing engine output by up to 11%.
In 1996 we designed a concept forklift whose success lead to a full line of forklifts for Still which eventually became their all time best selling vehicles.
The cabin rises with the load, thus optimizing visibility of positioning the load onto high shelves. When driving, the driver can raise the cabin to be able to see over the load. Many other innovations were included in this design, including rear view cameras, a telescopic fork shaft and an intuitive joystick control arm.