4 Benefits Of Social Media For Manufacturers
by Robert Ellis, on March 25, 2016
Social media for manufacturers is an underused asset.
For example, as a manufacturer, some of your priorities may currently include:
- Finding a solution to the skills shortage
- Increasing reach and finding new markets
- Building brand strength
- Increasing sales
You guessed it, I’m about to advocate social media as part of a wider strategy to help tackle each of these problems.
Using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media platforms can yield fantastic results in relation to these issues, but which ones should you choose?
Why not just stick with one platform?
Well, not everybody that’s interested in your product will be on the same platform – they might not even be on one at all. For example, 80% of your target audience might not use Twitter, yet there are over 300 million active users who have real life contacts who could be interested in your product. It’s not that contact you’re interested in, it’s who they know.
There are so many social media platforms now that it’s easy to become daunted by the task of being on each one. Well, fortunately, you don’t have to be! As a manufacturer, your main audience is unlikely to be on Bebo or Myspace, especially if you’re targeting an audience in the current decade. Knowing which platforms to dedicate valuable time to, and how to actually divide that time up, can save you time and, ultimately, money.
We’ve compiled a list of social media platforms that we think are ideally suited for the manufacturing industry:
Facebook - billions of people looking to be distracted by something different that might resolve a problem they have.
Twitter- where professionals can follow each other and not just talk about business.
LinkedIn - build relationships with other business owners or buyers through the sharing of content, thoughts and ideas.
As you can see, not all social media is the same, you probably noticed that LinkedIn can be used as a recruitment tool (some people even user Twitter). So why not use it to get ahead of your manufacturing competitors and cut out the need to pay commission to agencies?
Use it as a weapon against the skills shortage and find the right workers for your business by searching for the specific skill sets for your vacancies.
The stats say that 80% of LinkedIn users are passively searching for a new job - they are not actively looking but, if the right job at the right price appeared in front of their nose in their news feed, they would look to find out more.
Recruitment agencies use LinkedIn, you can too.
Increase reach and find new markets
Stats from the US show that 82% of Twitter users would recommend a business they follow to a friend. So, if the majority of your work comes from referrals at the moment and you aren’t on social media, you are losing out on potential sales.
Having said that, this all depends on how many people are actually following your social media profiles. If you want a lot of followers, you're going to have consistent branding accross your social media platforms and be sharing content that people actually want to look at.
Building brand strength
The style of each profile should be consistent with the platform it's on and your branding.
However, having a great design will only get you so far. You might think that branding is all about design - it's not! How you communicate with your audience is all part of your branding. What you share is vitally important, nobody is going to want to follow your business if you aren't sharing the right things.
So, which content should you share?
Simply put, you should be sharing content that engages with your audience. It doesn’t even have to be related to your product or service. In fact, news of your sales and promotions in people’s personal space is probably not going to do anything to inspire them to love your product.
Get this balance right, use the 80/20 rule.
Imagine social media is a huge party and you are standing there shouting about how people should buy your tin cans because they are 90% tin and 10% gold and come with an image of the Queen engraved on the front.
As interesting and strangely not copyrighted as that idea is, people don’t want to hear about your product 24/7. Yet that doesn’t mean they don’t want to hear about it at all.
80% of the content you post should be informative, useful, and not about your tin cans. Post content such as blogs, company selfies, tips and tricks relating to your product, trending content, quotes, funny photos, behind the scenes photos etc…
Then, hit them with the sweet stuff. But do it so you aren’t saying ‘Buy this!’. Try, something like, ‘Check out how cool our 10% gold tin cans look as the metal is being melted!’. This is both informative and building awareness of your product.
In short, keep it entertaining, engaging and educational.
Posting on Facebook is also a fantastic way to engage with less confident users, those who might not leave a comment or share your content but may give your post a like.
A 'like' is a bit like a friendly wave across the street from an aquaintance, they want to say hello but aren't quite ready to come over for a chat yet. LinkedIn recognised this and brought in the same options to Like, Comment or Share.
Increasing sales/ Achieving your business goals
Social media is a key part of your Inbound Marketing strategy, it can play a part in every section of the Inbound Methodology with the overall outcome of achieving your business goals.
You can start using social media for your business by grabbing our 10 minute a day guide to using LinkedIn. Just click on the image below to get your daily guide!