October 18, 2021
How you present your business in the marketplace can have a direct effect on your bottom line. Manufacturing companies large and small, whether they focus on local markets or are international in scope need to have a social media presence.
Social media has become ubiquitous in all areas of the business world. It’s not just for major B2C brands anymore.
For many companies looking for B2B partners, if you don’t have a website along with social media, you might as well not exist. An active social media shows prospective customers that there is life in your business. That you are currently fulfilling the needs of people just like them.
And when it comes to recruiting new talent, you have to keep in mind that you will have an easier time attracting recruits if they can see what you are all about via social media. The next generation of engineers and scientists have grown up with social media. It’s where they are at and they expect you to be there too!
What follows are details to give you insight into social media from a manufacturing company’s perspective. You’ll gain a better appreciation of the value of marketing and will come away with some basic strategies that you can start exploring today.
If you’re new to social media marketing, you should know there are different types of media to employ for different situations. Essentially, you are considering text, imagery and videos when you develop social media content for manufacturing companies.
Pictures convey a great deal of information in a hurry. To that end, General Electric has taken to Instagram, as noted by Sprinklr.
GE is posting well-composed images with detailed captions, showing followers details such as wind turbines being painted and 3D printed fuel nozzles coming off the line.
Meanwhile, Dow Chemical Company is posting updates on people behind the scenes on its LinkedIn page. And to show safety protocols, ArcelorMittal is taking to Twitter to demonstrate product applications.
In an example of a B2B company using Twitter to engage more effectively with customers, Direct Energy was on Twitter, responding to complaints from customers who had trouble navigating the customer service support page using smartphones.
Some social media platforms are more suitable than others for communicating business-to-business. For example, while you can imagine individuals with LinkedIn profiles wanting to know more about your company, that may not be the case for people with accounts on the TikTok platform, used to share singing and dancing videos.
Here is information on the best social media platforms for manufacturers for you to consider.
Facebook, with more than 2.5 billion users active each month, is the world’s biggest social media platform. According to a report from Weidert Group, while Facebook may not help you generate many new leads, it is valuable in terms of the audience you can reach.
You can use Facebook posts to give people a sense of your company’s culture. From celebrations of workplace anniversaries, to updates on your facility expansions to notices about new hiring opportunities, the platform will help put a human face on your business.
About 500 million people are using Instagram regularly and 1 billion have accounts worldwide, per Weidert Group, which notes that Instagram shines for manufacturing companies because of its emphasis on promoting videos.
Instagram users spend 1 hour per day using the app. While potential B2B customers will be too busy to watch that many videos, they will appreciate seeing your posts showing your production team in action, and the results of their labors.
LinkedIn is known for being a site to connect business professionals with one another. Weidert Group pointed out that the site has more than 500 million active users, but compared to a site like Facebook, LinkedIn has more users aged 50-64 than members in the 18-29 age bracket.
With so many influential, older users in business active on the LinkedIn, it will be an essential place for your organization to do social media marketing. If you can only focus on one network, focus on LinkedIn.
At least 330 million people are using Twitter each month, per Weidert Group, and approximately 145 million visiting it on a daily basis, it’s a prime platform for B2B communication. Companies of all types have Twitter accounts. If they find you interesting and professional based on your tweets, offering useful information related to their industry, you’ll have a better chance of them following you and maybe doing some business with your organization.
You don’t want to ignore YouTube. Afterall, it’s the second largest search engine on the internet. 3 billion people search YouTube for videos every month! It’s the premiere site for sharing videos.
Weidert Group refers to YouTube as one of the single most underused (and underrated) social media platforms for manufacturers. But when you create eye-catching videos showing behind-the-scenes production work, introductions to your processes and a view of your employees, you stand to gain followers who will want to do business with you.
YouTube is also the best place to create videos that answer questions your customers and prospects have. Video is a fantastic format to explain more complex topics that your audience may have.
You don’t want to go online, posting material to your social media channels without first developing a solid plan for what to publish. It’s prudent to brainstorm with your staff, thinking of creative approaches to get the word out about your company.
One good place to start is to make a list of your chief competitors. Visit their websites and see what (if anything) they are doing with social media now. Pay particular attention to such details as keywords and hashtags that they use to highlight what they have to offer.
Look at what kinds of stories they are telling, the types of images and videos they post and how often they post to their different social channels. This will give you a better sense of what’s possible and what people already are accustomed to seeing online from manufacturing businesses doing B2B efforts.
Here’s an overview of some basic social media marketing for manufacturing companies that your B2B company can explore.
Sure, you know about Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and other prominent social platforms. But you can never be complacent when it comes to connecting with others via the Internet. Stay on top of social media trends, from new types of apps and platforms to novel ways that people use existing channels.
While you don’t want to be a slave to passing trends, it pays to be aware of what huge amounts of the population is starting to adopt as new social media technologies and techniques become available.
Of course you want to develop your own material, from interesting posts to captivating images and videos to share with customers. But it’s also a good idea to share material you find online.
That’s advice from Constant Contact, which points out that when you share content, you are doing a favor to your followers, showing them something interesting or that could be useful in doing their job.
Now this one might be easier said than done, depending on what you make. Finding social media influencers who already have the attention of the audience you are trying to target is an expedient way to get your product in front of your ideal customer.
To put a more appealing “face” on your company, you’ll want to consider a strategy to work with social media influencers. Prominent figures in your particular part of the industry who have followers of their own could help you get discovered by many new people very quickly.
A timely review of the work you do, an interview with one of your principals, or a tour of your facility are examples of ways you can connect with influencers, who will in turn be in a position to showcase your company and what’s special about your services.
Despite what you might have gathered from observing social media in action, it’s not a one-way method of communication. It can level the playing field in that ordinary people can speak directly with a large company as well as to other people who buy from that company or are considering doing so.
So, if you see compliments coming from customers on your social media channels, make a point of responding the same day. You’ll also want to reply to any complaints, but your replies will be less detailed in public as you communicate in depth with the person who made the criticism.
Observe the comments people make about your social media posts and how they react to other’s remarks. This helps you to see the company as others see you. That’s an essential aspect of crafting your public image and maintaining a reputation for being fair, responsive and courteous.
It’s clear that companies need to know what kind of industries your organization is involved in and what your manufacturing capabilities are. They also want to get a sense of how you engage with customers. That’s part of what goes into their considerations, when they look for an entity to help them with a production order.
Now that you and fellow stakeholders in your manufacturing organization have determined that you need to get serious about using social media marketing, it’s time to start doing B2B outreach online.
But if you do not have staff on hand now to devote to this project, it’s best to partner with third party professionals so you can get started without delay.
We are experts in helping businesses use social media to expand their brand in the marketplace. For details about how we can help you make the most out of social media content for manufacturing companies, get in touch with us today.