Historically, manufacturing companies have been known to heavily utilize one-way advertising including TV and radio ads and billboards, as well as offline face-to-face interactions and word of mouth. These may still work to an extent, but they are limiting in how far they can reach.
An active social media presence allows manufacturing companies to reach a wider, more receptive audience than traditional marketing. Consumers are spending the majority of their time online. When they are looking for project ideas, answers to questions, or firms to partner with, they are turning to their online communities to find information and engage in conversations. Make sure your firm isn’t overlooked by putting the following social media tips for manufacturers to work.
1. Build Lasting Connections by Being Engaged in Industry Conversations
The manufacturing industry is constantly evolving. The professionals involved have great stories to tell whether they’re about exciting industry innovations, successes throughout projects, or admirable firm culture. There are many ways to engage with your industry and your target audience using social media; here are a few.
Provide Educational Content on Regulation Changes
Regulations are constantly changing in the manufacturing industry. Social media is a great medium to have discussions on how to best handle those changes. Make an effort to become actively involved in Groups on LinkedIn or Facebook that address regulations specifically.
Once you’ve started to build a reputation as a thought leader in your Groups, begin creating educational content such as blogs, videos, and infographics that will help others address the regulatory compliance issues your team has conquered. Share these resources in your Groups as well as across all of your social media channels in order to spread their potential impact to a wider audience.
Show Off Your Successes
Another one of our favorite social media tips for manufacturers is letting your clients and prospects know exactly how successful your firm is when it comes to completing projects and staying ahead of your competition. In a way, social media was designed around the idea of showing off a bit, and it’s a great medium to demonstrate your full capabilities. Here are a few ideas to get your humble brag motors turning:
- Display beautiful photography of your finished work on Instagram, Pinterest, and Houzz
- Boast about your team’s diversity and inclusion efforts on Instagram
- Do “sneak peek” walkthrough videos of completed projects for Instagram and Facebook
- Demonstrate how your firm is innovating using exciting, new tech on LinkedIn
Drive Referral Traffic
According to Econsultancy, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook account for 90% of all social referral traffic to business-to-business (B2B) websites, with LinkedIn accounting for more than half (64%). Being engaged regularly on these platforms will keep you visible to your target audience. Even if they don’t need your services right now, they’ll know where to find you when they do in the future. Here are some additional post ideas for LinkedIn to inspire you.
2. Get Creative with Video Across Different Social Channels
When it comes to social media tips for manufacturers, video is a must. Video is one of the most powerful marketing tools of our time. It helps draw in new followers and is an exciting way to provide valuable content that actually gets viewed. If you aren’t currently using video in your social media marketing, here is what you are missing:
- Video content is the best performing content type on social and can help to increase brand awareness, interest, and conversions. (SocialMediaToday)
- Views of branded video content increased 99% on YouTube and 258% on Facebook between 2016 and 2017. (Wyzowl)
- On Twitter, a video Tweet is 6x more likely to be retweeted than a photo Tweet. (Wyzowl)
Video production doesn’t need to be extremely technical or time-consuming. According to HubSpot, 56% of all videos published in the last year are less than 2 minutes long, which happens to be the sweet spot for maintaining viewers until the end. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started with video marketing on your social channels.
Live Stream to Provide an Inside Peek at Your Operations
Outsiders probably don’t know what the day to day looks like in manufacturing. Even your current clients that meet with you regularly may not fully understand how you make decisions and problem solve. Manufacturing can be quite technical in nature so providing a raw, real-time inside look gives it a human touch and makes it more relatable.
Live stream content is not only interesting but also beneficial to your curious clients and future prospects as it increases transparency and builds trust with your brand. It is a great way to get useful information to your followers in a way that is easily digestible.
There are many platforms to choose from for streaming. It may be worth it to diversify across several to target different types of audiences. Between four of the major players, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Periscope, there are over 1.1 billion hours of video watched each day.
On several platforms like Facebook and Youtube, when you start a live video, automatic notifications are sent out to pull in followers as you are streaming. A good practice while streaming is to have a moderator prepared to keep an eye on the live chat and respond in real time to questions or comments.
Easily Start a Vlog (Video blog) on YouTube Reusing Your Blog Content
80% of people now prefer videos over blog content and social media posts. All of those people may be skipping past the wealth of information in your blog simply because they’d rather watch or listen to it than read it.
This effort can be as simple as recording someone reading the information out loud. This is a bit more like a podcast because there isn’t a lot of visual value and will be a quick effort but doesn’t take full advantage of the power of video.
To really add value, you could bring in a designer to create a simple but engaging animation that demonstrates visually what is being said in the audio. Another popular strategy is recording a person explaining the content (memorized snippets of the blog) along with intermittent animation overlays to help demonstrate specific points.
3. Amp Up Your Social Media at Expos & Trade Shows
Trade shows and expos can be a powerful marketing and sales channel that allows for informative face-to-face interactions with current clients and potential prospects. In fact, 88% of exhibitors participate in trade shows to raise awareness of the company and its brand.
The key is getting attendees to not only notice your booth amongst hundreds but to be interested in what you have to say or offer. You can use social media to create a buzz and keep people informed throughout the show.
Use SnapChat Geofilters to Draw in a Crowd
You don’t have to have the biggest, most expensive display but everybody knows the booth at the show with excitement and a crowd draws in even more curious people. At your next trade show, utilize a SnapChat geofilter. This can create interest and draw people already at the show to your booth.
You can set your filter for the timing of the show and confine it to the specific location in and around the venue. You can utilize several pre-made SnapChat templates, or if you want to make sure it’s fully branded have your designers create a custom filter. It just needs to follow SnapChat’s custom creation guidelines.
Include your recognizable branding and your precise booth location so people can easily find you. Provide a reason to come to your booth, such as a free t-shirt or some other kind of swag. Most importantly, make sure when people do come to your booth, you help them take pictures using the filter and share to their networks.
Live Tweet Q&A During On-site Presentations
If your business will be doing a live presentation or giving a speech, a Live Tweet Q&A is a great way to wrangle questions from your audience while also making them aware of your presence on Twitter.
This will require a well-advertised hashtag for questions to be submitted; make sure it is discussed prior to the speech beginning and is visible throughout the entire presentation.
For a smaller audience, you could have the speaker keep an eye on the hashtag and try to catch questions coming in real-time and work them into their presentation. But, this can be quite distracting for someone who isn’t well-versed at multitasking.
Another option is to have a moderator keep an eye on the incoming questions, they can sort them into categories, get rid of duplicates, and choose the best questions to be addressed at specified times throughout the presentation.
Pair this Q&A effort with a giveaway where a winner is chosen randomly out of new Follows from the audience throughout the presentation.
As you can see, there is a multitude of ways to creatively engage with and market to your target audience using these social media tips for manufacturers. The most important thing to remember is it is all about making and building upon connections and being present, so don’t go in halfway. Committing to being fully engaged on one channel is better than being partially present across several.