The Midlands is the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and home to some of the World's most advanced manufacturing with approx 32,000 companies, employing 600,000 employees (via: madeinthemidlands.com). Yet manufacturing as an industry is slow to fully embrace social media as a platform for business growth. In this article we suggest why manufacturers should social
Many Midlands manufacturers still rely only on tried and tested methods for seeking new clients, such as trade shows, networking events and advertising. This is a strange dichotomy when you consider how they’ve innovated and adapted to bring world class manufacturing back to the Midlands, but haven't innovated in their new business acquisition.
Here's why Midlands manufacturers shouldn't turn their backs on social media:
Outbound marketing is much more expensive than inbound social marketing
60% of customers online make their buying decision before even contacting a company. Much of this decision making research will start on social channels.
Social media is a great way of establishing your business as a leader in your field, giving it exposure to your target audience. 71% of business owners use social channels to build brand awareness.
Social channels are a great opportunity for manufacturers to build an extensive network of contacts that wouldn’t be achievable by traditional networking alone. Why manufacturers should use social
As many Midlands and indeed UK manufacturers have discovered, business growth does not come from just UK trade. Channels like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter enable Midlands manufacturers to connect with clients on a global scale.
52.8% of businesses attract new customers in existing markets via social media.
Also take a look at our calendar on how to use social media to drive engagement and boost conversions here:
It’s time for Midlands manufacturers to apply that trail blazing manufacturing spirit to business growth. Many have and it has paid dividends. If your company is yet to fully embrace social media
5 social channels that manufacturers Could Use to Drive Engagement:
1. LinkedIn – LinkedIn is the go to tool for businesses around the world and it’s not just for connecting with co-workers and employees. It’s an opportunity to build professional connections with like-minded companies, companies you’d like to work with and companies you have worked with. Effective LinkedIn profiles demonstrate to potential customers not only your technical capability but also your credibility with testimonials, showcased projects and endorsements. LinkedIn discussion groups are also a great way of building relationships with your peers in the same industry.
2. Twitter - also known, as 'microblogging' is an easy, quick way to put current news and events out there for all to see. Most of the business giants use this to tweet their way into the daily headlines. Twitter represents a unique opportunity for Midlands manufacturers wax lyrical on the world stage.
3. Facebook - The friendliest, most open and informal way of communicating with your customers and prospects. Each Facebook user spends 1hr per day, which is a great deal of attention for your manufacturing company to tap into. So often I hear B2B companies dismiss Facebook, questioning its validity for their industry. But when you consider that more than 30 million global businesses use Facebook, you’ll realise that you’re in good company.
4. YouTube - Another great marketing tool for your business, top brands have begun using this tool to demonstrate their equipment, how-to slides and for brand promotion. Like Twitter and Facebook you update your network by regularly posting short video content.
5. Pinterest - Use this tool to reach your customers, strengthen your content marketing and for market research. It’s not an obvious tool for manufacturers, but as consumers are more engaged by images, so a timeline of photos documenting that global manufacturing project or photos demonstrating your lean manufacturing capabilities will resonate with your audience. The great thing about Pinterest is that your posts last for an amazing 3.5 months (1,600 times more than a Facebook post!) and you could even sell using this channel.
Top tips for manufacturers:
When you set up your social channels, try to use a consistent 'username' across all your networks. The more you post the more content you'll want to share from your website, use this handy tool to check whether your website is set up for social sharing.
Maintain a steady momentum on each of your 2-5 social networks by listening, updating and engaging with your customers. The worst thing you can do is to create a presence on these channels and do nothing with it. Post weekly or twice weekly if you can and monitor your channels daily. And if you get the opportunity to engage with your audience, seize it, you never know when that ‘like’ could turn into a prospect. Finally don’t just post about your business, always keep a 3:1 ratio in mind, that’s three posts or updates about your industry for every 1 about your business.
Here if you need us
If you would like help building your manufacturing profile online or feel that you need assistance generating enough content for your leads, contact us for a free consultation with one of our digital strategists.