Social Media for Manufacturers: Which Platforms Should You Use?
When it comes to social media for manufacturing companies, some platforms complement organizational structures and cultures more than others. This stems from the fact that people engage with social media differently and for varying reasons.
For instance, people generally use LinkedIn to make professional connections and then turn to Instagram or Twitter for entertainment. So, which platforms should you make use of for your business?
When it comes to social media platforms for professionals, LinkedIn ranks among the best. In fact, some would argue that there is no social media platform that provides greater value to businesses, especially B2B companies. LinkedIn estimates that its professional network is 690-million strong and spans across 200 countries.
LinkedIn also provides an ideal setting for building business connections because people visit the website for professional reasons. This is the contextual difference of trying to pitch a potential client you meet at a conference compared to one you run into at a cafe.
Use LinkedIn to create your online resume, build a business profile, share company updates and even publish long-form articles. LinkedIn suits any type of manufacturing business but best suits B2B businesses.
Seeing is believing and sometimes people need more than pictures to believe. Videos provide an excellent way to hit several parts in your marketing strategy and public relations campaigns:
- Tell your company’s story in video format instead of a long about me page.
- Continue to share company highlights as you reach new milestones.
- Share success stories from customers and highlight the role your products play in their businesses.
- Provide tutorials so customers can easily troubleshoot their systems should something go wrong.
- Feature entertainment-type pieces that are still tied to your industry, such as tiny home tours for a manufacturing company that makes trailer beds.
YouTube works best for companies that can be more open about business operations and their products. For instance, if your clients are primarily government organizations, they might want to restrict what you share online or refuse to allow filming inside their plants or on their bases.
An important asterisk to note when tacking social media for manufacturers is that not all manufacturing companies are big corporations. Even when they are, the company might have local branches or serve specific geographic regions and could benefit from targeted social media marketing. On this platform, small business professionals within a particular area can connect with each other.
Alignable has many of the same features as LinkedIn but focuses more closely on referring customers. It also provides further opportunities to connect by creating question-and-answer content for people to engage with. Alignable complements any manufacturing company with strong local markets and works best for B2B businesses.
If the question-and-answer feature of Alignable catches your attention, then you might enjoy contributing content to a platform that focuses especially on this. Quora allows users to both ask questions and provide answers. It also provides room for publishing blogs and can often pick up far more traffic than what you might otherwise come across on your own website. In fact, Google now ranks Quora responses in searches.
If you’re wondering how this ties into social media for industrial companies, consider that your next client might be in the design phase of their inventions or looking for new suppliers and need answers. You can make yourself the perfect shoo-in by providing answers to these questions. Just try not to make your posts too promotional as Quora might flag them. Quora can serve all businesses but work best if you have a team of individual professionals willing to pitch in.
Facebook and Instagram
Facebook allows companies to create business pages with several useful features you can capitalize on to boost your business. Because Instagram is tied to Facebook, the features of one sometimes apply to both:
- Set up automated responses on Facebook to handle frequently asked questions outside of business hours.
- Allow people to leave reviews for the business on Facebook.
- Provide information about your business on both platforms, including phone number, email address and the basics of what your company does.
- Run targeted PPC ads on both platforms to boost awareness and expand your reach.
- Use the platforms to expand your search when looking for talent to add to your team.
- Share the same videos from YouTube on Facebook and IGTV or just clips from them.
Facebook and Instagram are excellent tools for B2C manufacturing companies but are also useful for B2Bs. Both platforms work best for companies that want to become more social and interactive. Facebook works best for companies that have the budget to build that initial audience as pages operate differently from personal accounts.
Some people use Twitter purely for entertainment, but because it is so heavily word-based, it also provides an amazing opportunity for intellectuals and business professionals to cross paths. You can create a company account and accounts for each executive. However, be mindful of what you post on Twitter. No matter how professional you intend to keep things, it is easy to get sucked into politics and pop culture on the platform and say the wrong thing.
If you play it safe, however, your content might strike others as boring or you might face accusations regarding not speaking up on the issues. Subsequently, Twitter requires an experienced social media manager. It works well for both B2Bs, but you have a better chance of success as a B2C.
Are you ready to create or grow your social media following? Contact Momentum for information on how we can use social media for manufacturing companies to generate high-quality leads for your business.