How can manufacturing companies leverage social media?

The time has come for the manufacturing industry to adopt the fastest growing social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for advancement, showcasing their credibility, acquiring and retaining customers, and building brand recognition in new markets. Social media holds the power to influence your customer base unlike any other platform.

Here are some pointers for manufacturing organizations on using social media in an effective way.

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#1 Identify the best channels and use them for promoting your business

One of the most important steps in launching a successful social media campaign is selecting the right platform to connect with the right audience. Carefully consider the pros and cons of each of the major social media platforms before you commit to building a digital asset on each. When used intelligently, social media marketing can help increase brand awareness, build your overall image with target customers, connect with a broader conversation in your niche, and drive traffic and exposure to your website.

#2 Back your social media with content marketing

Once you’ve identified the right platforms, it’s time to face the biggest challenge of creating engaging content to be posted on these social platforms. Start by brainstorming the unique perspective that your company brings to your industry. Be original and reuse what you already have, if needed. If you consider your products, services, and business from the perspective of what your customer needs from you, you can generate a lot of ideas with very little effort.

#3 Establish a meaningful posting schedule

The next step is to decide the frequency of the posts. People often think content marketing is always very time consuming. However, social media marketing doesn’t need to be time-consuming to be effective. In fact, the more planning you put into it, the less time you will need to spend on implementation. When you have decided on a posting schedule and created research-based infographics, consider using tools like Tweriod to help you identify the most effective times for your network of prospective customers. When in doubt, start with one unique post per weekday on major networking platforms and increase according to the results.

#4 Establish thought leadership

Through social media, manufacturers can leverage thought leadership to establish industry prominence and mind share. This content truly becomes valuable when it arrives on the screens of customers and industry professionals. In order to achieve this distribution, a thought leadership program must connect with key social media industry influencers. There are social media influencers in every single industry. They write blogs, tweet, are active in LinkedIn groups, and have big audiences that follow them. They may be your customers, potential partners, or industry enthusiasts. A proactive social media marketing strategy that builds a relationship with these influencers and provides valuable thought leadership content will ultimately reach your prospects and customers.

#5 Listening

Social media is a two-way street that not only allows you to publish content about your company or industry, but also gives you a chance to listen to your customers and prospects. Follow your customers on Twitter and “like” their Facebook pages. Attend product and industry forums to hear your customer’s and prospects’ biggest concerns. Use free social media listening tools to get a sense of the overall sentiment about your company and the key issues in your industry. Social listening, because of its immediacy and the fact that it taps a global audience, is a powerful research tool capable of generating actionable insights in time to seize opportunities.

The influence of social media will only continue to grow in every industry. Now is the time for manufacturers to jump onto networks to promote their content and begin joining the online conversations that are already taking place. By utilizing these digital tools, the industry can continue to move forward, engaging in industry-specific conversations and showcasing their products to a new generation.

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