Social Media for Manufacturers

4 Social Media Sites for Manufacturers

Social Media for Manufacturers

As most of us know, the manufacturing industry can have, shall we say, a bit of an old school approach to marketing and the digital tools available. Many manufacturing execs do not see the need for social media channels to enhance the searchability of their brand and create qualified inbound leads that makes the sales process easier. Unknown corners of the Internet can seem a bit scary, and most prefer to stick to the old tactics they know best.

Now all of this does have to start with a website. For sake of conversation, we’ll assume you have a killer website already created.

Think of your website as Central Station and social media channels as the tracks leading in and out of the station. People coming and going and taking in as much as they can in short bursts. We’ll take a look at some of the key social media channels and the importance of using them for the manufacturing sector.

1. Twitter

Twitter is likely the hardest social media channel to convey its importance to manufacturers. “Why do I need Twitter?” “I don’t know how to use Twitter, why should I bother?” “Twitter is for the younger generation, not us.” First and foremost, Twitter is not just for the younger generation. More and more companies are finding usefulness in Twitter, no matter the age of the manager utilizing the program. Sales teams use it to quickly build what I would call an online roladex to call on later when the time is right. With Twitter, the fire can build so fast that a company can expose their message exponentially in a matter of minutes. The more eyes you have on your message, the more opportunity to sell your product/service to the right target with minimal effort.

2. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a necessity for manufacturers for 2 reasons:

  1. It’s another great avenue for a digital presence. LinkedIn profiles are showing up high in search results without having to do any extra work, other than building a profile and maintaining steady posts. LinkedIn does the rest.
  2. Recruitment. LinkedIn is a resource that many young professionals looking for jobs are using as a tool to find companies of interest, and to make sure they see something interesting coming from the company. Manufacturers know that it is difficult to find good employees that are qualified or trainable. A good LinkedIn presence will help weed out those that may not be the right fit.

3. Facebook

Facebook helps bring humanity to a relatively sterile looking industry. The messages are light and the imagery is friendly. Again, like LinkedIn, Facebook will help in search results and those looking for a manufacturing job. Like Google Places, it also provides location and contact information in an accessible fashion for those trying to look you up. Searchers also consider an active company time-line to signal the credibility and success of a business.

4. Google+ and Google Places

We are all aware at this point that Google loves itself. So it’s simply a necessary step to be on the platforms Google owns. Google+ will help in search rankings and Google Places is what’s seen in the map search. Both are important and should be used simultaneously. These profiles greatly help drive relevancy for Google users as well, meaning, Google wants to be sure that their users are getting the right search results. A lot of it is location specific, so having those profiles again helps get you the right customers to your website or social sites.

There are many more social sites that can be utilized, such as, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Flickr, etc. It is highly important to talk to your marketing professional about the right social media channels to be on. Not every one of the channels is right for every company. Your target audience is out there, both buyers and potential employees; it’s using the right tool to engage them that gets your inbound marketing engine up and running.

Social Needia

Social Needia - The Intrinsic Value of Social Media

Social Needia

One morning last week, a couple friends of mine shared a link to video on social media. It was a short production based around a poem titled, “How to Be Alone” by Tanya Davis. It’s a poem that can be interpreted as showing people that being alone is acceptable and empowering. One thing I feel the poem and video are both missing, though, is a differentiation between being alone and being lonely.

Humans are social creatures. We have superior brain function that encourages us to form relationships with each other. I could offer a study, or several, to support that statement, but I think we can all agree without needing to consult further evidence. Communication is vital to our survival, not only this but it’s also vital to the survival of your business. Communication is key in everything from customer service, to sales, advertising, public relations and customer relations. Everything begins and ends with the customer, and you’re in the middle.

This is where social media can be a useful tool, and we have an article to help you determine if social media is right for you and your business. Social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and others allow you to be the hub of information and action, driving people to your business.

Why is this significant?

  • People need to be in communication.
  • People need to be social.
  • People need to belong.

Social media outlets give us all those needs. People need social media. Those outlets help us talk to one another, connect us with our friends, even host groups and provide interests to follow and participate in.

Now more than ever, people need social media. We’re stuck in our cubicles or offices all day, staring at a computer screen. We’re in coffee shops with our laptops. We may have others in our workplace and all around us, but let’s face it – when our work is done on a computer, our work can isolate us.

This isolation is what turns us toward social media. We can keep working while simultaneously staying in touch with our friends, letting others know what’s going on in our world, and gleaning information and other tidbits from the likes of Twitter. So, in that respect, social media outlets are not going away, and many who thought it was a passing fad, are now fully on board either personally or professionally. It even took me almost three years after its mainstream launch to finally start using Facebook, and I’m not about to stop. Facebook got me back in touch with old friends, and keeps me in “the loop” with all of them. Twitter gives me information faster than ever.

People need to communicate. People need information. People need to be social. People need to belong. People need social media. Social media provide instant connections to others, even when we’re alone on the couch or at the desk; gets us in touch people and information when we need it.

As useful as social media is, it can be pretty miserable that our lives revolve around looking at a screen all day. This is how we stay connected, how we do our jobs, but it can lead to pretty negative effects on the body. So many of us will suffer from computer vision syndrome due to the blue light of our screens, with constant headaches and eye strain. However, as technology evolves, so do ways to prevent these nasty ailments from happening due to screens; companies are now producing blue light glasses that allow us to stare at our computer screens all day with no physical impact. Never have we been so able to connect.

Think about how you communicate and organize. Hard to imagine your life without a mobile phone, isn’t it? Soon it will be with social media. They have apps for that, you know.

Social Media Cube

Should my business enter the social media network?

Social Media Cube

Social media & the age gap

Years ago, this question began resonating in marketing meetings across the country as the Internet steadily becomes more of a necessity than a commodity. However, in spite of its prevalence in our society, the percentage of businesses aware of social media is still fairly low. There is not only a technology barrier involved, but an age gap. Social media, also called Web 2.0, is an evolutionary sector spawned through the Internet primarily by college students and youth, hence the age gap. Business owners today may feel like they have the Internet well in hand. They understand the web, email, and ecommerce. They may even have FastSpring software helping to fuel their services. However, just when they thought they had mastered the technology around them, new trends made it speed by at light speed. If you find yourself in that group, don’t feel too bad. Even technology “geeks” in their 30s and 40s have been caught by surprise and are grappling to fully understand this continually evolving phenomenon.

Social media already has powerful marketing capabilities. Products and services are being marketed through the viral nature of this network every minute of every day. If your business has customers or is seeking customers that are using social media, you will need to understand this network or hire someone to manage it for you. Alternatively, you could consider seeking some popular influencers on these social media platforms to market and promote your products and business for you. By working with these people, your business doesn’t have to worry about creating your own content, as these popular influencers will do it for you. To learn more about this sort of marketing, get in contact with an influencer marketing agency today. It will become an evolution of your overall web strategy. As social media use expands, so do the age demographics that utilize it, which increases the number of industries for which social media becomes a vital marketing tactic.

The technology is always changing

Facebook and Twitter have taken the population by storm for the past several years, and have led the way in developing the social media space. You adapted, broke down, and yes, created your own Facebook page. You smiled, as you thought you were now up to date on the new technology. Don’t get too comfortable though, because now you must learn the ropes of Tumblr, post photos to Flickr, and utilize Medium to promote your blogs. The bottom line is technology is always changing, and as soon as you adjust to the nuances of Web2.0, Web 3.0 will start to loom on the horizon. Remember that about 20 years ago the internet did not exist for all but universities and the military. How did business function without email in 1994? I scarcely remember.

Stay ahead of the game

360 Direct is riding the technological storm and staying up to date on the trends so that our customers don’t have to. Find out more about what 360 Direct is doing to bring together your business and cutting edge technology at our blog.