By Ann Neal
Social media marketing has plenty of potentials, which are being leveraged by B2C companies left, right and centre. Having said that, does the grass look greener for manufacturing companies or B2B companies as well?
While it is true that they can’t really use social media channels the same way as their B2C counterparts, it doesn’t mean that firms in the B2B industry lag behind. With a great social media strategy, even B2B industries and players can ace social media marketing like a pro.
Although there are no one-solution-that-fits all manufacturing industries, they can follow some sure shot ways to leverage their brand and improve their bottom lines. The following pointers will give you a better perspective:
1. Make sure that your profile is complete
First things first.
Social media is mostly about networking with the target users and building long-lasting relationships with them. To build a relationship with your target audience segment, the first thing that you need to do is to make your presence felt.
Say, for instance, you want to make your presence felt on LinkedIn. In that case, you can connect with businesses, which offer the same or similar kind of services by adding them directly, following their pages or even joining relevant LinkedIn Groups. Use the groups to establish yourself as a thought leader, view what others in your niche are doing, do some networking etc. But before you proceed, ensure that your profile is complete.
Start by filling in all the necessary details about your company on the profile page, and don’t forget to add your logo on the company profile and give a detailed description. Also, include the link to your website in the profile.
With a complete profile in tow, you can make use of all the features of the social networking platform. On LinkedIn, this includes recommendations, publishing posts, uploading and sharing posts, etc.
Follow suit with other social media channels as well. Come up with catchy Twitter bios, Facebook’s ‘about me’ section, Instagram bios and so forth, before you even go ahead with anything else.
2. Know the rules of the game
Different social media channels have different rules, and you must play by them for a win-win situation. What works for big brands on Facebook may not work on Twitter, and vice-versa.
For instance, you can use the microblogging platform Twitter to make some noise about a new product or service, and engage and interact with your target audience. Also, make sure that you talk to your target audience in their language and keep their interest levels high.
A case in point is that of Intel. The firm has roped in World Champion Michael Phelps for its new string of commercials, which depict the better experiences on the new Intel-powered PCs. Along with Jim Parsons, the commercials are a part of an integrated marketing plan and the company is leaving no stones unturned to promote the same on Twitter.
The company has pinned the Tweet with one of the ads on its page so that it remains highlighted and is immediately visible to the followers and visitors.
3. Come up with brilliant content ideas
Instead of trying the age-old content ideas on social media and repurposing them, you can take the alternate route to get your target audience interested in your content.
Why not try something on the lines of 360-degree videos, or going LIVE on Facebook? Or find different ways to post your content such as Snapchat stories.
Lowes set a great example in this direction. The retailer came up with a brilliant content idea. It created FixInSix Vines, which were not only useful for the followers, but had a touch of humor to them, which made them immensely popular. Another interesting instance is that of General Electric (GE), which used drones in its facilities to celebrate #DRONEWEEK and shared the same with followers on Instagram.
4. Increase your brand awareness
One of the most difficult things about social media marketing for a manufacturing company is to spread the word about the brand. Here’s how you can use different social media platforms to increase brand awareness:
- Join groups, take charge and be an active participant in various discussions. You can share information, post job vacancies or just talk about the trending topics to get noticed.
- Use the trending hashtags on Facebook and Twitter or work towards creating your own trending hashtags, in order to engage your target audience.
- Use video marketing and offer tutorials, guides or behind-the-scenes of your business. You can also show manufacturing in action to get the potential customers interested.
- Keep posting on a regular basis and use the right keywords while doing so.
- Know what you post and where. Even your status updates with links hold the potential to drive sales
5. Up your visual marketing game
Because it relies on a lot of visuals, the statistics of Pinterest are impressive, to say the least and by using this channel (or any other channel that uses visual content) to your advantage, your business can get a lot of traction.
You can create company infographics, case studies, ebooks, whitepapers etc., and share these as pins on the platform. Alternatively, you can also post images and videos of your company’s culture, events, promotional activities, banners, videos, quotes, newsletters or create how-to images to get potential customers talking and subsequently, visiting your website.
For example, suppose if your firm manufactures electronic devices, you can come up with an interesting animation showing behind-the-scenes action and share it as a pin.
And it is not just your own material that you can share via a board on Pinterest. Pinning other posts that inspire you is also a good idea to put your brand on the radar.
Social media marketing may seem like an uphill task for manufacturing companies, but if you choose the right path and follow the footsteps of all those who have ‘been there and done that’, there will be no looking back for your business.
The article entitled “5 steps toward the perfect B2B social marketing campaign” originally appeared on e27.