Are you marketing your manufacturing business on social media? If you're not, you're missing out on excellent leads and engaging with potential and repeat customers.
Manufacturing can often seem like a distant and cold concept, even to the wholesalers, retailers, and other customers who depend on manufacturing businesses. Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and even TikTok, are ideal for humanizing even the most cut-and-dried widget maker and giving life to an organization.
This article explains what you need to know to use social media effectively to promote your manufacturing business.
Brand Your Business to Make It Right for Social Media
Your business probably already has a brand, including a logo, colors, and other elements you use on your website, packaging, and ads.
Ask yourself: Does your current brand have a personality that expresses your company culture, and what makes your business unique?
The answer for many manufacturers is NO. But it doesn't have to be!
If you want to stand apart from your competitors and be effective on social media, you must add a personalized element to your brand. Work with the people on your team to figure out what makes your organization unique. Then come up with words to describe those attributes in personality-like terms such as friendly, intelligent, approachable, funny, professional, and neighborly.
Once you come up with your list, leverage these attributes in your brand imagery, messaging, and tone. For example, if your company is a funny one, you want to use humor in your social post headlines and body copy, and your pictures should make people laugh. They shouldn’t be formal or stilted or feature serious photos and somber colors.
Not sure how to apply brand personality to social posts? Spend time checking out different brands on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites. You’ll likely identify attributes in their posts that express their unique personalities.
Meet Your Customers Where They’re At
You don’t want to waste time on social media platforms that your customers — and prospective ones — don’t spend time on. Not sure where they’re at? Ask them!
If you manufacture food products, your end-users are probably foodies who consume meal and cooking images on Instagram. If you manufacture dental instruments, you could target dental professionals on Linkedin. If you make things for babies and kids, you’ll probably find their moms and dads connecting with family members on Facebook.
Selecting the right social platforms will help you avoid wasting time and effort on things that won’t pay off.
Tailor Your Style to Your Social Channels
Your social posts must reflect your brand personality. They should also be suitable for individual social channels. Linkedin posts must be professional and business-oriented. Instagram and TikTok are more fun and playful, but may appear unprofessional if you're not careful. Find ways to stay within your brand and make adjustments, so your posts resonate with users of different social media platforms.
Develop a Fan Base to Stay Top-of-Mind With Consumers
Celebrities aren’t the only ones who have fans on social media. Manufacturers can, as well. Simply ask your customers to follow you. Then pay back their efforts by regularly sharing meaningful content with them, whether it’s something to make them laugh, do their jobs better, or live a happier life. Doing so will keep your business front and center when it comes time to place another order.
Join Conversations to Find New Buyers
Social media isn’t about talking at. It’s about speaking with and showing. That’s why it’s critical to join online conversations.
Take time to monitor customer and prospective customer posts. Find ways to add to the comments. Say things that are supportive and encouraging. Now and then, you may be able to suggest how the products you manufacture could help solve a problem someone is facing. Just make sure you don’t get too sales-y. Many social sites are sensitive to this and may toss you off for infractions.
Select the Right Poster to Build Brand Connections
Does it make more sense to have your company’s social posts come from a person or the brand? If your firm has an engaging or well-known leader, it makes sense to have some or all posts be in that person’s voice. However, most manufacturing companies are more about teamwork and synergy. If that’s the case with your business, it probably makes sense to do branded posts.
Remember: Even if your posts come from your brand, they should still be human and reflect all the people behind your brand.
Tell Stories to Create Customer Loyalty
It’s natural for manufacturers to want to share every detail and nuance of the products they make and sell. However, people don’t respond to things on social media. They respond to stories. Figure out ways to tell stories about your products, such as showing how a user’s life became better by using them.
Be Honest to Earn Trust and Repeat Customers
Don’t sugarcoat your messages on social media. Followers will see through it. For instance, if your prices are rising because of inflation and customers are concerned about it, don’t ignore it or brush it off. Explain why price increases are necessary and what you’re doing to mitigate them. You’ll build trust, and customers will be more likely to continue to do business with you and not check out your competitors.
Evaluate Your Efforts
Regularly monitor your social media activities to see what people are responding to. Do more of what’s working and eliminate things that aren’t. Try new stuff in their place. Social media is changing all the time, and manufacturers should be open to exploring the possibilities of connecting with their customers and prospective ones.
Be Active on Social Media Because Everyone Else Is
If you’re still not convinced that your manufacturing business should be on social media, consider the impression it will make if someone is searching for you on socials and your business isn’t there. It might leave an impression that something’s amiss. Most people and organizations are active on social media, and you should be too. If you’re not visible when people seek you out, they could choose to connect with a competitor instead.