Manufacturers and social media have not always felt well-matched. For some businesses, the issue is fundamental: what is social media for, exactly?
In a manufacturer’s world of practical applications, of making things, placing orders and physically shipping and supplying them, maintaining a presence on LinkedIn can seem too far removed from the realities of day-to-day commerce.
As Nigel Cliffe, Principal Consultant at Value Exchange, explains, “Whereas signing up to social media is straightforward and quick, using it properly takes more effort, and understanding. But the rewards are worth it.”
How Can Social Media Work for Manufacturers?
Manufacturers are often distanced from the end-users of their products, or the end-users are not part of a conventional, marketable audience.
“If, for example, you produce some sort of niche component, or you’re strictly B2B, you may operate largely under the public radar, even if what you produce is intrinsically valuable.”
Therefore, it makes sense to be able to somehow raise awareness of your brand, without straying from the kind of audiences you know you should be targeting
“LinkedIn is an ideal platform for B2B marketing, however specialised, because it allows you to build up your presence while accurately leaving a digital trail at the doorways of others you regard as your ideal audience”
It is a communications platform, complete with direction signs for locating the audience demographic you seek, and it includes a toolkit for connecting with prospects while building your own presence and authority.
Building Awareness and Your Own Credibility
People research before they buy. This applies as much to B2B as B2C. It follows that the more information you can give, in the right way, the more you can attract interest.
“What LinkedIn enables you to do is reach out to others without making a direct sales pitch,” explains Nigel. “It gives you the opportunity to engage with them first, by developing and sharing the kind of content to attract them.”
What do we Mean by Content on LinkedIn?
It begins with the basics: creating an informative personal profile, including an open, welcoming portrait, and a company page.
“This is relatively easy to do, but you should take time with it, to optimise your information, to make sure what your LinkedIn profile says about you accurately reflects your brand and its values.”
LinkedIn is like a digital business introduction, and, just as in the physical world, first impressions count.
“Think about what you stand for, what you manufacture, and how you can make that resonate with your target audience. The key marketing rule applies here, that you highlight the benefits not the details”
Creating Content to Engage
“One of the keys to social media success is shareability. Once you’ve set up your profile and relevant information, you can use LinkedIn as a dynamic platform to post content relevant to your target audience.”
Furthermore, by joining, or even creating, specific LinkedIn groups, you can refine how you target your message.
“It matters to be strategic in how you use LinkedIn. Yes, there’s a social aspect that helps humanise your business face, but you must engage in a way that is systematic and fits in with your overall business objectives.”
LinkedIn is a professional platform where people are looking for connections and with them, opportunities.
For manufacturers, it is a channel through which they can raise their visibility, shape their digital communications and develop fresh prospects.
To improve your engagement and generation of opportunities using LinkedIn:
- Call Value Exchange on 0333 323 8275
- Discover more about Value Exchange’s LinkedIn workshops
- Watch the video and read How Can You Generate Business Using Content on LinkedIn?