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Are engineers finally waking up to the benefits of social media marketing?

29 June 2017

As social media marketing continues to mature, are industrial professionals making the most of their online presence and developing their digital footprints to help grow their businesses? 

Until recently, businesses seen as being typically ‘traditional’ were a lot slower than those in other sectors in making the most of what social and digital media channels have to offer, with many still preferring the tried and tested forms of raising their business profiles through business-to-business trade press.  This has certainly been our experience at Bridge with the manufacturing, engineering and technical businesses we work with, and it has continued to be a very buoyant side of our business. And because the trade press in a number of sectors is still thriving, many feel that social media as a marketing channel that is not really needed for their business. We’re pleased that this is now starting to shift, and two surveys carried out last year point towards an upward trend in the use of social media by engineers and other industrial professionals. Calgavin, an engineering company based in Warwickshire, found that there had been a slight upswing in social media usage, even though the figures showed that engineering was still way behind other industry sectors, and a report by IHS GlobalSpec found that a growing number of industrial professionals are turning to social channels.

One of the key factors attracting more engineering and technical companies into social spaces is the shift that LinkedIn has made in the past year towards being a content rich platform as opposed to being mainly perceived as a recruitment or job seeking tool. And there is one thing that all engineers have in common -  a wealth of knowledge about useful things, and they are now beginning to realise that here is a great platform to share knowledge on.  LinkedIn is certainly gaining traction as the place where content needs to be seen, but, more than this, it is also helping people to make the connections that do actually generate leads. We have seen a steady increase in lead generation just with the clients we work with, and if this is being replicated across industry sectors, then social media is at last proving to be a very valuable business development tool. 

There is still some way to go however, in getting industrial professionals and engineers to use social media for their marketing. Instead, it seems as if they have been tending to use it as a knowledge base or a learning platform. But this is also great, because we all need good audiences for the content that is now being generated. And I think that every industry sector is waking up to this, and In the last year in particular, we have seen a lot more interest from engineering and industrial professionals wanting to produce their own thought leadership articles.  This is exciting for us, and not just because we are PR professionals helping our clients to produce great content, but because it is finally opening a whole new world for sectors that have previously avoided joining in the social network conversations. Thankfully, we no longer hear the term: “I don’t want to know what people had for breakfast.” Instead, engineers are talking to us about industry trends and the “internet of things”.  Does this mean that social media is finally coming of age. We think so, and with such a plethora of marketing tools now at their disposal, it’s great to see industrial professionals taking advantage of these to help grow their business.

So, if you’re an engineer, and your head is full of stuff resembling the Internet of Things, why not offload some of the great knowledge and turn it into thought leadership and comment pieces that will get you noticed. 

If you need some help producing great thought leadership content, then come and talk to us, or even link up with us on social media.

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