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Manufacturing new opportunities through social media

27 July 2016

A recent report from the Manufacturing Institute has reported that around 45 percent of businesses had generated leads or won contracts by utilising LinkedIn. The proliferation of social media technology over the last decade has made a significant impact on almost every aspect of modern life. Latest figures from Brand Watch has revealed there is currently just under 3.5 billion active internet users globally with a staggering 80 percent having a Facebook account. While other leading social media platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn which hold a 50 and 30 percent share respectively, may struggle to catch up with the juggernaut that is Facebook, their audience reach is still certainly not to be sniffed at.

Latest research from The Marketing Donut has revealed that despite the clear business benefits of social media usage for B2B marketing and the potential client reach, a third of businesses in the UK report they are too busy to implement a social media strategy, with fifty percent of respondents also suggesting they are unsure what return on investment can be gained by using social media channels. With social media being hailed as one of the most important developments of the modern era, manufacturers now have at their disposal a tool which has the potential to transform the sector – if used effectively. With this in mind, we take a look at some of the biggest benefits for manufacturers utilising social media.

Building connections

In an increasingly competitive and saturated market, the ability for all businesses to be able to not only differentiate themselves from competitors, but also build strong, long lasting relationships is vital. Social media usage within the manufacturing sector should be used for far more than a sales or marketing channel. The immediacy of social media is allowing business to connect with customers in increasingly powerful ways, so why limit the opportunity?

By utilising social media, manufacturers can place themselves in a strong position, not only setting themselves apart from competitors, but also providing a valuable tool to keep the work of competitors firmly in sight. Social media provides the perfect opportunity to position yourself as an industry expert, engaging with customers about the issues, products and services which matter to them.

Gain valuable insights

Beyond customer engagement, social media allows manufacturers to gain instant feedback on products and services. And rather than simply collecting information, your business has the ability to create conversations, build relationships and listen to your customers in real time, resulting in the ability to tailor products and even additional services for them.

By using social media to gather such insights, businesses can better target their audiences, tailoring products which resonate and meet the specific needs of buyers. Twitter is an ideal platform in which to gather and build such information. By using and creating Twitter hashtags, you and more importantly your customers, can follow conversations based on particular topics or products, allowing you to gauge valuable insight in relation to trends and themes within your particular sector.

Cementing your place

While face to face and telephone conversations are still effective ways to build connections and identify prospects, the immediacy of social media gives manufacturers a new and impactful channel to develop working relationships.

LinkedIn is the obvious channel of choice to develop such a network, allowing you to connect to people within your sector, providing the perfect way to network and gain valuable insight into the issues and trends within your industry. Furthermore, by setting up a LinkedIn account, you’ll be immediately connected to other, similar companies within your sector, providing valuable access to future prospects and professional connections. Start working on your profile today and participate in many of the industry-related community group discussions.

Rising up the ranks

Word of mouth is great, however, in a world which is increasingly digital, if a prospective customer is going to find you, it’s highly likely this will be through a search engine. Producing and sharing regular content in the form of blog posts, news articles, through your website and social media channels will help to increase and generate web traffic to your websites. Posting regular content provides search engines with new content to index, allowing you to create opportunities to utilise those important key words, helping you to rise up those search engine ranks.

Ignore it or embrace it, the influence of social media is not going away, it will undoubtedly continue to grow over the coming years; so is it time for you to join the conversation? By utilising social media, the manufacturing industry can continue to develop and grow, building a progressive, forward thinking industry.

If you need some help or guidance navigating your way through social media channels or if you would like some advice on creating engaging content for your website, then why not get in touch with us today, email Grainne@bridgepr.co.uk and connect with us through social media.

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