Updated: Feb 2
There is a myriad of Social Media platforms on the internet today, with the number growing every year. It is a minefield to know which site to use and how to use it to raise your brand profile, engage with your customer and increase sales, all at the same time.
What is social media?
Social media, as defined by Investopedia, "is a computer-based technology that facilitates the sharing of ideas, thoughts, and information through the building of virtual networks and communities".
In other words, social media is your company's shop window, where you can get to meet your customers, as well as having an opportunity to interact with them. so how can that help you as a manufacturer?
"Social Media is about the people! Not about your business. Provide for the people and the people will provide for you.” - Matt Goulart
If social media is all about engagement and building brand awareness, how can I use it for manufacturing? How can the big five platforms - YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, help grow your audience, build engagement and generate more sales and revenue?
One thing you must remember is that each platform caters for a specific demographic and relates to certain media better than other forms, but of course there is a cross-over in both media type and demographics, but you should keep that in mind.
YouTube is home to 73% of the adult population in the US, with the greatest share belonging to the teens to thirty-somethings. This should not put the manufacturers off, though. YouTube is the ideal platform for you to share product demos, factory walk-throughs and virtual tours and how-to videos.
Long and short videos work well, depending on your usage. A short video showing your production will work well, as would a longer how-to tutorial of your product.
Facebook is the daddy of all the Social Media, and as such is still home to many businesses and individuals. In fact there are nearly 2.5 billion users, all consuming video, written and photo media.
In the US, 68% say they use Facebook regularly, with 51% using it multiple times a day.
Twitter has an active user base of over 300 million people with more than 40% using Twitter multiple times. If the person is on it, then they are most likely engaging regularly.
63% of users are aged between 35 & 65 years of age with males making up two-thirds of the users.
Twitter is best for bite-sized content and breaking news stories. It is also very useful for talking directly to your customers and providing the customer with a channel of communication to you.
LinkedIn is the largest site for professionals, with an active user base of 750+ million users, making it one of the largest networking and collaboration tool available to you. LinkedIn is aimed at professionals, but businesses are finding it a great resource to engage with customers, vendors and suppliers.
LinkedIn is useful for sharing short videos, stories and articles relevant to your industry. If it is business related content, share it on LinkedIn.
Instagram is home to everyone and their dog. If they are a blogger, an influencer, an artist, a celebrity, a brand, a small business owner or a friend, they are most probably on Instagram. With well over 1 billion monthly users, it is of no wonder why everyone and their dog wants to be on. They have a vast audience potential.
Instagram is home to the teens and twenties, in general, of all genders, so if your customer is under 40, this platform CANNOT be ignored.
Instagram is a visual content platform. Stunning photos, short face-to-camera videos, unique designs that speak directly to the audience is the content needed.
Now, you are my client and you have come to me looking to start a Social Media presence, but you don’t know which to use and what to post, this is what I would advise:
"Social media is not just the spoke on the wheel of marketing. It is becoming the way entire bicycles are built" - Ryan Lilly
Firstly, focus on one platform only, then grow from there. Posting to Social Media is a very time-consuming operation, and it takes time to build rapport and a following. Once you have gained a following and are engaging regularly, then you can expand to two or three additional platforms.
Next, I would ask you to consider what content is good for your company and its products. Do you want to use video, the written word, shorts or collaboration? The choice is yours.
Get to know your audience. By engaging with the audience, you will be better placed to meet their needs on a content-creation level.
Let the audience who you are, what you do, who does it for you and why you do it. Here you can let your employees tell their stories, and you can get clients or customers to tell their stories also. You can also educate through how-to videos, product tutorials and factory tours.
Redefine your goals based on the platform you are using and the demographics of your audience. Baby boomers are more inclined to read information, whereas, Gen Xers will absorb information through video quicker. Think about who it is you want to talk to and talk to them on their level.
Each social media has its own unique way of presenting information as I said earlier, and some media works better with some platforms rather than on others.
YouTube: long videos and short videos. Face to camera, voice-overs, a complete gamut of video options. For the manufacturer, YouTube is best for how-to tutorials, product demos, factory walk-throughs and virtual factory tours. It offers the opportunity to showcase your operation and your products.
Facebook: all media content to promote your company, with short video and snappy designs stealing the show. Facebook can be polarising in its opinion, so that is something to be watchful of. It is ideal for short stories, human-interest pieces, photos and short videos.
Twitter: This is the breaking news platform. If it is happening in your industry, get it on to Twitter. I recommend using Twitter for industry news, product news, company and community news stories. It is also a great way to engage with your customer base.
LinkedIn: This is the collaborative platform and the platform to network with like-minded individuals. It can also be a good place to research a prospective supplier or vendor, and it can offer a showroom for you top display you, your company and your products.
Instagram: If you are a teen, or a twenty-something this is the place to be, but the teens and twenty-somethings become purchasers and can influence their friends and the buyers at home on new products and brands. The users love short personal videos, beautiful photos and self-help or growth tips. See how you can align your product portfolio with these ideas.
“Social Media is not about the exploitation of technology, people, but service to the community" - Simon Mainwaring
Now you have ideas to start posting your content on your chosen platforms, you must remember one thing; CONSISTENCY is key. A basic tenet of sales is the more doors I knock on, the more conversions I will get. That same idea applies, only now you need to be posting regularly, your followers will look forward to your next post and you van generate some excitement around your brand.
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Accent on Training have been helping companies improve their social media presence and engagement through bespoke marketing strategies. We are a provider of bespoke solutions for social media marketing, branding, logo design and website design and optimization.
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Jonathan Moore is the founder of Accent on Training, a Social Media Management, Brand and Website design agency based in Seoul, South Korea. For nearly ten years, he has helped clients in developing their businesses online through branding, website design and bespoke social media marketing solutions.
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