While many manufacturing businesses are using social media, many don’t know why they have a Facebook page/Twitter handle or why they are trying to get more followers. Others are contemplating social media and don’t know where to start. Regardless of where your business falls, you should step back and think strategy.
A strategic approach to social media first involves knowing why you want to be involved and your goals for participation. Then, you need to determine who you want to connect with, where they gather and what topics are important to them. Knowing the “who,” “where” and “what” starts with in-depth social media research:
- Map the volume of conversations about your brands/products to events (marketing events) and determine which ones generate the most buzz
- Identify the top online channels and their demographics
- Determine the topic of conversations
- Understand the tone of the conversations
- Mark cyclical and seasonal trends and emerging topics
Understand your audience:
- Who are your target audiences online?
- Where are the audiences talking about your brand already?
- Is your company engaging in conversations with your audiences?
- Define your audiences and where they gather
- Identify advocates and influencers
- Listen to the top conversation topics (what matters to your audience)
- Analyze your brand data
- Conduct a competitive analysis
Once you have conducted the research, it’s time to build a social media plan for B2B manufacturing:
- Develop a content strategy
- Determine how you will connect with your audiences
- Define your goals for social media and what/how you want to influence
- Develop a plan based on what makes sense for your brand, your interaction tolerance, and how other channels will be integrated
- Monitor, measure and optimize
Stay tuned for another blog post tomorrow on social media & manufacturing: “If You Build It, They Will Click.”
Photo courtesy of Voka – Kamer van Koophandel Limburg via Flickr.
Executive survey: Learn what NE Ohio’s manufacturing decision-makers say about using social media for marketing in Fathom’s executive survey.