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B2B Manufacturing and Social Media: How To Begin

By | May 16, 2012

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:

Identify conversations: 

  • 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?

Gather intelligence:

  • 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.


Learn why the Internet is manufacturing’s best friend, including reliable ways to generate cost-effective leads:

Digital Marketing 101 for Manufacturers

1 Comment


About Patricia Thibault

Patricia joined the Fathom team in 2004 as a Business Development Manager. During her tenure, she has helped shape Fathom’s offerings to reflect market changes and demand. Patricia received a Materials and Logistics degree from Michigan State University (Procurement, Operations and Distribution). She put that degree to work at General Motors, Ford Motor Company and Cincinnati Electrosystems. Patricia’s leadership role on Fathom’s manufacturing team is a natural fit, as she has been living and breathing in the B2B space for over 25 years. Outside of the office, Patricia plays music (classical flute and blues harp), volunteers at the Michigan Humane Society and enjoys relaxing with her husband, Mike and spoiled dog, Roscoe.

  • Kathryn

    Great article for me to share with my own customers!

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