Why You Should Wait to Add Social Media Elements to Your Manufacturing Website

marketing for manufacturersDigital marketers love telling businesses across a wide spectrum of verticals that they need to become engaged on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. That might be sage advice for many companies, but manufacturers should think twice before investing valuable marketing time in social media development just because everyone else is doing it. In fact, there’s evidence that embedding social media elements on your manufacturing website (without having a developed, engaged following) might even do more harm than good.

Having a polished, comprehensive digital presence that allows you to showcase products and services to potential customers is a good thing, obviously. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that your manufacturing website should prominently feature social media icons just because lots of B2C, retail or ecommerce companies do the same.

One of the keys to success in the social sphere is dedicating advertising spend to promoting your content and getting engaging, interesting information in front of your targeted audience. If you’re serious about growing your social presence, then your manufacturing company needs to take the time necessary to identify who your audience is, what kind of content they will find engaging and useful, and dedicate monthly advertising spend to reaching them.

If you don’t plan on doing all three of those things—consistently—then it won’t benefit you to invest in social media. In fact, simply adding social media icons to your site without putting in any work toward developing an audience can actually drive potential customers away. Seeing a prominently featured Facebook business page with five “likes” or a Google Plus button with only a couple “plus ones” is likely to give new visitors a bad first impression about your company’s influence and reach.

So resist the urge to add social media icons to your website right away just because everyone else is doing it. Instead, slowly develop your social media channels and display them prominently only after you’ve put in the elbow grease necessary to develop a respectable initial following. Add company videos to your YouTube channel and embed them in blog posts; post useful and engaging content on your Facebook page and pay to promote it to targeted users with interest in your vertical; include links to your Google Plus and Facebook pages in email blasts, and ask subscribers to become fans.

Waiting to feature your social media channels on your manufacturing website will pay off more in the long run. And remember: developing your social presence is a long-term commitment. Just because you reach a milestone in your followers doesn’t mean that you should stop posting engaging, useful material and paying to promote content to targeted audiences. It’s your engagement, not your follower numbers, that will ultimately have the best impact on your revenue.

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Phil Van Treuren

About Phil Van Treuren

Phil Van Treuren is a Senior Account Executive at Fathom, and has been with the company since 2009. He specializes in digital marketing strategy for the manufacturing and home improvement industries, and has worked for clients including Eaton Corporation and Owens Corning. He is a graduate of Southern Utah University, with Bachelor’s degree in English. He is also a graduate of U.S. Army Officer Candidate School.

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