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Why are Manufacturers still not social?

07 August 2017 by Kate Molloy

We are living in a digital age where social media has a particularly dominant presence. You only have to look at the all the attention Trump generates from his Twitter use. But on a serious note, and on a commercial level, social marketing has provided myriad opportunities for business. People are now using their smart devices to keep up-to-date with the latest developments in all areas – including the industrial sectors. Advancements in technology and manufacturing are now discussed endlessly online, so much so that we have taken to playing word bingo in the Bridge office on all the latest buzzwords (yes we mean phrases such as Industry 4.0).

However, whilst social platforms are booming and manufacturing is revolutionising, some manufacturers are still avoiding using social tools to market their businesses. For some reason, certain B2B industrial sectors have been slower to embrace social marketing, which means they are less visible online and therefore potentially missing opportunities.

These days, social engagement online is an integral part of any successful marketing campaign aimed at business growth.The fundamental principles of marketing haven’t changed, but the channels have, and thanks to the explosive growth in social media over the past decade, manufacturers now have a valuable tool for reaching and engaging with their target audiences.

So what’s the big deal?

If you’re more of a traditionalist in the manufacturing industry, you’re probably wondering what the big deal is with social media.

Below, we will discuss three key reasons why social media is important in helping you to raise the profile and visibility of your business.

The first key thing it does is get your business's name OUT there. It makes your company more accessible just by having an online presence. Potential clients can find you with the click of a mouse or the tap of a screen.

Secondly, it provides opportunities for you to strengthen your relationship with other businesses. You can do this without meeting face-to-face; simply follow-like-retweet on Twitter and you’re away, as well as sharing relevant content and liking posts on LinkedIn and where appropriate on Facebook. It can also help to strengthen your existing offline relationships by providing another channel for you to connect with your contacts and business associates.

Finally, most if not all manufacturers want to be known for their capabilities and their credibility as a business, especially with the demands on supply chains from the top down. Having a strong digital and social presence can be an easy and effective way of demonstrating not only what your business can do, but also what makes you tick. You can give your business personality which makes it easier for your customer and prospects to connect and communicate with you. Manufacturing in the UK is built on the strong pillars of trust and credibility and social marketing is a good way of getting these key messages across.

The big question is: WHY?

So, if social media is such a valuable tool, the big question is: why aren’t more manufacturers making the transition and becoming the tech-savvy socialites that could help them achieve their marketing goals?

One of the reasons is that many areas of manufacturing are still traditional in their operations and their thinking. With many companies also having full order books, they don’t feel the need to do anything extra. However this way of thinking needs to be reviewed. The world is rapidly moving on, and we’re in the middle of an era of digital transformation. If manufacturers are not looking at digital and social now, it will become a lot harder further down the line when it might become critical for them to be proactive online. Therefore, quite simply these companies run the risk of being left behind.

There is also a lack of knowledge about social media. Things move so rapidly in the online world that it’s difficult to keep pace. Misconceptions still abound about what really happens on social media, and platforms like Twitter can be daunting to a novice user. But this is something Bridge PR can help with either through training or through handling your social media for you.

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