OK, so we all know that the social media sector is booming – if you’re not using it already, the chances are that you’ll know a lot of people who are. Facebook alone now has 500 million active users, an estimated 50% of active users log on every day, and collectively they spend over 700 billion minutes per month on the site! Now, that’s a lot of traffic! No longer are social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn used purely for personal connections, in recent years, the true marketing potential of the sites has also been discovered.
It’s easy to understand why companies are turning to social media to boost their sales. Firstly, more connections are made possible – it’s estimated that the average user on Facebook has around 130 friends (with many having a much larger number of contacts) – start multiplying that and the number of prospects available to a company is phenomenal. The technology used on social media sites is also rapidly evolving – at the moment there are in excess of 900 million objects available on Facebook for people to interact with (i.e. pages, groups, events and community pages) – it’s opening up a whole new marketing platform for businesses.
And here’s the great news – social media can be profitable for any business – even manufacturers. Think of the large number of companies across the globe, making components for products that are eventually sold under another name. Even the top brands don’t make all of their own components – they outsource the work to manufacturers. For those working in the manufacturing industry, it can be difficult to ‘shine’ on their own merit – and that’s where social media networking can help. Social media websites provide you with the platform that you need to reach a much wider audience.
The ability to distribute information about your products is vital. Competition in the manufacturing industry is strong – and you need an effective way to communicate with potential customers. Social media networking has opened up global trading on a whole new level – you can now form connections with potential buyers across the globe. This vast connectivity option allows you to market your products more effectively, and reach those contacts that may have been unavailable to you in pre-social media years.
Referrals and previous client testimonials are also essential within the manufacturing sector. After all, many deals will be the direct result of one of these factors, or even both. Let’s say that you manufacture components for laptops. How do your potential customers know that your components are the ‘real deal’? And how do you persuade them to try your products, over your competitors? The answer is simple – by using referrals and client testimonials.
Social media sites allow you to build contacts, display testimonials from previous customers, and encourage referrals. In a very competitive climate, a great recommendation can literally make or break a business. It’s the same in any business sector, and with any product or service – if it’s been recommended to you directly by a colleague, friend or acquaintance, you are more likely to buy it. Trust is perhaps the key word here – you instinctively trust the opinions of your contacts and peers.
Sites such as Facebook and Twitter also encourage the generation of feedback. Feedback is crucial for the ongoing sustainability and progression of the manufacturing sector. Use social media platforms to gather the opinions of others, either using direct comparisons to similar products, or by gaining insight into the features that the end users really want. The procurement of such information can give you a competitive edge and help you to stand out from the crowd.
So, if you’re not already using social media – start today, it could enhance your current marketing strategies beyond recognition and lead your business to the next level of success online!