As we are now into 2013, many companies take this time to make goals and embrace new ways of doing business. One of the areas that should be on the list to explore is the use of social media. Often the forgotten outlet of public relations, especially among manufacturing companies, social media has no signs of downward trending. In fact, quite the opposite. Research shows that companies that fail to embrace social media (regardless of industry) are at risk of losing revenue. But where do you start and how can you turn a social media campaign into an asset for your manufacturing company? Below is a breakdown of a few things that everyone can do.
For many people, seeing is believing! So show the world what you have to offer clients, potential clients and yes, even the competition. You should post pictures to your Facebook or Twitter pages of many different aspects of your company. Want potential clients to see how clean your facility is or the new and innovative product that you just developed? Post pictures!
But don't just stop at the business aspect; go further to the personal side of your company. At IQMS, it is no secret that we work hard, but we also freely admit that we like to have fun! Anyone who views some of the photo albums on our Facebook page will see that we have at times ridden floats, pretended to be super heroes, embraced Halloween and even proudly worn some seriously ugly sweaters. Believe it or not, this humorous side has actually won customers. Some who have seen our silly side have commented that it helped to get an idea of our company culture, as well as the fact that while we produce great manufacturing ERP and MES software, we also know that having fun doing it is equally important. So don't be afraid to show your company's personality a little bit ... it might turn a profit!
Yes, a majority of your postings should be about strides you are making in the manufacturing industry. Did you get automotive supplier certification? Did you just receive a nomination or award? Are you breaking ground on a new facility or moving due to expansion? All this is good news and should be shared. Not only does it show that you are a good company, it shows you intend to be a good bet to a potential prospect and existing clients for years to come! We all look for stability in partnerships and good news, of any kind, helps validate that.
Embrace the idea of promoting others! If you do employee recognition regularly, post that! If an employee did something great outside the company, like win a race or get an award, post it! Same goes for your clients and recognizing them (with their permission). It isn't a secret that many people are flattered to see their name in lights (OK, not so much lights here as much as pixels, but you get the point). Flattery and recognition of a job well done never hurt anyone.
How often should you post? Experts say it is best not to post at the exact same time all the time, but rather make it more of an organic experience. However, regular posts are best. If you can't commit to daily, start with a weekly post. Once you get that going for a bit, try posting every few days. In general, you might not have something to say every day and you certainly don't want to post items just to post; you do want to keep things relevant. On average, those who post at least once a week see more followers, which leads to more discussion about your company.
Social media is the new benchmark for information. It isn't just for teenagers. It isn't just for friends and relatives. It is a viable source for gathering information and learning about any company and the information that company thinks is important. Yes, there are still silly people who post ridiculous information, but there are also people who seek out this information to make informed and valuable business decisions. Have you ever searched for a company that doesn't have a website and thought, "How could they not have a website?" Well, the next trend is asking the same thing about a social media program.