Social Media Marketing: The Vehicle that Drives Your Industrial Content

Posted on Dec 2, 2013 by Kerry O'Malley

social media content

If your B2B company’s content is the message, social media marketing is the vehicle that drives that message home.

The key is knowing what kind of vehicle you should be driving.  Sure, the sleek new sports car looks appealing, but it may now work for your particular business.  That’s why mapping out your social media marketing strategy is important before getting in the driver’s seat.

In order to devise a sustainable social media marketing strategy that increases sales and connects with your customer base, it’s helpful to follow a set of guidelines to better deliver your industrial content  online.

Creating a Social Media Marketing Plan for Your Industrial Company  

  • Determine your target audience. As a B2B manufacturer or service provider, other businesses are your target market.  For this reason, it’s important to be active on the social media channels other businesses frequent.  Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are always the big three and can put you in contact with businesses that aren’t currently on your radar.  And we have to add that although Google+ doesn’t yet rank as a major driver of new business opportunities in the industrial sector, don’t ignore it. After all, it IS owned by Google.  Don’t discount the SEO benefit you can gain from an active presence on this site.
  • Do your homework. It’s tempting to start publishing content as soon as you set up your social media channels, but first thing’s first: making your profiles customer friendly.  Be sure to research the best ways to optimize your profiles, covering everything from links to logos.
  • Find what works with the social media channels you choose.   Not every business is going to have the same plan of action because not every business is the same.  As an industrial company, you have to decide what components and features of each social media channel you should spend time on and which ones you can bypass.  Remember, your time is your most precious commodity so knowing what works and what doesn’t is essential.
  • Schedule your content. Figure out how many days a week you need to update your channels as well as how many times a day and be sure to stick to that schedule.  Consistency is key when it comes to your social media marketing strategy.  And remember, you shouldn’t follow the same updating schedule for each social media platform.  Updating Facebook once a day, business days only, is par for the course; but updating a YouTube channel with videos at the same rateis overkill.  On the flip side, Twitter is flying at the speed of light.  Tweet only once a day, and the likelihood of reaching the right people goes down considerably.  Another Twitter tip: If you’re posting content developed by your own company (that links back to your website): reword your tweet and post the link at least 1-2 times per week for 4 consecutive weeks.
  • Reply to comments/messages. Just like it’s proper etiquette to reply to phone calls and emails, you should also reply to social media comments and messages as well.  Your client base will see your social media channels as another way to reach you, which is a great thing as long as you carve out the time to check your channels throughout the day and keep in touch with your current and potential customers.
  • 80/20 rule. When publishing content on yoursocial media channels, keep in mind the 80/20 rule.  Eighty percent of your content should be information based, giving your audience insight into your industry, emerging technologies, solutions for problems that are peripheral to the ones you solve for your customers, and other content that will resonate with your target audience.  The other 20% can be marketing based, giving your audience the opportunity to learn more about your company’s services and/or products.

Social Media Marketing for Industrial Businesses

Like we mentioned in last week’s post, Google’s Hummingbird Algorithm update is pushing the idea of cohesion between your content and your social media marketing strategy more than ever.  It’s no longer just about SEO so thinking through your industrial company’s social media marketing strategy is vital to push ahead of the competition and grow your customer base! O-ring sizing charts

What steps have you taken to develop your industrial company’s social media marketing strategy?

 

Author: Kerry O'Malley

omalley@marketectsinc.com

Marketects was founded in 1999 by Kerry O’Malley, a proven marketing communications professional in international, manufacturing companies. Working on the “other side of the desk,” she hired ad agencies to manage her employers’ advertising and P/R programs. Frustrated over the lack of attention and level of enthusiasm she was looking for in the marketing agencies she worked with, Kerry realized that there was a definite need for a full-service marketing firm that specialized in working with industrial companies. She resolved that her clients would always receive the highest level of service possible and never feel like the last kid chosen for the team.

2 responses to “Social Media Marketing: The Vehicle that Drives Your Industrial Content”

  1. Tom Repp says:

    Hi Kerry,
    Good advice. There is plenty of great advice on the web for our industrial marketing friends, but the adaption rate still frustrates me. I am sure you as well. This includes the adaption of social media.

    The convergence of enhanced search, social media, mobile adaption, and content/inbound marketing present an unbelievable opportunity for industrial marketers . Few are taking the challenge.

    However, I can see changes in the industrial owner’s attitudes concerning web-based marketing. They all sense a shift in the way customers approach the classic buying cycle. Most understand their customers are shopping without them.

    To answer your question, Kerry:

    For our company and our industrial customers we have decided to create a web-based strategy built around HubSpot which includes social media, of course.
    After launching several market automation platforms we finally settled on HubSpot. Initially I stayed away from HubSpot because of the cost. However…as the ‘ol saying goes, “You get what you pay for.”
    For my industrial customers there are many issues as to why that have not aggressively embraced the web as a channel to market. By following HubSpot’s lead we can address those issues one by one. By adapting HubSpot’s methodology we turn fear into reassurance. Not to mention expense into ROI.
    Allow me to itemize those issues and let you know why HubSpot makes sense for us as well as our customers.

    • One of the biggest reasons for low adaption is simply fear of the unknown. By relying heavily on HubSpot’s case studies of other industrial marketers that have successfully implemented HubSpot, owners can get comfortable with more advanced web marketing. Many of my customers have called other HubSpot industrial customers for personal testimonies.
    • Once we offer a HubSpot solution, an industrial customer quickly understands that HubSpot employs some of the smartest marketing minds on the planet. Our customers feel a sense of relief and that they are in good, creative, hands.
    • Simply the pace of technology scares industrial marketers. Knowing they have HubSpot watching their back with a well-funded, tech-savvy, organization puts the industrial business owner at ease.
    • Industrial marketer and particularly manufacturing companies run their companies on ROI (return on investment) numbers. If they spend a million dollars on capital equipment on the plant floor they know exactly when that machine will be paid off and what the ROI is. Using HubSpot’s methodology we can easily demonstrate what works and what does not and calculate an ROI number for the skeptical owners.
    • From an education & support standpoint we have found HubSpot to be the very best. I and our customers have received MBAs in “web marketing” since signing up with HubSpot. Again, HubSpot has us covered on the very steep learning curve.
    • To answer your question directly, we have implemented HubSpot’s Social Monitoring tool to navigate the choppy waters of social media. Again, by following HubSpot’s training, e-books, tips & guides, best practices, etc. we need not worry about what works and what does not work. Plus, we have a tool to monitor it all on one dashboard.

    Sorry to sound like a HubSpot commercial, but I simply can’t address an industrial web-strategy question without mentioning our approach which relies heavily on HubSpot.

    “by Tom Repp”

  2. Kerry O'Malley says:

    Thanks for your comments, Tom. I think very highly of HubSpot. I am especially impressed with their investment in developing content that they make readily available, in many cases to their competitors, that helps to educate everyone on the benefits of Inbound Marketing. I’m glad to hear that you and your clients are finding that path successful. For some companies, however, HubSpot seems like a “cookie cutter” solution. They prefer a more customized approach that includes a lot more hand holding and encouragement than HubSpot would provide. Also, for many companies, HubSpot’s services are over-kill. I realize they’re like Google Analytics on steroids, and that’s what some savvy marketers want: tons of data and metrics. The industrial companies we work with tend to have simpler needs than that. If we can show them consistent improvement, they’re happy. Having said all that: maybe one day Marketects will start working with a client that says, “We’ve heard about HubSpot and want to make their services part of our Inbound Marketing program!” Then I can learn first hand why you are singing their praises! ;-P

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