The right social media marketing can be the linchpin for corporations that manufacture products.
Twitter gives manufacturing companies the chance to engage in dialogs with customers and people in related industries, and as a result, learning what they are thinking about.
Also, as a manufacturing company that actively tweets, you are not just looking for ways to sell your products online, you would also want posts and engagement that will result to search engine rankings and website traffic.
Twitter is an excellent tool to achieving these goals.
Why do you use Twitter for your manufacturing company?
I asked a few of my manufacturing friends in our Twitter chat network that question recently.
Twitter has a global audience reach- a reach we could not obtain on our own. Our presence on Twitter helps us boost our brand. The end goal is to increase our online visibility, gain referrals back to our website, and eventually increase our sales. We use Twitter as another means to engage with customers and prospects, as well as network with our industry partners and other manufacturers. We also use Twitter to showcase our culture, a part of us not many get to see just by visiting our website.
Shannon Simpson – Digital Marketing Specialist
Twitter helps us, as a company, reach new customers and maintain a good working relationship with our current customer base. From a whole range of different industries to whole different countries, it facilitates in us being able to find and communicate with those potential customers and create sales leads. Even so, interacting with people that are not interested in our products is a good way to build our brand and reach and is important to our marketing operations.
Ben Nordman – Marketing Specialist
Obsidian Manufacturing Industries, Inc.
DSI/Dynamatic posts on Twitter to connect with others. The more people we can network with on a less formal basis, the more our name becomes common and the easier people feel about connecting with us. On Twitter, we try to make people feel like we’ve been friends for a long time so that it’s easier to network, easier to reach out, and easier to ask questions. We utilize trending hashtags as it makes sense to keep us in the feeds, we connect with other companies around the world via #USAMfghour to network with likeminded people in manufacturing, and we have a little fun with images and GIFs to draw positive attention to our brand.
Rebecca Hart – Marketing Manager
These companies are active members and hosts of our Twitter chat community, the #USAMfgHour. They “get” Twitter.
What makes Twitter a manufacturer’s choice?
Twitter’s unique advantage is real-time search and connection.
Twitter provides up-to-the-moment information and real-time conversation.
Its users, including potential customers, can instantly follow you, follow back, reply to your tweets, and retweet to share information, making engagement possible, at any given time.
Small and niche manufacturing companies can take advantage of this real-time engagement for bootstrap marketing.
Tweeting fresh content, taking leadership roles, making the right connections are just some ways to attract prospective customers to your website.
Twitter also helps with the search engine. It can help get seen.
If you have an audience on this platform, here’s one thing that many do not know: chances are the fresh content you upload (tweet) will get indexed, and, in turn, help with search visibility.
Indeed, manufacturing companies on Twitter can experience other “wins” aside from gaining leads.
What manufacturing companies get from using Twitter
How does Twitter benefit your company?
Here’s some manufacturing companies’ Twitter tips you can take with you.
1 Twitter can help you build the right connection and network
Twitter is an inclusive platform where people of varied interests, background, and beliefs can meet and interact virtually. As one author shares, “Twitter evens out the currency of hierarchy.”1
You’ll find CEOs and managers connecting with each other and giving industry news, trends and sharing relevant tweets on Twitter.
Some companies share a link leading to a list of C-level executives who are on Twitter.
Locating the leaders and the influencers of the manufacturing industry is made easier by Twitter.
And you can follow them right away.
This will help you gain insights and find the right people that will make up your network.
Tips on how to grow your manufacturing brand’s network
1. Follow industry’s business experts on Twitter to keep yourself abreast of recent information and helpful tips.
Pro Tip: Follow who matters to you.
2. Find your manufacturing tribe.
You can search on Twitter the people and companies that you can follow and connect with using the advanced search option.
- Twitter.com/search-advanced. Fill the blanks with the information you need.
In this example, I am looking for any tweets containing either CNC or manufacturing and in the English language (because my target audience and niche is the English-speaking market).
- Results. As you will see in the top search results, you will find a combination of tweets – latest, CNC and manufacturing accounts and posts containing the filters I typed in the search boxes.
3. Encourage involvement from your employees.
If your company has its executives and your employees on Twitter, build a community around them on Twitter.
This broadens the scope of your reach.
Also, it adds credibility and authenticity to your brand. There is nothing like an employee advocating for your company.
4. Find your competitors.
Be informed about their latest offerings, their success stories, and more.
Twitter is a shared public platform where ideas, information, and stories can circulate freely for others to pick up or learn from.
Take advantage of this opportunity that is right at your fingertips.
5. Follow wisely.
Anyone can follow anybody on Twitter.
When you find an interesting Twitter bio, follow the account but don’t stop there.
Look at who they’re following and follow those as well to grow your manufacturing Twitter accounts.
Also, you can look for Twitter lists of “experts who are already talking about what you want to keep up with and care about most.”2
For example, this Twitter list is of U.S. manufacturing companies and manufacturing champions of that are active in the weekly #USAMfgHour chat.
Where there are lists, just follow it to not miss out on relevant conversation and to converse with the community.
Pro Tip: Don’t feel obliged to follow back everybody that follows you.
2 Twitter can help you reach your consumers and potential leads globally
Unlike other social media platforms, Twitter’s engagement is real time. Twitter has a “no script” approach on engagement.
It strives for honest, open, and humanized connection with people.1
A simple tweet like, “How did you find our new car model?” can start a conversation without making the consumer feel obligated to reply.
With Twitter, you can hone an active, one-to-one conversation with consumers and potential leads.
The consumer can easily tweet about your brand and you can reply or tweet back to them in a timely manner.
This exchange is not done in private, but shared with others.
Such openness builds curiosity and can influence others to check your company.
Considering the active one-to-one relationship you get to build with consumers, Twitter allows you to provide direct customer service.
Some customers and leads forego the hotline or email to get their concern to you.
Now, they can squeeze in their queries and concerns in 280 characters. It’s ready for you to reply to in the same manner. This lessens cost and cuts down the response time to addressing concerns.
Also, you can also build a passive relationship with consumers. They may not be ready to buy your product, but you are there, present, and top-of-the-mind.
They follow your brand and automatically gain access to all information about you. How is that?
Because the posts coming from your corporate twitter account will also appear in their feed.
Tips to growing your global reach
- You are on Twitter to get seen by the universe, right? So, it’s OK to post about you and your company but balance that with tweets that are helpful to your audience.
How many of your promotional posts should you share? That is up to you…50/50, 70/30. Test it out.
- Be proactive and start the engagement. You can pose a question, seek advice, or express an opinion. As much as possible, state your ideas positively. Share more of your likes than dislikes.
- Help others and offer your help/expertise by commenting on or responding to tweets of your followers.
3 Twitter can help you establish an image as a thought leader
Twitter is an excellent platform to establish thought leadership in your manufacturing field.
As mentioned earlier, your network can come across a wide spectrum of people.
Once you build your Twitter network, establish your brand or manufacturing company as a thought leader in your industry.
Thought leadership is a multi-dimensional approach that solidifies your credibility as a manufacturing company.
It can be established by providing consumers with research findings, industry news and articles, blog posts, asking them provocative questions on topics that matter, sharing interesting, re-tweetable content and by taking a stance on issues that relate to your manufacturing industry.
As a manufacturing company, identify the biggest questions that your buyers might have and provide solutions/answers.
That is what it means to provide quality of content.
As a well-rounded Twitter user, whatever you share – including your passion and expertise, align it to the interests of the consumers you are trying to engage. That is one way to become an effective thought leader.
Tips to make thought leadership work for your Twitter manufacturing accounts
Twitter Business has some tips for establish thought leadership:
- Follow and engage with industry influencers.
The purpose is to build personal relationships with the influencers by regularly reading their content, amplifying their content, and letting them know what you liked about their content.
Twitter is one of the best tools for real-time engagement. But don’t get silo’d by the engagement trap there are many and it comes in many forms.
Always leave comments and engage with other manufacturing accounts and allied industries, and your client if allowed.
- Reuse and repurpose thought leadership content that you own.
Find ways to reuse, repurpose, and redistribute quality content and resources – like case studies that can impact your brand, start an engagement, and move to sales.
- Curate and share third-party highly relevant content.
Thought leadership content are all over the internet! Curate them and share it away. Be that source of quality content.
- Connect with influencers and other thought leaders.
Influence other thought leaders and uncover micro-influencers through social listening.
Pro Tip: Turn on Twitter’s topic filters.
How other manufacturing companies “win” Twitter
1 Awareness booster
A manufacturing company of eco-friendly cleaning products, “Sun and Earth” has noted an increase in awareness after getting on Twitter.
Twitter has helped them increase awareness in current markets, identify commercial opportunities, interact more readily with consumers, and increase plant tour frequency.
2 Personality over product
Instead of directly promoting their products online, Innocent Drinks uses Twitter to highlight their personality as a brand.
Their posts are clever, funny, creative, and are crafted in a way that people would know that the brand is “talking like human beings.”
As a result, Innocent Drinks now has 295.6k followers and growing and people are talking about them.
3 Thought leadership with a human touch
Thought leadership and authenticity has made General Electric stand out among manufacturing companies selling appliances, lighting, and electronics.
They teach people what they do using simple language, avoiding technical jargons that might make the brand “hard to reach.”
They keep their content engaging and relatable, even when presenting complex ideas and research findings.
4 Wit and humor + successful hashtags
Named as the “Sassiest brand on Twitter” by TIME Magazine in 2014, Charmin continues to charm its followers with witty posts and (potty) humour.
To give people a better bathroom experience.
How do they do it on Twitter?
By engaging their followers using hashtags like #TweetFromTheSeat, #CharminFlushes or #CharminAsks and by featuring their lighthearted, fun and toilet humor-centric brand voice across their content and replies.
5 Collective approach to building connections
How can you drive engagement on Twitter if you are a manufacturer of compressed air-operated products?
EXAIR does it well by having their engineers handle their Twitter accounts to tweet and connect with other engineers and peers in the same industry.
This way, they are able to build brand awareness and they become a reliable source of relevant information.
It’s a Wrap
Social media is a great way for manufacturing companies to connect with potential customers, but the benefits of Twitter go beyond that.
Connect. Build your community. Reach out. Learn and adopt best practices. You, too, can have your own Twitter success story.
Which is of these manufacturing companies Twitter tips are you going to use soon?
1 Thomases, Hollis. Twitter Marketing An hour A Day. Wiley Publishing, Inc, 2010.