Thursday, September 26, 2013

Making Social Media Work For Your Manufacturing Firm

Guest post by Content Strategist Robbi Hess

Is your business involved in social media marketing? Do you feel that even if you are and even if your followers and likes are increasing, you're still not seeing any direct connection between that and dollars in your company budget? There are several reasons that could be the case, but let's first look at the fact that, when possible, face-to-face networking pays greater dividends. When you can meet with a potential client, get to know one another and built interaction that is your best foot-in-the-door for business.

Consider enhancing your networking meeting attendance with social media marketing and with print marketing and you should begin to see results in your manufacturing business. Be aware that there are times when it will feel like you are shouting into a crowded room when it comes to social media. The reason? Because there is a lot of noise in the realm of social media and your voice can get carried away in the crowd of people who are also shouting. You've likely heard that adding social media to your marketing arsenal is necessary and the reason for that is it's likely that your competition is interacting there.

But with the proliferation of social media sites that includes: Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Tout, YouTube, industry specific social media sites, etc. you're probably wondering how you can possibly keep up. In truth, you cannot keep up with every social media site that is out there. You need to be choosy about which platforms you use and once you make a decision, you need to embrace it fully.

If you're like most business people, you are busy and you're being pulled in many different directions during the course of the day but if social media is one of those tasks you have taken on yourself, here is my secret. The Rule of Three:

  1. Follow three people/businesses a day
  2. Like or comment on three posts
  3. Post your own status updates three times a day. If you’re involved in all of the above mentioned sites that means you should be active on all of them, and yes, that can get to be a daunting, time-consuming task.

Is social media marketing worth it? Take the words "social media" out of the mix and ask yourself, "Is marketing worth it?" I bet you think it is. Can you measure your social media ROI? For some businesses the answer is a resounding “yes!” for others it may be a resounding “maybe!” If you want to measure the engagement of your social media fans, run a contest or ask a question or offer money off your goods or service if the individual uses a coupon code you put on your social media pages — these are ways to let you know where/how people are finding you. Can you convert those individuals to clients? Chances are good… if you follow up and follow through.

Remember though, social media shouldn't be instead of face-to-face networking, it should be in addition to. Plus, you can use your time at networking events to share your expertise in your particular field and also connect with new people on your social media sites. Getting out of the office and shaking hands is the ultimate form of social networking.

Robbi Hess is a Certified Content Strategist, Social Media Consultant, and speaker on time management, social media for the small business and productivity.

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