5 Social Media Tips for Manufacturing Marketers
Table of Contents
In 2022, 82 percent of consumers discovered a new product on social media and purchased it directly on their phone. You’re likely missing brand awareness and sales opportunities if you’re not on social media.
While manufacturers can post on their corporate social media accounts, they also have the unique ability to partner with local dealers and distributors to publish content through their local social profiles.
In this blog, we’ll explain how manufacturing marketers can partner with local dealers to share local social media content. We’ve also included five tips to bolster your manufacturing company’s social media marketing efforts and stand out from competitors!
For a quick overview, check out our infographic below.
1. Know Your Target Audience
One of the most critical steps when creating a social media strategy is to know your target audience.
When you know who your target audience is and what they like, you can create more relatable social media content. Additionally, understanding your local dealers’ target audience will also help you determine the type of content and platforms to focus on.
Let’s look at the two main categories of target audiences:
You likely have a plethora of research on geographic areas from when you determined which local dealers to work with and sell your products to. Use that previous data to help determine your current geographic audiences on social media.
Another geographic variable to consider is climate. For instance, a clothing company’s winter product line will need to be advertised much earlier and longer to consumers in the midwest or northeast compared to consumers in southern states.
Understanding your target audience’s demographics will give you more context into how they make purchase decisions and other cultural influences you should account for.
A demographic analysis often looks into these different characteristics:
- Religious beliefs or orientation
- Family size
- Education level
- Marital status
For instance, if you’re a cosmetic manufacturer, the type of content geared towards Gen Z or millennials might feature ‘clean’ or ethically-sourced beauty products. While your social media content targeted towards your older generations might concentrate on looking more youthful.
Knowing your target audience’s demographics can help you:
- Create more cost-effective social media content
- Improve social media engagement
- Elevate your retargeting strategies
2. Implement a Co-Op Marketing Fund
Manufacturers and dealers often have a symbiotic relationship where both parties benefit from each other. This symbiotic relationship holds especially true when you install a co-op marketing fund.
A co-op marketing program, sometimes called a marketing development fund, is when a manufacturer pays for a portion or all of a marketing campaign or marketing technology (MarTech) for the dealer.
By implementing a co-op marketing program, you can:
- Strengthen your relationship with local dealers
- Increase brand awareness and exposure
- Boost online and in-person traffic to your dealers
- Keep your brand top-of-mind with local consumers
- Get a higher return on your social media marketing efforts
With well-defined target audiences and a co-op marketing fund in place, your manufacturing marketers will be equipped to be much more strategic about your social media marketing and ad spend, lowering marketing costs.
Manufacturers with a co-op marketing program often have content libraries their dealers have access to. More on content libraries in the following section.
3. Provide Dealers With a Content Library
A content library, often referred to as a digital asset management (DAM) system in the manufacturing world, is your social media team’s best friend. It’s where you house previous and current assets that your manufacturing marketing team and dealers’ marketing teams can access and use for their social media content.
Think of this DAM system as a repository your team and dealers can withdraw from any time they need to post on social media. Dealers can access all content or a set number of pieces through your co-op marketing fund each month.
Often, this content includes images, videos, and captions. If you want to extend your DAM system to your sales team, include emails, power point presentations, PDFs.
Your DAM system helps you:
- Stay organized
- Give your marketing team and dealers access to new product images or posts
- Store pre-formatted social media images that adhere to platforms’ image specifications
- Become a favorite among your local dealers
The most essential aspect of your content library or DAM system is keeping it up-to-date with new product images and videos. This current content will help dealers quickly publicize your new products and keep you top of mind with consumers.
Note, not all external content needs to be promotional. For instance, you should produce educational or informative social media content, such as a makeup tutorial or a specific how-to guide. This educational content can include your products, but they shouldn’t be the primary subject.
4. Prioritize Your Social Media Platforms
You likely have corporate social media accounts on various social platforms. Generally, your dealers should have local social profiles on multiple social media platforms.
So which social media platforms should you focus most of your energy on? Knowing your target audience, particularly your demographics, will help you determine which social platforms your potential customers leverage most.
Below is an image that breaks down what percentage of adults use each social media platform.
As you can see, Facebook is by far the most popular social media for all age groups, followed by Instagram. Therefore, prioritize publishing your content to dealers’ local Facebook profiles.
If time and resources allow, it’s worth having your social media efforts expand to platforms like Twitter and TikTok. TikTok is especially important if the majority of your consumers are Gen Z, since nearly two thirds of Gen Z in the U.S. use TikTok at least once a month.
Using your co-op marketing fund, you can put money towards the same social media campaigns across multiple platforms. Then, measure which campaigns performed best and continue to produce similar high-performing content on those platforms.
5. Utilize Influencers and User-Generated Content
Another popular social media tactic is to leverage influencers, local brand ambassadors, and user-generated content to gain more online exposure and visibility.
Influencer marketing can produce impressive results. According to one global survey, eight out of ten respondents stated that they’d made a purchase based on what they saw from an influencer.
Moreover, 93 percent of marketers use influencer marketing on Instagram. If you’re not planning on utilizing influencer marketing, you’re lagging behind competitors.
Manufacturing companies are no stranger to this tactic, especially clothing and cosmetic manufacturers. Your manufacturing company can hire and contact well-known celebrities or people as influencers or sponsors.
You can also create an ambassador program with brand ambassadors. Brand ambassadors are often loyal customers with an already established relationship with your brand who will sponsor your brand for deals or discounts.
These influencers and brand ambassadors can promote your manufacturing company and products at in-person events and on social media. Alternatively, they can also post on their personal profiles and tag national social profiles or local dealers.
If you don’t quite have the budget to pay influencers or brand ambassadors, consider utilizing user-generated content (UGC). UGC derives from customers and often includes images, videos, or reviews.
UGC influences consumers. According to one survey, 80 percent of consumers say UGC highly impacts purchase decisions, 6.6x more than branded content.
To obtain UGC, simply ask customers for permission to promote their content on your social media profiles. For instance, if a customer leaves a stellar review about one of your products, design a social media post highlighting that review.
Both influencer marketing and utilizing UGC can help you improve brand awareness and win more customers.
For more social media tips, specifically localized social tactics, download the Localized Social Content Guide for Manufacturers.
Simplify Your Social Media Strategy With The Right Tools
Many manufacturing companies find it challenging to successfully implement these social media tactics, especially with smaller marketing departments. In 2022, six out of ten manufacturing companies had a small or one-person content marketing team for the entire organization.
Get more done with SOCi. SOCi Social will help you automate tedious tasks. Our product allows you to share pre-approved marketing content with your preferred dealers.
There are also content libraries to help organize your images, videos, and other engaging content. Furthermore, SOCi Social has analytics dashboards to help you analyze your national and local social content.
Visit SOCi’s manufacturing page for more information on how SOCi can strengthen your social media efforts and improve relationships with dealers.
For a summary of our social media tips for manufacturing marketers, review our infographic below:
Infographic sources: Microsoft | Content Marketing Institute | Social Media Today