New way to Market for Manufacturing

Written By: Bruce McDuffee-Founder and Executive Director of Manufacturing Marketing Institute (MMI)

Chapter 21 Overview

“What about Social Media?”

Ah yes, social media. How could social media not be included as a part of the new way strategy? Social media is not strategy, and it is not a tactic. Social media is merely a channel, and it may or may not be an appropriate channel for your audience. As an example, many manufacturing companies feel compelled to put up a Facebook page without ever considering if their audience is active on Facebook and wants to engage in the content you offer there. As an example, suppose my company manufactures fancy widgets. My target audience is engineers who work at semiconductor manufacturing companies. It may be true that engineers who work at semiconductor companies are present on Facebook, but they likely are not on Facebook to advance their careers or to solve issues they face on the job. They are probably there to see what friends and relatives are doing in their lives and to share their own lives. If this is the case, does it make sense for a widget company to put any time and energy into Facebook?

The same consideration should be made for any social media channel: Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Disqus, Snapchat, SlideShare, et al. Ask and answer the question “Is my target audience present on social media channel for the purpose of consuming the content I provide?” If the answer is yes, the channel may be viable to support your audience-engagement goals. If the answer is no, then you should not use the channel. Further, if you do answer yes, then determine if the channel will support your goals and your AFMS.

Should you choose to use certain social media channels as a tactic, be certain the posts are in line with the audience-facing mission statement. Each and every channel and activity must support the AFMS. Social media is especially susceptible to drifting away from the AFMS. It is easy to post on social channels and especially easy to fall into the pattern of pitching products. The same rule applies to social channels as to all channels as you adopt the new way strategy: STOP PITCHING PRODCUTS! Social media is good for engaging  at the top of the funnel, assuming your audience is present as described above. If there is one thing you should have learned by now, pitching products does not work for top-of-the-funnel engagement, regardless of the channel.