As you might know, Thursdays are Manufacturing Marketing Days at the SageRock Blog.
So it only seems reasonable that I tell you about my bedtime routine.
This is how it goes:
I brush my teeth. I get in my jammies, turn off the lights, get all snugly in bed and then cuddle up with my phone.
It’s my personal time to do whatever I want on my phone.
This usually involves 3 apps:
And usually in that order.
The last thing I do right before I fall asleep is check the people I’m following on Instagram.
Here’s a recent picture I saw in my Instagram night time routine:
That’s right. Sandvik Coromant, the world’s leading manufacturer of cutting tools for the metalworking industry and available in over 130 countries world wide is oftentimes one of the very last things I see right before I drift off to sleep.
They are actively and regularly posting on Instagram, the mobile photo sharing site that Facebook recently bought for $1 billion.
This is worth mentioning because of most manufacturing companies position on social media.
I’ve done a survey on manufacturers use of social media. The vast majority believe that social media has little to no place in the world of manufacturing.
Sandvik Coromant clearly sees things differently
Here is the Sandvik Coromant Facebook page: (just this minute they turned over 1000 Facebook Likes. Congratulations!)
Here is their Twitter account with 1763 followers:
Here is the Sandvik Coromant YouTube channel with 2004 subscribers and 784,922 video views!
Here is their LinkedIn page with 2,667 followers:
And yes, they have a Google Plus page:
The manufacturing world is in a tumultuous time when it comes to social media.
Many companies I talked to about social media were strongly against it.
- Why would anyone want to connect with a manufacturer on social media?
- We are a sales-driven company. Our process is 1 to 1. Social media can’t help us.
- Social media is not going to sell machines for us.
- Social media might influence me to go watch a movie. But it’s not going to influence anyone to buy a machine.
Sandvik Coromant was not the only company I talked to that was heavily into social media. But they were clearly in the minority. (I’ll feature others down the road on other Thursdays.)
The question we have to ask is, Why would Sandvik Coromant make this kind of commitment?
If the majority of manufacturers are so strongly against social media, why would this giant in the industry make such a commitment?
How could it be that they are so off base here?
The answer is: They aren’t.
Imagine the advent of:
- The telephone
- The radio
- The fax machine
- Cable tv
- The internet
- Search engines
Every one of these revolutions had disbelievers. With each of these technologies there were people that got it and there were people that didn’t.
How many people will it take before you think your customers are on Facebook?
They are on Facebook.
Did you know that Facebook now lets you target people by email addresses and phone numbers? SageRock’s Greg Habermann recently did a piece on Facebook Custom Audiences over at Search Engine Watch.
If there is one unifying characteristic in manufacturing companies that are using social media heavily it probably is that they all understand branding.
They know how valuable connecting with people is for their business.
You are reaching them in a wide variety of ways so that when they are ready to buy they are thinking of you.
So many companies I work with are only interested in talking to people who are ready to buy something in the next 6 months.
That is a very small percentage of people you are talking to at any given time. It’s probably around 5-10% of the people you are in contact with.
So 90-95% of people are let go. They aren’t ready to buy so they fall through the cracks.
Social gives you a way to fill those cracks.
It lets you talk to people, tell your story and connect with them emotionally so when they are ready to buy you are the person they think of.
This is slow stuff.
Social media isn’t about converting someone today.
It’s about connecting with people for months and possibly years.
But the cost is almost nothing. And the return is significant.
I write this blog every weekday.
This particular post is being written at 8pm on Wednesday night because I have to drive to an SEO class I’m teaching an hour away that starts at 8am Thursday morning.
It’s crucial to my brand and marketing that I write this blog every single day.
It forms a habit with my readers. They know that something is going to be here for them each and every day.
It furthers our position as leaders in this industry. And it allows us to make connections with people in ways we can’t possibly measure.
But it works.
I know it works because it’s the only marketing we do. Blogging and social media are the only ways we connect with people.
We’d be out of business without this.
Our clients aren’t fancy high gloss consumer-based companies. Most of our clients are conservative b2b companies.
Social media lets you talk to people casually. It lets you brag about the cool things you are doing (like Sandvik taking part in Manufacturing Day). It shows a side of you that people maybe haven’t seen before.
Maybe you interview your engineers. Maybe you video a party you have at the office. Maybe you interview your customer service people or inside sales people.
My father-in-law sold plastic conveyor belts for most of his career. Every few years his company would have a customer appreciation day where all the employees where there. He liked those because he could introduce his customers to his inside sales support people.
Those meetings let them put a face to the voice they had talked to for all those years.
Social media could do that for you.
It’s incredibly powerful. And it’s here to stay.
Please think about ways you can start using social media in your sales and marketing process.