At first glance, Social Media and Industrial Manufacturers might sound like two completely distant worlds; but in nowadays marketing strategies you would be surprised at how many advantages one can have for being online on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
Not only Social Media are currently one of the most popular and inexpensive ways to directly get in touch with your customers; but they also provide a lot of benefits by practicing what is called “Social Media Listening”. It is by actually listening and survey your platforms that you can receive unfiltered and honest feedback from people you want to connect with; it also allows the company to understand what their target audience cares and wants to talk about. By simply being online where their clients are, any company can be part of the web conversation, without necessarily having to be the center of it.
But what about the Industrial Components companies? Is it relevant for them to be online on Social Media?
We at SourceMe have analyzed a sample of 40 of the most relevant companies in the industrial manufacturing sector, and we are here to share our interesting findings with you.
First, let’s start off with some numbers: from SourceMe analysis, it resulted that out of 40 companies, all of them are to be found on the Linkedin platform. Since Linkedin is therefore considered a very important communication medium in the industrial sector (being a B2B field after all), we decided to focus our research on other Social Media apps like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.
It resulted that a vast majority of our sample was online in some shape of form on Social Media, to be more precise:
Around 65% of the companies are to be found on at least one of the Social Media apps analyzed;
Only the remaining 35% did not have any of these social media profiles.
This founding should already answer this first question: should my industrial company be on Social Media? The answer, as resulted from our data, is: yes! If 65% of your competitors are online (a number that with a constant digitalization of services is only destined to grow), you should be too. It is an occasion to offer an extra service to your clients, know what people are talking about online in the industrial sector and to be present when your customers are looking out for you.
We then pushed our analysis even further, and we broke down the online presence of these companies for each different Social Media platform: the results were very interesting, and a great indicator of what platforms are the most popular for industrial components.
In order of popularity the Social Media platforms most used by industrial manufacturers are:
Facebook (21 out of 40);
YouTube (19 out of 40);
Twitter (14 out of 40);
Instagram (8 out of 40).
At the top of the list, where almost all of the companies found on SoMe have a profile, is Facebook. This should not be unexpected, because company pages on the said platform are still very popular, and a great way to share announcements, company and industry news in an immediate and effective way. Another great plus from Facebook is represented by their paid advertising tools, which allow you to pick the targeted audience with great precision and, as a consequence, showcases your ads only to relevant and potential customers.
It may come as a surprise to some that the second most popular Social Media for industrial manufactures is YouTube, the famous video-sharing platform. With an outstanding number of videos shared and watched per day, it is however a known fact that the majority of their users (86% in US according to https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/marketing-strategies/video/youtube-learning-statistics/) utilizes YouTube to learn new skills and watch tutorials.
You will find that industrial manufacturing has picked up on this, offering insightful tutorials about their components, their functioning and how to best utilize them.
The third most popular Social Media has proved to be Twitter. With another high engagement factor between clients and companies, the industrial sector has found a niche in this short and concise communication tool, also useful to share links of other online contents or relevant information.
A little behind compared to the other platforms, is found Instagram; perhaps with a reason since this Social Media is mostly used to share beautiful pictures and images, a tool that might be a little harder to associate with technical components and mechanisms.
We have shown you so far that many industrial companies are on Social Media, but are their efforts successful? In other words; how many users and prospective clients could a company hypothetically reach on these different platforms?
Of course, the results vary greatly depending on the energies invested in said apps; but it is possible to reach thousands of users. We are now going to share a few of the most popular companies' profiles that we found online, as an inspiration and lesson of what a successful Social Media profile should look like in the manufacturing industry.
IFM Group (https://www.ifm.com/), leader in the world of automation technology, is a great example of Social Media for industrial manufacturing: they have different profiles with few thousands of followers each, and their YouTube channel has almost reached 9.600 subscribers, a considerably high number for this sector. With around hundreds “how to” video tutorials related to their products, this is a brilliant example of how learning videos can help grow your name and brand online.
Another successful example comes from SICK (https://cdn.sick.com/de/en/) with another great Social Media presence on all platforms, and a staggering 14.800 followers on Facebook alone. Also impressive are their results on Instagram, which we mentioned before as a difficult platform for showcasing industrial images, but where they managed to reach nevertheless more than 3.000 followers.
Last but not least, another inspiring case study from Honeywell (https://sps.honeywell.com/us/en), with very successful profiles on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. Particularly with a following on Twitter of 58.900 followers, a must-see if you’re looking for inspiration about what to tweet daily.
Having analyzed many Social Media accounts in the industrial manufacturing business, we at SourceMe are very satisfied with our findings.
We believe that there are many misconceptions about the success and importance of digital platforms within a field as old as industrial suppliers. However, it is important to look at the future and be open about digitalization, even in something like Social Media that might sound very far away from this field.
We hope that our research will also help other component companies in better understanding Social Media content for machines industries and how to plan their online presence.
We at SourceMe thank all of our readers for their time and we wait for you on our Social Media profiles to join the conversation!
Article by Eleonora Cugurullo