When it comes to social media, distribution and manufacturing companies don’t generally lead the charge. For businesses in this industry, face to face events and networking are the preferred marketing methods, and it can be hard to see how social media can fit into their overall marketing plan.
Of those distribution and manufacturing companies who have taken the social media plunge, their involvement tends to be passive rather than active, with 60% reading content and 30% participating in discussions – but only 7% starting a conversation. Is it time for the industry to make a change?
How Social Media Can Benefit Distribution Manufacturing
Social media offers huge benefits to B2B businesses such as distribution and manufacturing. Social media is a relatively low cost way for businesses to build a connection with their customers and raise awareness of what they do. These two things combined equals a better bottom line and a more secure future.
Social media doesn’t have to be a drain on a business’ resources. Businesses can use marketing automation to make it easy to queue posts, and even nurture better leads. In fact, statistics show that 68% of the highest performing B2B companies make use of lead scoring to reach the ideal customers for their products and services.
Social media helps businesses to find the right customers, and let those customers know what they can do for them.
B2B Customers Are On Social Media
There’s no doubt that customers are out there on social media looking for manufacturing and distribution services. Research by machine tool specialists Mazak shows that 74% of technical professionals in the industrial sector are on LinkedIn, while 61% are active on Facebook.
Not only are plenty of B2B customers on social media, but they’re specifically looking for manufacturing related content: 69% of them follow manufacturing companies, while 47% are on the lookout for product or industry news.
The Importance of Focusing On Benefits
To really get social media working for them, manufacturing and distribution businesses need to focus on the benefits they offer their customers.
Talking about quality and good service are all very well, but customers rightly expect those as standard. Instead, manufacturers and distributors need to build their social media campaigns around the specific benefits they offer their customers.
Social posts and campaigns should give customers a clear idea of how each distributor’s and manufacturer’s offerings will fit into their own end products. Social media represents an opportunity for manufacturers and distributors to show their value in practical, tangible terms.
Building A Connection With Customers
Social media provides a meeting place where B2B businesses can form strong connections with their customers. A good connection means building a relationship based on:
- Trust – the customer knows the business can be relied upon
- Understanding – the customer knows that the business understands their needs and concerns
- Information – the customer is well informed as to why the business is the best choice
- Ongoing connection – the customer is regularly reminded of the business and the benefits they offer
Studies show that brands who connect with buyers on an emotional level see up to twice the impact of those who focus only on functional value. In addition, the brands with the strongest customer connections can pull in 31% more revenue than other businesses in their class. Social media is the ideal tool for building those all important connections.
Businesses in the distribution and manufacturing industries will find that social media has a great deal to offer them in terms of customer connections and, ultimately, a more loyal customer base and increased revenue. Social media gives B2B businesses a vehicle for finding customers who are looking for what they offer, and a way to reach out to those customers.
What’s your biggest struggle in B2B social media marketing? Tweet us @AwarenessInc!