Industrial manufacturing personas work in companies that manufacture products through machinery and tools such as electric motor, ships, air crafts, railroad cars, construction equipment and other similar items.
The global industrial sector is huge and contains trillions of dollars’ worth of infrastructure and machinery, carrying a substantial amount of economic activity.
To reach these B2B customers effectively with your social media content marketing efforts, you need to first understand their personas, who they are, what they care about, and how to reach them.
In this post, we will explore the different buyer personas that exist within the industrial manufacturing sector, how they use social media, and how you can reach these customers through social media marketing strategy.
Industrial Manufacturing Personas in The Social Media World
There are many types of industrial manufacturing personas using social media that you might target depending on your industry.
To reach this group via social media, first we need to understand their personas, which include:
- Industrial engineers
- Manufacturing managers
- Supply chain managers
- and so many more!
Connecting with your B2B industrial customers on social media in different buying journey stages is an excellent idea, but it must be done the right way – and with the right marketing tools.
The persona approach to marketing and branding can be a powerful tool for any brand looking to reach their audience effectively. With a buyer persona, you’re able to really get to know your customer, understand their needs, and create content that truly resonates.
It’s no surprise that brands are now applying this technique for industries and sectors they’re serving. Whether you’re serving the manufacturing sector specifically or not, having personas can help you get a better understanding of your customers and make it easier to approach them.
The social media strategy you choose will depend on which of this persona makes up most audience.
Persona #1: The Project Manager
This persona–described as “busy, high-functioning adults”–plans, coordinates and manages a variety of projects. They often need manufacturers to provide transparency on the fabrication process, from design to delivery.
With manufacturing, their chief concerns are ensuring high-quality deliverables and getting products on time. You can set yourself apart by providing helpful insights and stories related to projects you’ve worked on in the past.
They want to see how their project fits into the bigger picture, and they expect manufacturers to communicate with them about timelines, budgets, and other important information.
How can you use social media to reach the project manager persona?
Social media is a great place to start if you’re trying to reach this group. You can share videos, images, and even links to relevant articles. These are contents that address the common customer pain points of your ideal customer in the B2B buyer journey map.
Get into their news feeds of this prospective customers with content around projects, getting things done, and high-quality deliverables. You can use this content to spark a conversation by asking a question or providing a relevant story for a project manager.
You can also use social media to ask questions directly to your potential customers. For example, you might post something like, “We’d love to hear what you think about our new product line. What do you think we should change?”
Also, use social media as an opportunity to give away free samples. If you’re offering a sample of your product, you can include a link to your website as an inbound marketing strategy so people can learn more about your company.
Persona #2: Specialty Manufacturing Owner
This persona owns and manages a small to medium manufacturing company that specializes in a product or group of products. They are very hands-on, and their businesses are mostly family run.
Specialty manufacturing owners are highly strategic and innovative, seeing new opportunities for their business. They use modern technologies and run fluid operations with skilled workers and limited automation.
These owners have a strong sense of pride in their work, and they value quality over quantity. They may experiment with new processes, but they don’t want to waste money on unnecessary expenses.
How can you use social media to reach the specialty manufacturing owner persona?
If you’re targeting specialty manufacturers, you’ll likely find that they already have a solid online presence. They are likely involved in industry-related discussions. They’re using social media to connect with peers, promote their brand, and stay connected with their community.
If you’re looking to target this type of manufacturer, you can focus on sharing industry news and updates. This way, you can show them you understand their needs and challenges.
You can also offer tips and tricks for running a successful business.
Share case studies and success stories that relate to your niche. These stories will help you stand out among competitors who aren’t focused on these types of issues.
Persona #3: The Supply Chain Manager
The supply chain manager manages all aspects of the production process, including sourcing raw materials, purchasing equipment, scheduling orders, and shipping goods.
This manufacturing persona oversees the entire operation, ensuring that everything runs smoothly. They are often the first person to notice problems or delays, and they take it upon themselves to fix any issues before they become too big.
The supply chain manager is always thinking ahead, planning for future growth, and making sure that everyone has access to information.
This customer persona is usually very detail oriented and prefers to keep things simple. They are good at delegating tasks, and they enjoy working closely with other team members.
This customer persona is located across the world, but they are most found in large cities where much of the manufacturing takes place.
How can you use social media to reach the supply chain manager persona?
This customer persona is very cautious with new technology. They may be skeptical about a brand introducing new technology that might affect their work. While social media is not a primary communication channel for this customer persona, they may use social media to receive industry news and to get a feel for a brand’s reputation.
While this customer persona is highly engaged with teams and their day-to-day work, they aren’t highly engaged with brands. It is challenging to build a relationship with them.
One way to build trust, however, is by being transparent and engaging in relevant industry news.
Persona #4 The Design Engineer
This persona specializes in the design and manufacturer of parts and products for the company they work for. They strive to create the most efficient and effective designs possible for their company, and their work is central to a manufacturer’s success.
Engineers are described as “flexible, high-functioning adults with an analytic mindset” who solve complex problems. They are constantly learning and are very curious, so they seek information from various sources. They can be very precise in their language, so it’s important to pay close attention to language and copy when messaging them.
Engineers vary in their area of expertise, but they all play a crucial role in coming up with solutions to solve a problem. Their recommendations and designs must be validated through testing before they can be implemented. They constantly weigh their options and will critique products and solutions with an eye toward improving them.
How can you use social media to reach the manufacturing engineering personas?
Their career trajectory, and often their salary, largely depends on their problem-solving ability and their ability to deliver quality designs and reviews. You can set yourself apart by demonstrating how your solutions improved a difficult situation or addressed a longstanding problem.
So, the content that will help this persona the most is practical how-to guides and educational material about the manufacturing process. They want to learn everything they can about the topics that interest them the most, so don’t be afraid to get a little educational and provide some substance to your social media channels.
This persona group uses LinkedIn heavily, so make sure that your company’s presence on this platform is impressive. If you’re already driving traffic and sales from this platform, great — but make sure that your branding and visuals are on point before you hail your success.
If you are on Twitter, use Twitter to post short story blasts of your most successful project engineering stories.
Focus on providing useful information for this persona and the engineers they work with. Another social media platform they’ll love is YouTube, so post helpful how-to videos or content that can enrich the stories you’re sharing on social with a focus on engineering and manufacturing.
Part of your social media campaign plan should be to prove the value of your products, solutions, and services by demonstrating how they improve on existing manufacturing equipment, parts, or services.
The engineering persona loves technical content on social media, so be careful not to post too many visuals as they can distract from the technical information these engineers are looking for. If you have powerful branding visuals that also align with the technical content, post them too.
Persona #5: Factory Floor Manager
This persona–described as “central operational leaders”–makes sure the manufacturing facility is running smoothly. They make sure the day-to-day operations run efficiently, and they must balance production with budgetary constraints. The factory floor manager persona uses social media as a tool to improve their customer service and communication while on the factory floor. They’re also looking for ways to improve productivity and reduce costs.
How can you social media to reach the factory floor manager persona?
Speak to the factory floor manager persona by focusing on safety, efficiency, and cost-saving initiatives.
The factory floor manager persona runs a manufacturing company’s production process. They make critical decisions every day that affect the company’s bottom line and the quality of products produced.
As a result, you can flood social media channels with content about quality, efficiency, and cost-saving initiatives.
For example, content surrounding Six Sigma and other quality-control initiatives can be useful for this persona, as they’re highly concerned with producing the highest-quality products. They may also be interested in process automation and robotics, so share content surrounding that as well.
For software applications, the factory floor manager might benefit from seeing how certain tools can save them time and make their jobs easier. For that reason, include content about software as well.
Persona #6: Production Manager
This persona oversees the assembly, fabrication, and/or manufacturing of their organization’s products. They seek new ways to increase efficiency while maintaining quality.
The production manager coordinates and supervising the production process at different manufacturing facilities. They are often in charge of scheduling equipment and deciding how many workers to deploy on a shift.
Ask this persona what their biggest challenges are, and they’ll tell you it is meeting deadlines while keeping costs down. They’re constantly looking for new ways to improve quality and cut costs to make sure their company can remain competitive in their marketplace.
How can you use social media to reach the production manager persona?
The production manager persona is likely to browse social media for content that can help them improve quality and cut costs.
They’re also interested in innovative ways to assemble/fabricate and manufacture their organization’s products, so share content that highlights such initiatives.
When posting about cost savings, be sure to post supporting visuals, such as screenshots or pictures from industry standard pricing websites, to further drive the point home.
Should you meet this persona in person, they’ll want to know how any information or content you provide can help their day-to-day operations. So, ask them what their biggest challenges are and how you can help solve them.
You could also offer to do a gap analysis between your product/service and their industry to show how you can help them.
Persona #7: Manufacturing Maintenance Manager
This persona – described as “highly specialized technicians” – maintains the machinery and equipment at different manufacturing facilities.
They are the ones who keep everything running smoothly and efficiently. Without them, the complete production process would grind to a halt.
Highly specialized technicians are highly skilled individuals who have a deep understanding of how machines work. They can troubleshoot problems and fix them quickly. Highly specialized technicians are an essential part of any manufacturing facility.
If you’re looking to build a lasting relationship with this persona, ask how your product or service could make their job easier or less stressful.
How can you use social media to reach the manufacturing maintenance manager persona?
You could also host live chat sessions with this persona to make it easier for them to get the help they need when they’re out in the field.
Also consider offering them additional training or certifications related to your industry if they’re interested – and post that on social media.
Persona #8: Product Developer
This persona works for a manufacturer that specializes in developing new products to sell to consumers. Their work is crucial to the future of the company, and they spend most of their time ideating and sketching new product concepts.
As manufacturing processes have streamlined and become more automated, the role of the product development teams has become increasingly important. This buyer persona is highly skilled at taking a concept and turning it into a commercially viable product that can be manufactured and sold.
How can you to use social media to reach the product developer persona?
This persona spends a lot of their time in the design world, so posting about industry-related design trends and tips could be beneficial. However, since they spend most of their time designing new products, posting images and videos of cool industrial products could engage as well. Last, since this persona works at a company that develops new products, they may be interested in posts about the latest trends in industrial product development.
Your goal here is to create content that helps them be creative and to come up with innovative ways to improve their business. If you’re not sure where to start, try asking them about their biggest struggles or obstacles they face daily. Then see if there’s anything you can do to help them overcome those challenges. Then turn those buyer customer pain points into a content that speaks to them and other potential buyers.
Persona #9: Procurement Persona Manager
As the name suggests, this group is composed of procurement managers, specialists, and buyers.
These are interested in buying your product or services. They are the real buyer of the buyer journey stages whose decision reflects what the other buyer personas know and need.
They may be your potential customers – or a current customer.
These people will look at your industrial company through the lens of how it can benefit their company.
This persona group is highly valuable to companies in the customer journey maps as they will invest time and money into finding the right product or service in the purchase process. Because of their expertise and involvement in purchase decision, this persona is highly knowledgeable about products and can act as a valuable resource for companies, if engaged properly. This set of customers is expert shoppers!
How can you to use social media to reach the manufacturing procurement persona?
Procurement persona manager is typically engaged through email, as well as through social media. Email is a fast and effective way to reach this group and provide them with information or offers that will help them run their department more efficiently.
If you’re looking to reach this customer persona via social media, make sure you do not come across as overly promotional or pushy; instead, focus on sharing educational content or any informative content, such as blog posts or helpful links, to engage this customer group.
Posts should aim to engage and educate rather than simply selling a product. If you can break down complex topics or introduce new concepts, that can be helpful. For example, a post can provide links to additional content on your website so the reader can learn more about the topic.
Set yourself apart from this buyer persona by sharing content that showcases your high-quality materials, parts, and equipment in a way that solves your customer’s procurement challenges in an innovatively.
Sharing case studies, white paper, or personal stories where products or services provided great results could also be highly engaging.
Persona #10 Manufacturing IT
The final persona group within the industrial manufacturing realm is that of the manufacturing IT professional. This group gets to see firsthand how all the parts of a factory, warehouse, or office work together to create better work processes and more efficient operations.
The IT persona specializes in the hardware side of manufacturing, including robotics, machinery, and other equipment. They maintain the computers and networks that control this equipment.
They may be less likely to purchase directly, but they most likely would recommend to the buyer what to purchase.
In fact, they are often involved in the consideration stage during the discovery phase.
They are the ones that analyze the [hardware] product in depth and their recommendations can sway the outcome of the decision stage in the buyer’s journey.
How can you use social media to reach the manufacturing IT persona?
Social media is also a great place to find helpful blogs and websites that this buyer persona follows to keep up with the latest news in robotics, machinery, and equipment.
So, a good way to build a long-lasting relationship with this customer persona is to let them know about any updates or changes in technology that could affect the manufacturing process.
Not just through email, but also on social media. This could include new software or updates to existing software that enable better control over manufacturing processes.
Since this buyer persona group is highly adept at various tech topics and devices, they can be difficult to impress.
Any piece of content you post should aim to teach, inspire, or educate rather than simply showing off a product. Videos, snippets of product demos, and infographics that showcase IT solutions or products in action could be highly engaging.
As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” I can say the same for videos and infographics.
For posts on social media, these types of content can be far more engaging than simply showing off a product. Use it to teach, inspire, or educate viewers, rather than just trying to sell your customers something.
Take, for example, a video that showcases a new IT solution in action. This can be far more effective than simply listing the features and benefits of the product for this type of customer.
Or you can use an infographic that breaks down a complex topic in an easy-to-understand way. These types of content can really capture your customer’s attention and get them interested in what you offer.
Why use social media to reach industrial manufacturing personas?
Your audience is using social media. Social media for business is no longer optional. It’s mandatory. There are many reasons social media can be an effective tool to reach industrial manufacturing personas.
- First, social media provides a way to connect with many people quickly and easily. This is important because it allows you to reach a wide audience with your message.
- Next, social media allows you to target your message to specific groups of customers. This is important because it allows you to tailor your message to the specific needs and interests of a buyer persona.
- Finally, social media provides a way to build relationships with your buyer persona. This is important because it allows you to establish trust and credibility with your audience.
Using social media marketing to connect with industrial manufacturing personas
As you can see, there is a wide range of buyer personas within the industrial manufacturing sector in different customer phases of the customer journey maps.
Thus, it is essential for industrial companies to tailor the marketing plan to this group of customer’s wide range of interests.
Using the persona marketing model as a guide, consider how your social media content can help provide valuable resources or solutions to your ideal customer in the industrial manufacturing sector. This will help ensure your social media marketing efforts are directed toward building real, meaningful relationships with customers and potential customers.
With these tips in mind, you will be able to effectively gear your marketing efforts to your ideal customer and meet them at different customer touchpoints.
Keep in mind that it may take some trial and error in your marketing efforts to find what social media platform works best, or what type of content your ideal customer prefers from the awareness stage to the buying stage
Our social media marketing team can help you with that. We partner with small to medium industrial manufacturing companies by providing marketing outputs that are relevant to the B2B customers or the buyer persona that industrial companies you want to reach.
So, if you need a third-party social media marketing consultancy company to help get the story of your product or service in front of your industrial marketing customers using LinkedIn and other social media platforms, let’s talk!
let’s work great together