social media impact b2b industrial manufacturers’ business development

The internet has changed everything. From the way we communicate to the way we buy things, thus completely transforming our lives.

The same is true for business-to-business companies (B2B), including industrial manufacturers and technology companies, and organizations, since they have been forced to adapt their marketing strategies to survive.

Hence, they can no longer solely rely on previous marketing models.

In this article, I’ll explain how social media benefits industrial manufacturers, and how it impacts your business development.

Traditional industrial B2B marketing channels

Industrial manufacturers have traditionally relied on traditional methods of marketing activities to get their products into the hands of potential customers. These include:

  • Direct mail
  • Trade shows
  • Advertising
  • Print ads

However, these methods are becoming less effective than ever before.

B2B customers are increasingly turning away from traditional marketing methods and toward social media communications.

Buyers in all industries are using digital content to make their purchasing decisions, and B2B is no different.

An overwhelming majority (89%) of B2B researchers use the internet in their research process and they conduct 12 searches prior to engaging on a specific brand’s site.

The reason is simple.

As the world of marketing continues to evolve, so do the channels through which businesses reach their target audiences.

While traditional marketing channels, such as print and television advertising, require a significant amount of time and money to get started, they provide little to no ongoing value.

In contrast, newer channels such as content marketing and social media marketing offer a more cost-effective and sustainable way to reach and engage with your target audience.

For example, direct mail costs a fortune upfront, but once the campaign is over, there’s no way to track whether it actually reached its intended audience.

With social media marketing, however, you can easily measure your results and see which campaigns were successful.

social media strategy implementation
Social media management for B2B

The rise of social media

The rise of social networks has been nothing short of revolutionary, as you already know.

Social media marketing is now the most effective form of digital advertising.

And while it is no secret, social media sites are changing the face of businesses, it’s still up to the businesses themselves to make the most of the opportunities available. Would you agree?

As per the latest statistics provided by Nielsen, “the average American spends about eight hours a day using some kind of technology.”

That’s a staggering amount of time!

If you consider the fact that almost half of those users are millennials (people between 18 and 34 years old), then you realize just how much time they spend online.

With so many people spending so much time online, it makes sense that they would turn to social media sites to connect with others.

According to Pew Research, over eight out of ten Americans use social media daily.

This means that if you want to be seen by your target market, you need to be present where your audience hangs out.

So, what does this mean for industrial manufacturers?

It means that you should invest in social media marketing.

Why?

Because social media is one of the best ways to reach your target market.

How Important is social media to the B2B Industrial Manufacturing Industry?

With more than half of all U.S. consumers using it to research products and services before making a purchase decision, this means that if you want to be able to reach your potential buyers, you need to make sure that you’re on top of the game.

Social media marketing is one of the best ways to do this.

Here are three reasons why B2B manufacturing companies use it.

Reason #1: Social media marketing is the new frontier of business development

If you want to sell anything at all, then the use of social media platforms is an absolute necessity.

In fact, according to HubSpot, 85% of marketers use social media marketing to promote their brands.

Studies on the B2B buyer say that 82% of buyers stated that social media content has a significant impact on the purchase decision (Ancillai et al. 2019; Minsky and Quesenberry 2016).

So, what does this mean?

Social media marketing can help you reach out to millions of potential customers. It is an excellent way to promote your product or service.

It allows you to build lasting relationships with your customers for your customer service efforts, establish yourself as an authority in your industry, and generate leads for future sales.

But more importantly, it helps you connect with your existing buyers and potential buyers at precisely the right moment.

Utilizing the social media marketing platforms can build customer loyalty, improve customer satisfaction, and establish stronger customer relationships, making it one effective marketing strategy in the present times.

Reason #2: Social media as a powerful business development tool for industrial manufacturers

According to a study by HubSpot, “Social media has upended traditional marketing tactics, and today’s best-performing campaigns rely on more than just email blasts and print ads.”

The same study found that nearly 80% of companies surveyed said that social media was essential to their overall marketing strategies.

Industrial manufacturing companies need to take advantage of these trends and leverage social media marketing to grow their businesses.

Reason #3: Social media brings with it better advantages than traditional marketing for the B2B industrial manufacturer 

As mentioned above, social media marketing provides several benefits that traditional marketing channels cannot offer. Here are some of them:

  • Real-Time Results
  • Low Costs
  • Targeted Audience
  • Easy Measurement
  • Ongoing Value

Let’s look at each one of these points in more detail.

Real-Time Results

One of the biggest advantages of social media tools is that it allows you to see immediate results.

This means that you will know immediately if your social media plan is working or not.

You won’t need to wait weeks or months to find out what happened with your campaign.

With traditional marketing, you may spend thousands of dollars on an advertising campaign only to find out that nobody saw it.

On the other hand, with social media marketing, you can always check how many people clicked on your link, signed up or read your ad.

If you notice your numbers aren’t high enough, then you can adjust your social media plan accordingly.

Low Costs

Another major benefit of social media marketing is the fact that it requires little effort and investment.

Traditional marketing channels, such as print ads and trade shows, require large amounts of money upfront.

On the other hand, social media marketing can promote a product or service inexpensively.

Targeted Audience

Unlike traditional marketing methods, social media marketing targets specific audiences.

Your goal should be to target the audience that is most likely to buy from you.

With social media, you can easily identify who your ideal buyer is and make sure they get the message.

For instance, if you want to promote your product to small businesses, then you should focus on social networks such as LinkedIn.

In addition, if you sell products for B2B prospective buyers whose audiences are on Pinterest, then you should try to get on sites such as Pinterest.

Ongoing Value

The last point we would like to mention is that social media marketing has long-term value. 

Think of the results of social media efforts as an equity that grows. The more you invest in it, the greater your return (ROI) will be.

Over time, as you continue to produce quality content and engage with your audience, you will see your social media following grow.

This increased following can then be leveraged to achieve your business goals, whether that is generating leads, boosting sales, or growing your brand awareness.

So, if you are patient and strategic with your social media marketing, you will be rewarded with long-term success.

At this point, you are probably asking this…

Which social media platform is best for B2B industrial manufacturers?

There are a plethora of social media platforms. Presently, there are 120+ social channels.

But must your B2B industrial company be in all of them? The answer is no. In fact, you probably only need 2 or 3.

That’s right.

You don’t need to be on every single social media site if you want to market yourself effectively.

When marketing your B2B company, it is unnecessary to have a presence on every social media site.

It is more important to focus on the social media platforms where your industry’s buyers are most active and to employ an effective social media strategy that will work for you.

Every industry’s choice of social media platforms depends on your unique goals, the target audience, and the products or services being marketed.

Here are three popular social media platforms that B2B industrial manufacturers should consider:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

Now, let’s look at each one of those platforms individually.

First, Facebook.

Facebook is by far the largest social network.

According to Statista, Facebook had 2.9 billion monthly active users in April 2022. That means that almost everyone who uses the internet has an account on this platform. In other words, there is a huge potential customer base out there. And this is especially true for B2B industrial companies.

Why do B2B industrial companies use Facebook?

B2B industrial companies use Facebook for several reasons.

  • First, Facebook is used by almost everyone. Most of the people that you meet on the professional networking site, LinkedIn, are most likely on Facebook connecting with their friends and family. That means that there is an audience out there who is interested in your industry.
  • Second, Facebook allows you to easily communicate with your current and potential customers.
  • Third, Facebook offers great analytics capabilities. This gives you insight into what works and what doesn’t work on Facebook.
  • Fourth, Facebook helps you build strong connections with other businesses.
  • Finally, Facebook offers a wide range of advertising options. This includes paid ads, sponsored posts, and promoted posts.

All of these can help B2B companies help you get the word out about your products and services.

B2B customers found on Facebook are often already interested in buying from you.

Next up, we have Twitter.

According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, around 1 in 5 U.S. adults are active on Twitter and it has remained consistent over the years.1

“Among U.S. adults who use Twitter, the top 25% of users by tweet volume produce 97% of all tweets, while the bottom 75% of users produce just 3%, according to an analysis conducted over a three-month period in 2021.”

The Pew Research Center2

Think about that opportunity if awareness and thought leadership are in your business goals.

Like Facebook, Twitter also provides an excellent opportunity for a B2B Industrial manufacturer to connect with its target audience.

B2B companies use twitter for many reasons.

Why do B2B industrial companies use Twitter?

Because Twitter is a very effective way to stay connected with the target audience.

Besides helping them promote their own brands, companies use Twitter to find new clients, gain exposure, and grow their networks.

Some examples include:

  • Promoting a new product launch
  • Getting feedback from customers
  • Finding influencers within their industry
  • Gaining attention for a specific event
  • Engaging with followers

You can post quick messages (called Tweets) that contain links to articles, videos, images, and webpages.

These Tweets allow you to share information quickly and efficiently, improving your customer relationship performance.

And, because these Tweets are so easy to send, you can easily keep in touch with your audience.

Finally, we have LinkedIn.

65+ million business decision makers are on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is one of the largest professional networking sites in the world.

It’s estimated that 65+ million business decision makers use LinkedIn.

That means that if you’re looking to reach over 1/3rd of all professionals, then LinkedIn is where you need to be.

What does LinkedIn offer to B2B industrial companies?

LinkedIn is a great way for B2B industrial manufacturers to connect with their existing customers, as well as potential ones.

For example, if you sell a certain type of machine, you may want to connect with all the engineers who work for the company that manufactures that machine.

Or, if you’re looking to hire someone, you might want to connect with the top salespeople at the company.

more than 65 million decision makers are on LinkedIn

In addition, LinkedIn has a feature called Groups. These groups are like clubs where members can discuss topics related to their industry.

When you join a group, you’ll be able to see discussions going on there.

So, if you’re interested in learning more about a particular topic, you can read through the discussions and ask questions.

Lastly, LinkedIn also offers B2B companies analytics that can help you track your performance and growth.

By understanding how your content is performing and which topics are resonating with your audience, your B2B company can fine-tune your strategy and ensure that you’re creating the most impactful and engaging content possible so B2B companies can see the ROI of their investment on the platform.

Facebook vs. Twitter vs. LinkedIn: Which one should your industrial B2B company use?

So far, we’ve looked at three different social media platforms that B2B industrial companies can use to market themselves.

But which one should you choose?

When deciding which social media platform to use for your B2B industrial company, it is important to consider what each platform has to offer, platforms your demographics use, your resources (read: includes $$$) and your goal.

These social networking platforms – Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn – all have their own unique advantages that can be leveraged to reach your target audience.

Here are some examples of how you could use it:

  • Twitter if you want to grow engagement, then Twitter is worth considering. The platform is also useful for conducting market research and monitoring competitor activity. 
  • Facebook if you want to increase brand awareness, then Facebook is probably the best option. And this is the single platform that I often recommend to businesses with a limited budget. Why? Its almost 3 billion users is a no-brainer. It’s a great platform for reaching many people. And according to a datareportal/Hootsuite survey, it’s the next platform LinkedIn users are on.
  • And finally, LinkedIn if you want to expand your relevant B2B professional social network, then LinkedIn is definitely the best option.

If you need a hand in deciding however, you can read the final section. 


“It is more important to focus on the social media platforms where your industry’s buyers are most active and to employ an effective social media strategy that will work for you.”


Impactful social media marketing packages for industrial B2B manufacturing companies

As we enter uncertain economic times, it’s more important than ever for industrial manufacturers to have a solid handle on their company’s marketing budget.

When done correctly, social media marketing can be a powerful asset for any industrial manufacturer. By incorporating social media into your digital marketing strategy, you can reach a wider audience more efficiently and effectively.

Social Success Marketing can help you get the results you want while making the most of your marketing dollars. We know what works and how to make sure your marketing dollars go further.

So, get in touch with us today to learn how we can help you grow your industrial manufacturing company online using excellent and effective social media strategy.

References:

  1. The Pew Research Center. 2022. “10 facts about Americans and Twitter.” Accessed October 14, 2022. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2022/05/05/10-facts-about-americans-and-twitter/
  2. Ibid.

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