Manufacturers: Is your social media participation developing new business leads?

By John Sonnhalter, Rainmaker Journeyman, Sonnhalter

If not, it’s important to know WHY.

Most manufacturers finally got on board with social media back in 2010. They created their company blog, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram accounts and jumped in.

70% of marketers reported that social media marketing delivers poor or average return on investment.

Many manufacturers thought that by merely having a social media presence, it would give them social media credibility. But they’re learning it takes more than a social media presence to produce new business opportunities.

I recently saw a post from my mentor on the social media scene, Michael Gass. Here are some things you need to review and possibly revisit your social media strategy and implementation:

Here are 11 reasons why social media doesn’t lead to new business:

  1. No clear objective.  Lots of manufacturers go about social strategy backwards by first concentrating on the tools and technologies instead of focusing on what they want to achieve. Your purpose should dictate strategy and the tactics used for reaching desired goals from a new business perspective.
  2. No focus on a particular target audience. The second step in creating a social media strategy is to identify your audience. Community development has to come before business development and is key to a successful social media strategy.
  3. Lack of positioning. I’ve often said the foundation of a manufacturer’s new business program is its positioning. Most companies don’t have a differentiated positioning from their competitors. That’s why new business is so hard. I’ve found that social media actually makes it easier to resolve the problem with positioning.
  4. Blatant self-promotion. Credentials and capabilities belong on your website, which is your online brochure. Your website is all about you. But the driving force of a social media program is built from a focus that creates benefits for prospects.
  5. No integration. When the majority of companies finally “jumped in to” social media, they just jumped with a check list of channels. But there was no convergence, bringing them together into a single social media strategy.
  6. Waiting passively for prospective clients to come to you. Building it doesn’t guarantee that prospects are going to come. You must have clear Calls-to-Action, initial steps that you’d like a prospective client to take.
  7.  Lacking appreciation for those who are willing to be ambassadors. Zig Ziglar’s statement, “You can have everything in life that you want if you just give enough other people what they want.” His philosophy works well in the arena of social media.
  8. Lacking value/benefit for the intended audienceYour audience will be your judge and jury as to whether you have an appealing position, post titles that spur interest and provide content that is beneficial to them.
  9. No SEO strategy. According to Marketing Sherpa, 80-90% of business to business transactions begin with a search on the web. Having SEO strategy in place helps you be found in that search.
  10. Your social media ship has no rudder. Empower the person charged with your social media to keep your efforts focused and directed.
  11. Not enhancing social media for offline events. Social media transformed offline events. You can easily maximize your offline networking through your online connections with prospective customers. Your involvement with blogging, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn can change your whole experience.

Is your company generating new business through social media? If not, you should review your social media strategy and refocus your efforts.

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