Social media is a powerful way to communicate with customers and even attract potential ones. A business’s solid social media presence is crucial these days and utilizing social platforms effectively is even more important. Facebook is a buzzing hub for personal and professional activity. More than 90 million small businesses use the platform, which has 2.45 billion monthly active users, Facebook reports. Ruby Rusine from Social Success Marketing shares tips for making Facebook work toward individual goals for manufacturers in this week’s #USAMfgHour chat on Twitter.
Taking Care of Business
Each social media platform has its unique opportunities. Facebook is a microcosm that has the power to feed internet algorithms. Starting the chat, Rusine asked the group of U.S. manufacturers to share their Facebook business pages and to share about how much time they spend using Facebook. A few manufacturers also shared their reasons for using the longtime social giant.
“We spend only a little time on Facebook, to be honest,” said DSI/Dynamatic. “It's not where our audience is. We continue to see new likes, just not a lot of engagement. We're considering the option of Facebook advertising as well. We haven't done it yet because our audience isn't on our pages, but maybe that's why. They don't know we're there!”
Cleveland Deburring Machine Company said, “We post approximately once a week.”
“We have a solid following there and interact with a variety of safety professionals in various groups. Same as on LinkedIn,” said Graphic Products.
“We use it daily,” said DuraTech. “We post mostly culture information regarding our team members and DuraTech events.”
“We post once a day-ish on Facebook...not a lot of engagement on FB. Most of our audience is on LinkedIn and Twitter,” said UNEX manufacturing.
“We haven't used a Facebook page in a while, as someone else said it's not really where our target audience is at so far,” said Crescent software. “But as we continue to expand our business I am sure that we will branch out to other forms of social media. When that time comes we will share!”
“We use FB as info about our team and try to keep it more casual friendly. Try to at least,” said SpaceGuard Products.
“Agree with @DynamaticOEM, we don't see a lot of value aside from brand awareness perspective. Our employees interact most with the page,” said Snaptron.
“We may have spent time on our FB page years ago, but now we just use it to post the latest news and content,” said Aviate Creative. “I haven't found FB pages to be very searchable, but I'd love to hear your strategy. Many of our posts share content, events, tips, articles, podcasts, etc. focused on helping manufacturers with their marketing.”
“We spend the least amount of time on Facebook organically but the most time using the Facebook advertising options,” said NJMEP.org. “Engagement is lower on Facebook but the granular targeting options fit our audience well.”
When manufacturers outline their goals, Facebook can be used to network, share content, and more. However, if a manufacturer's Facebook page is not optimized, it’s harder for people to find, and it doesn’t make Google’s radar. How can a manufacturer optimize its business page for Facebook?
“We try to use manufacturing lingo that relates to the picture in the post. We also use hashtags,” said SpaceGuard.
“Until recently, we've been posting haphazardly. As with any search optimization, I'm going to have to start by defining the right keywords,” said Stablz All-Terrain Products. “It'll be challenging as there are many different industries to consider.”
“We use FB to share our events and to interact with professionals who could use our products. We share content that is easy to digest and share. We follow our customers there as well,” said Graphic Products.
“We just do cultural posts-not so much for sales, but maybe there is a way we could,” said DuraTech.
“We work SEO into our post wording as much as we can, keep our business info up to date, and keep our URL customized to our business,” said DSI/Dynamatic.
“A big focus, once we started taking social media seriously, was ensuring our platforms were consistent, and accurately describe our services,” said NJMEP. “Excited to see what other optimization techniques we can uncover!”
Keep Up with Offerings
According to Rusine, it doesn't matter what manufacturers post and how much time is spent on Facebook. If it is a business page only, occasionally, it must be checked to make sure it is shiny for all. Facebook makes changes and updates its platform often, so businesses should try to keep up with its offerings. Here are a few features on Facebook that manufacturers should utilize:
- Location: Add your location so people can see your business page. Yes, even if you are serving beyond local business. Just add the city and state so your page would potentially show up in a Facebook search.
- Page information: Google discovers pages by crawling the web and adds them to its library. It treats Facebook pages as a web page. To potentially appear in Google search, optimize business information in the “About” and “Additional Information” sections.
“Texts here (in the about section) are crawled by search engines to determine who you are, and what you do,” Rusine said. “It’s a great place to tell your audience about you, too. Your audience scans that part.”
Rusine then asked the other manufacturers how they optimize their Facebook page for their specific audience.
"We stick to manufacturing, technology, and industrial topics generally,” said Cleveland Deburring. “Throw in a salesy post now and then about our machines, along with the occasional non-manufacturing related but interesting nonetheless post.”
“A big focus on our Facebook page is to keep content light,” said NJMEP. “When our audience is on Facebook, they're usually home. We avoid being intrusive and instead we want to provide insightful content, curated posts, and really try to educate.”
“Video performs best on our FB page. We are trying to add more and video content,” said Snaptron.
“Content relevance is key. Show them how your product/service directly impacts their lives or livelihoods,” said Stablz.
Rusine then shared the types of post that perform well on Facebook:
- Short, easy to scan posts.
- Mixed media including images, long and short videos, texts, and links. Test ALL. Always be testing because not all of these will work for your company.
To find out if your page is optimized for your audience, check audience engagement, the quality of the audience, and track website visits that come from Facebook. If the business page is not hitting the mark for company goals, try a new strategy, Rusine said. “Make sure your company is easy to reach, contact info is in place, accurate office hours, and use the (Facebook) messenger’s auto-response” to prompt when needed, she said.
“Think about your customer,” Aviate Creative said. “What do they care about? What are their pain points? Where are they located? Who are they? Ask them questions, so you are not just assuming. Then work your profile, posts, and content to center around them moving forward.”
“We are using a lot of advertising on other social media platforms, targeting our marketing persona audience,” said SCTools.
Many manufacturers find benefits in Facebook advertising because it can be cost-effective and target a key core audience. Facebook often has free advertising or ad specials. Several companies said they benefit from those opportunities as well as the social groups features that serve for professional content curation ideas and networking opportunities.
Anyone who champions U.S. manufacturing can join in on a new conversation each week on Twitter using the hashtag #USAMfgHour. The chat starts at 11 a.m. Pacific Standard Time/2 p.m. Eastern. Share positive blog posts, helpful articles, news, important information, accomplishments, events, and more with other manufacturers and supporters from throughout the country.
Are you interested in hosting a #USAMfgHour chat? Contact organizers @CVTPlastics, @DCSCinc, and @SocialSMktg.