Archive for October, 2014
Social Media and Manufacturing
When we finally made the decision to go all-in with social media for Kryton Engineered Metals I’ll admit I was very skeptical at first. Collectively, we weren’t sure if outreach on social media platforms would provide any real benefits to a company like ours in the manufacturing industry, and we were fully prepared to brush these potential efforts off as a waste of time.
However, we ended up hiring & working with a marketing firm in our area to coordinate these efforts, and in a short amount of time, the results have been outstanding. Despite not knowing the direct, concrete benefits of our online connections, we can see our company’s reach expanding and our online audience growing daily. In just 3 months, we’ve seen our Twitter followers grow by more than 250, our Google+ company page views increase by more than 10,000, and our LinkedIn followers increase by 33%!
As mentioned before, there’s no way of knowing the financial benefits that are directly derived from this type of marketing, and I think that idea is where most of my skepticism came from. As an owner, it’s important to know that what you are doing is producing some desired results on the other end. It’s like that in manufacturing a product, and it’s certainly like that in a business management process.
Fast forward 3 short months, the data and feedback we received made the major difference in my understanding and appreciation of social media marketing within the manufacturing industry.
For example, we established a Twitter profile for Kryton in April 2014, but left it relatively stagnant. Occasional posts were made to the page, but no real efforts were made. As a result, Kryton gained 1 follower in roughly 2 months. Then the marketing firm we work with made some changes to our Twitter presence, posted quality, engaging content consistently, and frequently made attempts to reach out to other related users. The quarterly data we received explained that we had not only increased our followership by 250, but had been mentioned 43 times and retweeted 17 times. The total number followers held by the accounts interacting with us and sharing our information was 171,843. This combined with our followers, means that our potential reach on Twitter was expanded this quarter to 172,093 Twitter users, compared to only 1 in the previous quarter. If that continues at a similar rate, Kryton’s yearly reach could expand to 750,000 Twitter users. If even only 0.5% of those users become followers, and only 0.5% of those followers end up directly bringing new business to Kryton’s doors, that’s 19 new customers that we never would’ve even known existed before. And, that’s just one social media platform.
The benefits of an engaging social media marketing campaign can be represented by an ongoing cycle. The more engagement you can inspire through creative content, and the more interactions you can create through community development measures, the more overall views you’re going to generate for your company. That increase in views is going to generate more followers, and this ultimately opens up more opportunities for engagement and interaction, starting the process over again. And each time that process cycles around, small handfuls of repeat visitors and interested fans begin to break off.
The type of promotion that Social Media platforms permit is vital to manufacturing companies like Kryton, trying to separate themselves from the rest of the pack on a quality-basis. We can now post pictures or videos of specific processes that go on everyday here. We can actually give fans and potential customers a glimpse at our products, at our culture, inside our facilities, and inside our processes.
Whether it’s from an online customer review, a blog post, or a Social Media campaign, viewers can actually see, in a creative, engaging, and concrete way, the great things that we’re doing at Kryton. And we really do make great products! We have a talented, dedicated staff of employees at every level, a great facility, and state-of-the-art technology. So why not share that with as many people as possible?!
The entire world moves further and further towards the digital side of things every day, and the manufacturing industry is not omitted from that trend. We’ve always thought of ourselves as innovators at Kryton, and we truly think social media will prove to be a great avenue keeping us relevant as we continue growing as a company!
In business, you compete with several other vendors. If you’re in the same industry and deal in the same products then it’s possible that you actually compete for the same customers. And this is where the problem lies.
For customers, price is the most important differentiator. If you both sell bread and your loaves cost a few cents more than the vendor next door, this customer might see better value buying from the other vendor. To them, if the loaves of bread are “alike” then it makes more sense to buy where the price is lower. What they do not know is that quality is much more than just the outward appearance.
This is where you should be working so hard on; to make your consumers understand your “unique selling position”, also known as USP.
What is a unique selling position?
Your unique selling position refers to things that differentiate you from your competition. More like Point of Difference (POD), it’s what earns you a place in the minds of your customers.
Think of it from the customer’s perspective; from the tens or hundreds of vendors with this product why am I buying from this particular vendor? If you can’t find an answer to that question then you should blame potential customers from shopping elsewhere.
It’s not about being the best, it’s about being the best in substance x
Having a great product is good but in most markets it’s just what you pay for admission. However, you realize that when you’re just starting it becomes difficult to come up with the best product so it may be difficult to compete in quality alone.
So, instead of saying “Hey, look here, I am the best around,” you should start saying “hey, we are all about X, if you’re looking for X, we are your best option.” This way, consumers already know what they are coming for because you are the best at something no one else is attempting.
In all these you need to understand that you’re not trying to appeal to everyone. You therefore need to narrow down your consumer base and find what they like and what they don’t. This is what will ultimately help you to find a unique selling position.