I have helped out a number of engineering and manufacturing support companies since REMARKABLE TEAM launched in 2008. Coming from a couple years of my own experience in manufacturing. I’ve noticed that social media hasn’t really carved out a meaningful life of its own in this industry.
Why Social Media Fails in Manufacturing?
New clients ask me – should we have a facebook page or twitter account? And, although I read countless articles every month saying WHY one should, I calmly say no- here’s why.
- Demographics: Decision Makers in the male dominated industry are often 30+ years old.
- Perception:Engineers, plant managers and manufacturing experts do not want to look nerdy on facebook.
- Competition: Manufacturing is often filled with trade secrets- sharing YOUR ideas is a no no, but sharing someone else’s ideas- which you may someday adopt- is not a great idea
- Availability: The people who make our world work simply do not think they have time, or they actually do not have time, to clock LIKE/retweet for any reason.
But what about LinkedIn in manufacturing?
First off, players in manufacturing likely DO have facebook accounts to check up with friends and family, and they do have LinkedIn accounts. LinkedIn accounts aren’t really there for business, but more so for employment opportunities, and to check up on friends who have whizzed by on someone else’s corporate ladder. You can find someone to talk to on LinkedIn, but they’re likely not listening for solutions to their day to day problems.
Rarely is LinkedIn seen as a source for finding new techniques or concepts, or products to buy.
Good Old Boy Network
By those in industry, manufacturing is seen as a ‘good old boy’ network- relying on personal connections, history, and verbal communication.
What the manufacturing sector often relies on is (I hate to say this) but sales reps, trade show demonstrations, and personal discoveries.
Nothing titillates a manufacturing engineer more than being the man who’s ‘personally discovered’ idea turns out to save the company $100,000 a week.
Developments like this can be their own personal idea, something heard from a friend in another company and presented as their own, or, it might be for an unheard of solution presented by an obscure company on a website.
Being that discoverable solution
I am personally of the persuasion that there is great opportunity for companies and individuals that sell solutions for manufacturing to produce content that represents answers to problems that manufacturing superstars are looking for on google. Be that discoverable solution.
Content, in a blog format, should describe detailed problems that the described solution solves.
Articles and writing should not focus on the solution, but the problem.
Writing content is hard- I struggle with it myself sometimes. But, it is meaningful-especially when you can make someone a superstar.