It may be tempting to overlook the power of SM media marketing in manufacturing.

Unless you’re immersed in the many platforms on which SM depends, you may dismiss it as the domain of consumer goods or services with high visual appeal – think travel, restaurants, fashion.

However, SM marketing can play a powerful role in manufacturing marketing, including in the B2B (business to business) realm. It’s worth putting some time and effort into. A well crafted ongoing SM campaign can help you identify and attract your audience, engage with them, and establish your company’s credibility in the field.

If you have any doubts, I recommend searching online for terms like “best social media campaign manufacturing.” Browse some of the best-case examples for inspiration, and read the articles for quick “case study” elements. There are also plenty of free guides, checklists, and articles to help you understand the terrain and craft your own strategy.

Here are a few rules worth noting:

The 50/30/20 Rule: What Kind Of Content To Share

The first 50% of your social media activity should be sharing curated content. This means you don’t need to create it yourself, you are simply sharing resources which you think would be beneficial to your audience. This is great on a couple levels. First, it’s easy. Second, it’s generous to your audience – it is clearly not intended to directly drum up business. Third, it’s generous to the entity that created the content, and they may return the favor. Remember to give credit where credit is due, of course. The next 30% should be original content, but it should be created with service in mind, not sales. Think about what would bring value to your readers. For example, if your audience is largely engineers, generate content that they’d find helpful and informative, even though it’s only tangentially related to your product – or even unrelated. That builds loyalty. After earning loyalty and trust with that 80%, you can talk yourself up with final 20% promotional content. Just like in any other social arena, you don’t win fans by talking about yourself all the time.

Focus On Value From Your Audience’s Perspective

If the decision-makers among your customers tend to be VP of Operations, take a broad view. What matters to people in that role? Both curated and original content should be conceived to capture their interest. That may include topics like sustainability, regulations, market conditions, recruiting.

Rely On A Variety Of Channels, And Customize Your Efforts For Each One

YouTube is great for instruction, demonstration and information videos; Instagram is brief and visually oriented; LinkedIn is highly oriented to business, industry and networking; Facebook is good for attracting a community. Winning SM strategies don’t rely on sharing the exact same content across each channel. Instead, spin the message and the media appropriately for the channel you’re using. Don’t get overwhelmed by the fact that there are so many channels out there. Examine the market, see what your competitors are doing, and choose one or two channels to focus on, at least to get started.

Your Audience Isn’t Limited To Your Customers

Yes, you want to engage your customers and prospects. However, you also want to engage thought leaders and influencers in your industry. High quality content can get traction with such people, and they may share your content as part of their own social media efforts. This is a big win: it means you’ve suddenly benefited from social reach beyond your own audience.