If you are still somewhat skeptical that social media plays an important role in marketing to engineers and other technical pros, there is new evidence that suggests we should reconsider its merits. Not only is social media growing in importance as a resource for professionals, it is often among the first places they turn to for contact information, product reviews, how-to videos, and other work-related research.
Engineers and other technical professionals are focused, time-savvy individuals who are indeed finding useful ways of integrating social media into their work activities. They don’t use social media to – well – socialize or network. They use it for specific information-gathering and educational purposes. And their reliance on it is growing.
One of the more insightful studies on this subject is a recent IHS Engineering360 report titled, “Social Media Use in the Industrial Sector.”
Here are a few highlights:
- The most popular use of social media among engineers and technical professionals is to find product reviews.
- 51% of technical professionals regularly use YouTube or other video sharing websites for work-related purposes, seeking out how-to tutorials, product demos and training videos.
- Technical professionals prefer to read and watch on social media as opposed to posting and commenting. Though they don’t appear to be actively engaging with your content, they may still be consuming it.
- LinkedIn is the most popular platform among engineers, with 66% having an account. In the under 34-year-old age group, Facebook is slightly more popular (73% to 71%).
Despite these upward trends for social media, it still can’t compete with other resources for researching work-related purchases. Engineers consistently report that using methods such as general search engines, online catalogs, word of mouth and supplier websites is more efficient than social for researching work-related topics. Social media has its place as an influencer in the industrial sector, but it isn’t the engineer’s go-to digital resource for work, at least it isn't yet.
Content directed at technical professionals must work extra hard. It has to be well researched, focused and organized. It needs to provide honest educational value and it shouldn’t waste their time with unnecessary fluff or an overt sales pitch. It’s also important to note that they, like all of us, find video useful for product demos and training.
Start with a content strategy that is targeted, achievable and measurable. What do you want to say, which social channels will work best and what are your goals? With the proper plan in place, you can make social media a powerful way to raise your company’s profile, impact brand preference, engage your audience and establish trusting relationships.
If you’d like some additional insights on how to plan and execute a smart social media strategy for your professional audiences, contact Roger Peterson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 815-847-7534.