6 Jun 2022 Social media

9 things a senior leader in a manufacturing business should be doing now on LinkedIn 

Senior manufacturing leaders are busy. There’s an increasing demand to fill current gaps in the supply chain with products that are made in the UK, and instability in world affairs create uncertainty. Manufacturing businesses need to use all tools available to promote the great work they do in front of the businesses they sell to. But managers are busy people and any activity on LinkedIn needs to fit in with their workload and not be onerous. Here are nine things to do to maximise the results for your business from a realistic amount of effort. 

Updating your headline 

Your headline accompanies you everywhere on LinkedIn so there’s no better place to remind a potential customer of how much you can help them. Just stating your job title and company name doesn’t realise the opportunity here. If you’re concerned that users need to know this information, add it to your value statement, rather than replacing it. 

So, ‘Managing Director at Oddysey Lighting Limited’ becomes ‘MD at Oddysey Lighting. Helping bring the latest lighting solutions to the manufacturing sector’. 

A tip here is to specify who you assist, so anyone who finds you can see that you are meant for them. If you can’t be that specific, keeping it generic is fine. 

Connecting with key industry people 

The power of LinkedIn is in the network that you build. The key players in the manufacturing space are using LinkedIn to connect with each other and share ideas about the industry now, and what it could look like in the future. Engaging with the people of influence in your sector gives you the opportunity to share in their insights and build yours and your company’s reputation as one of note. 

LinkedIn has recently introduced Newsletters as a subscription option for users. Manufacturing thought leaders are creating these newsletters to share their views, so it may be a good idea to subscribe to them. 

Shining a light on the team 

Your team does great work, so talk about them when you post. As a leader, it’s great to show the breadth of knowledge your team holds and show the results they can generate for your customers. Celebrate their achievements, their progress, anything that is positive. In addition to showing your connections how well you treat your staff, you’ll also receive the benefit of a positive response from those you are highlighting. 

Promoting attendance at events 

Exhibiting, or simply attending, an in-person event takes time away from being in the business. Thus, you need to increase the return on that investment. Posting about your presence at an event can benefit you in a number of ways: 

  • If you are exhibiting – It shows your business is positively promoting its products 
  • If you are attending as a delegate – It shows you invest in your own learning 
  • If you are networking – It shows you are connected to the key people 
  • If you are speaking – It shows you are an industry leader 

Seek out the key events that are taking place in the manufacturing world and make sure you are part of the conversation around them. 

Showing new product development 

Your website probably does an excellent job of showing the variety of products you make, with specifications, dimensions and possible use cases. While LinkedIn doesn’t replace a great website, it’s possible to demonstrate the value and innovation of your products. 

Use video to walk a LinkedIn user through how your product works and the outcomes for the customer. Tackle frequently asked questions and remove barriers to purchase. Here’s a great example from Camloc Motion Control

If you are happy to share some behind-the-scenes footage of how your product is made, a tour of your factory gives viewers an insight into how you achieve your success. 

Sharing company page content 

Company content is easily shared and, if time is short, it’s a quick way for a manufacturing leader to create their own content. Your marketing team can send notifications to employees of important posts to share from the page. Rather than simply share it, it’s worth adding some commentary to the shared post. Think about your particular connections and why they may find it useful. Signpost why they should read the post or take the action that the post is suggesting. 

As someone senior in the business, this is also a great opportunity to shine that light again. Say why you’re proud of the content – perhaps it’s an example of great innovation, of teamwork or of how you work closely with your customers. 

Gaining recommendations 

Your career should mean you have many connections from over the years and a great portfolio of work that you’ve been part of. It’s time to use this to your advantage and get some testimonials. Any of your first connections can give you a recommendation. Consider what your main objective is: If you are looking for leads and sales, get recommendations from existing customers referencing the great work you have done and the pleasure it is to work with your business. If you are using LinkedIn for recruitment, testimonials from your team go a long way in showing how great it is to work for you and the company. 

You can ask your connection for a recommendation from within your profile. Consider giving a recommendation to someone you’d like to receive one from. You’ll often receive one in return without having to make the request yourself. 

Adding your featured items 

One of the more visual parts of your LinkedIn profile is the Featured section. In it you can add links to a website (eg your website), highlight a LinkedIn post or article and add a file. It’s a good way of grabbing a LinkedIn user’s attention. Indeed, it’s a great opportunity to showcase the work your business does. 

Advertising jobs 

If your business is growing and you need to fill vacancies, the Jobs functionality within LinkedIn is a great way of utilising the career history data of potential candidates without having to go headhunting. Companies can post one vacancy free of charge and pay for additional vacancies at a reasonable cost – certainly for less than recruitment agencies usually charge. LinkedIn will suggest candidates to approach and send roles to candidates. You can add a badge to your profile picture to highlight to others that you are currently hiring. 

These activities are, of course, the tip of the LinkedIn iceberg. With an increasing range of functionality, and an ever-connected network of business contacts, it’s never been as important to build your presence on the platform. Get started with these amendments and then consider your wider strategy. If you feel like you could benefit from some assistance in making LinkedIn work for your manufacturing business, we have a number of options available, ranging from strategy and coaching for senior leadership, to team strategies and done-for-you services from our talented team of experts. 

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