by Brenda Eubank
Team 1 Plastics
You know it’s important. You’ve read the articles. You’ve attended seminars on the subject. You’ve heard the message loud and clear. Everyone is telling you that you need to be utilizing social media on a consistent basis as part of your marketing strategy. So, why isn’t it happening? It’s always on your “To Do” list, but it’s just not getting done. Sound familiar?
It certainly was familiar to Team 1 Plastics, a plastic injection molding company for the mobility industry. For many years, that was the exact scenario that Craig Carrel, president and co-owner, experienced.
“In 2010, when we updated our website,” Carrel explained, “we decided to start a blog entitled Plastics Pipeline and to add a News page to the website. We understood that one of the key components to SEO (search engine optimization) was to consistently have new content on your website. Our goal was to add either a news article or a blog to the website at least once a month. The article would then be automatically posted to our social media platforms through a scheduling tool like Hubspot, and would, in turn, drive traffic back to the website. It was a worthy goal; unfortunately, we never were able to achieve it.”
Team 1 tried using internal resources for articles and blogs without consistent success. It was “hit or miss,” Carrel said, and more times than not, it was a “miss.” The problem was that writing the articles and blogs was never a high priority work assignment for any team member, nor was there any content planning.
In 2015, the company decided to try a different approach – hiring an outside resource with strong writing and communication skills, whose highest priority would be to post an article or blog at least once a month. Using the traditional means of advertising for an employment position, the company found an independent writer and contracted with her for 10 to 20 hours per week.
Working from home, the writer sets her own schedule. “I really appreciate the flexibility. I’ve never been a morning person, and I find that I really like working second shift. I can schedule most phone interviews and meetings during the afternoon hours and often will draft the articles and blogs during the evening.” She added, “When I tell someone that I’ll have a draft completed by the end of the day, I’m always referring to midnight.”
Like many business owners, Carrel had lots of ideas for articles and blogs. It didn’t take long to realize that posting once a month was not often enough. “During our initial conversations, Craig shared so many ideas for articles that I began to think that maybe we should post once a week. There was so much content, and we knew that the articles had to be timely. At the once-a-month pace, we’d be writing an article about the summer picnic in January!”
With few exceptions, since October 2015 Team 1 Plastics has posted an article or blog to its website and social media outlets every Tuesday. And, the company has seen dramatic results. Annual hits to the company’s website from social media outlets have increased by almost 1000%.
Can your company experience the same type of results? Team 1 Plastics thinks so and offers some practical tips:
1. Review Your Website.
Because the goal is to drive traffic from social media platforms back to the website, make sure the website is up to date and relevant for both new and current customers, as well as potential employees.
2. Commit Resources to Your Marketing Effort.
Find someone (Team 1 recommends an external resource) with excellent writing and communication skills who will dedicate 10 to 20 hours a week and commit to post either once a week or twice a month. Commit to a minimum of at least one year before analyzing results. Remember – it’s a marathon – not a sprint!
3. Collect Content.
You can find content everywhere you look! Have you won an award? Do you have employees? (One of the most popular posts for Team 1 is its monthly profile of a team member.) Write about your company’s or employees’ involvement in your local community. Ask your employees for ideas for articles. To collect ideas for its articles and blogs, Team 1 Plastics annually gathers team members from each of its departments for a brainstorming session and asks questions such as: What’s new in your department? What improvements or changes have you made? What is on the horizon? and What’s happening in the plastics industry? The ideas are collected, prioritized and used to create a schedule.
4. Use a Scheduling Tool to Post to Social Media
Various scheduling tools are available, including Hubspot, Hootsuite and Buffer. Some have free accounts; some are monthly or yearly subscriptions.
5. Reuse Written Content for Your Email Marketing.
Don’t reinvent the wheel. Use written content from articles for your email marketing. Team 1 Plastics utilizes email marketing three or four times a year, including a “Year-End Review” email sent early in January, pulling the content for the email from the articles written throughout the previous year.
6. Try Sponsored Content on LinkedIn.
Use some of your marketing resources in “sponsored content” on LinkedIn – the best B2B social media outlet (in Team 1 Plastics’ opinion). You can control the audience, the length of the campaign and the cost. Team 1 Plastics ran two test campaigns in the fall of 2018 with such excellent results that it plans to dedicate additional marketing resources in 2019.
Team 1 Plastics is a state-of-the-art, custom, plastic injection-molding company that specializes in precision and transparent plastic components for the mobility industry. For more than 30 years, the company has produced precision components with tight tolerances at its fully automated, 24/7 manufacturing facility located in south central Michigan and delivered them to companies around the world.