Of the 610 million users on LinkedIn, would you guess that more than 50 million are manufacturing workers? It’s true. That number underscores how social media content marketers and advertisers can target any segment for B2C or B2B campaigns.
My team researched the manufacturing-workers-gone-social phenomenon as well as what interests this segment, looking at their LinkedIn activity during the fourth quarter of 2018. They’re curious about a wide range of topics, including the petroleum and auto industries as well as the history of manufacturing. Eight of the top 10 topics that engaged manufacturing workers were directly related to the energy sector. In fact, the argument can be made that the two other topics in the top 10—“natural resources” and “machine tools”—are at least peripherally related to the energy industry.
Top 10 topics on LinkedIn engaging manufacturing workers
It’s worth noting that while the top 10 topics that appeal to manufacturing workers seem focused on oil and gas, the articles this segment has been reading were routinely focused on green energy. The disconnect seems to reflect that manufacturing is an industry in transition from fossil fuels to renewable power.
Top 10 Topics:
- Baker Hughes
- Natural Resources
- Offshore Drilling and Exploration
- BP Plc.
- Machine Tools
Lessons for marketers
The traditional industrial world of business has strong representation on social media platforms. If you’re a marketer for 3M or General Electric looking to target the manufacturing segment, you can find its members online, where they’re engaging with content crucial to their jobs.
Whether you are recruiting manufacturing talent or looking to suss out B2B sales prospects, this crowd is similar to other groups—it’s interested in particular companies, trends and topics. And they use online platforms to educate themselves constantly about their industry.
Top 10 Articles
Electric cars proved to be popular content among manufacturing workers, with no less than four articles in the top 10 on the topic. This reality includes the top post, “Watch Tesla Model 3 Being Assembled from Start to Finish,” which was one of two articles in the top 10 featuring Tesla.
Watch Tesla Model 3 Being Assembled from Start to Finish By Fred Lambert, Electrek
CanGE Survive Its Cooked Books? By Peter Cohan, Forbes
The Oil Price Is Now Controlled By Just Three Men From BoredPanda.com
Porsche Says It Can Beat Tesla’s Charging Times by Half By Jaclyn Trop, Fortune
NATO Warship Torn Open in Collision with Oil Tanker From NBCNews.com
A victory for Elon Musk: Tesla outsells Mercedes-Benz in US for first time ever By Mike Snider, USAToday
The 7 Deadly Sins Of Product Development By Travis “Grizzly” Jacobs
GE Powered the American Century—Then It Burned Out By Thomas Gryta and Ted Mann, The Wall Street Journal
Lessons for Marketers
Manufacturing workers like to look under the hood and see how things work, and that’s why the top post was the Tesla Model 3 being assembled. Trying to market a highly specialized tool like a steam turbine? Create a behind-the-scenes video of how the product gets built.
People in manufacturing are also interested in the way things were done before software changed product design, as the high ranking of “19 Fascinating Vintage Photos Reveal What Life Before AutoCAD Looked Like” indicates.
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Content marketers themselves would do well to look under the hood of this post: “The 7 Deadly Sins of Product Development.” This article had particularly remarkable staying power; the post landed in the top 10, despite being published in 2017. This post remains popular because it does three things very well: It provides useful information in an easy-to-digest format, it features illustrations, and it’s funny (at least as funny as a product development post can get).
All in all, it may seem counterintuitive that 50 million manufacturing employees are on LinkedIn because we tend to view this segment as being offline. But when you peek into their social media mindset and what interests them, it makes complete sense—they want to find the latest news and most interesting content that’s crucial to their careers.
Jennifer Brett leads North American insights for Linkedin Marketing Solutions.