Digital milestones, monitoring and insights for manufacturers

Posted on 10 Feb 2015 by The Manufacturer

Not only is The Manufacturer celebrating the release of its Annual Manufacturing Report today, it has also reached the social milestone of surpassing 15,000 engaged followers on Twitter.

You can read the key findings from The Manufacturer’s Annual Manufacturing Report 2015 by clicking here.

With the UK’s manufacturing ecosystem its primary audience, The Manufacturer monitors where that community maintains its digital presence regardless of platform or preferred network.

Our focus is very much B2B, and it has been fascinating to discover who the key influencers are in terms of brands, personalities and niche. Relationships matter, and we continually find ourselves in a cycle of discovery, engagement, and measurement.

TM Twitter Analysis
A bio word cloud of @TheManufacturer followers’ most frequently occurring words.


Being ‘social’ is now a given for all businesses, but traditionally manufacturers haven’t placed enough emphasis on a digital strategy, and that might cost you.

The phrase ‘you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take’ definitely rings true with the manner in which you handle your digital presence online.

Combining Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud, SMAC Stack is a new mix of services enabling the delivery of more effective and responsive customer experiences, and giving your business a competitive edge.

However there is a lot for manufacturers to assimilate in regards to technology during the coming year. Getting your head around all things social should be a main priority, especially considering social media now forms a core component of the SMAC Stack.

If you agree that manufacturing has become more data driven in recent years, then you should be seeking to exploit the vast treasure trove of social intelligence that exists.

If you are worried about the cost of implementing a digital strategy, there are a wide range of freemium tools that allow you to identify, monitor and listen to conversations that are relevant to your brand.

TM # Most Used
@TheManufacturer’s most used hashtags from October 15, 2014 to February 10, 2015.


The name of the game is to Find, Leverage and Measure, so here is list of tools to get your business on the digital fast track:

  • BuzzSumo – Particularly useful for finding topics and key influencers that matter to your business, allowing you to quickly and easily find the top shared articles discussing any given topic. Equally, if you are trying to build credibility as a thought leader, you can quickly uncover which content works well in your space, for example additive manufacturing or automation.
  • Meltwater Icerocket – Disguised as a search engine that can search blogs, Facebook and Twitter, Icerocket can help you identify and analyse trends. It also handles more specific, ‘Boolean’, searches.
  • Followerwonk and Twitonomy – Two separate tools that provide advanced twitter analytics.
  • SocialSift – A tool that combines a user-friendly dashboard, social intelligence, collaboration and analytics/reporting. SocialSift is a tool utilised at The Manufacturer, allowing it to keep a finger on the pulse of what’s hot in UK manufacturing, and drilling down in seconds to the people and conversations that matter.
@TheManufacturer surpasses 15,000 engaged followers on Twitter.
@TheManufacturer surpasses 15,000 engaged followers on Twitter.

It’s worth pointing out that there is no one platform to rule them all, and indeed there are a lot of useful things you can do by combining some of the tools mentioned above. The right tactics over time will see your influence and network grow, so be patient.

Alongside a shortage of STEM skills within manufacturing, is a lack of digital skillsets – especially on the advanced side. Accordingly, it might prove prudent to start nurturing your digital apprentices today to help you build your digital presence tomorrow.