October is Manufacturing Month, a time to celebrate the achievements of manufacturers around the United States.

Around the country, companies throw open their factory doors and show off the latest and greatest technology responsible for products that range from the mundane to the miraculous. The event pulls double duty as an excellent opportunity to advertise available career opportunities, great benefits like employer-provided education, and reminds their local communities of the economic value these companies bring to their respective regions.

So, how did big brands like PepsiCo, Toyota and Mitsubishi position themselves for Manufacturing Month? Zignal Labs used media intelligence to identify the key themes of the month and see which companies successfully injected their voices into the conversation.

The Conversation Starters

There were four topics that stuck out the most: 19 percent of all messages referenced education, 13 percent hinged on jobs, 11 percent mentioned maintaining manufacturing jobs in the United States, and 9 percent of all mentions referenced skills. Identifying which topics resonate with this particular audience helps brands craft messages that will be well received. If brands already know audiences are interested in these topics, they can naturally enter the conversation in an organic way with relevant content to offer. Think messages about bringing manufacturing jobs to the United States or trying to attract the next generation of manufacturing talent.
Top Brands and topics from manufacturing day 2017

How Big Brands Celebrated #MFGDay17

When brands chose to enter the conversation, the reaction was positive. Three big brands each leveraged one of the four top topics to create their message. PepsiCo highlighted its status as a company that employs hardworking Americans with an article showcasing an employee who had driven over two million miles transporting PepsiCo products. Toyota highlighted its factories as cutting-edge workplaces for the next generation of skilled workers – and places where employees can continue to learn valuable skills. Mitsubishi followed a similar path via an interview with CFO Masanori Koguchi in Forbes, diving into the future of manufacturing and how the company needs to continue its commitment to educate employees. All three of these companies were mentioned positively more than 90 percent of the time.

Politicians also leveraged the goodwill created by World Manufacturing Month, especially those in states with a high percentage of manufacturing jobs. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Senator Joe Donnelly from Indiana, the two states most dependent on manufacturing jobs in the country, both used the event as a way to interact with their constituents. Senator Donnelly’s tweet generated close to half a million impressions, while Scott Walker’s message earned more than two million impressions. This activity shows brands which parts of the country provide a relevant audience for talk around manufacturing jobs, one data point that could prove useful as locations for new factories are considered.

How Brands Could Have a Bigger Impact

Monthly Mentions for Manufacturing Month

The National Association of Manufacturers officially made October 6th National Manufacturing Day. Yet only 62 out of the month’s 6,407 mentions came on this day. The majority of the coverage for National Manufacturing Day came the following week. None of the Fortune 1000 companies who posted social messages around the event did so on October 6th, missing out on the chance to capitalize on the goodwill from an event that is mentioned positively on social media 96 percent of the time.

No matter the event or target audience, brands can find a way to enter the conversation. By examining key topics, influencers and geographies, marketing and communications professionals can craft messaging that resonates with key stakeholders and drives engagement with the people that matter.

If you would like to learn more about how to identify the right influencers for your brand, download our eBook “Identifying the Influencers that Matter.”