As LBM dealers continue to search out best practices for utilizing social media to their business’s advantage, we’ve talked with early adaptors who are now experienced and willing to share to help others in the industry. This month, Cindy Stone, Marketing Manager at Oxford Lumber in Oxford, Ala., offers insight into how her company leverages social media.
DEALERS: Interested in sharing your Social Media strategies? Let us know at James@LBMJournal.com.
What social media platforms do you use?
We have a bigger presence on Facebook at this time but we are now using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and are starting to use Pinterest, Houzz, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
How have you seen social media benefit your company?
Social Media benefits our company in several ways: 1) Maintaining brand awareness; 2) Educating the customer or potential customer about products/ services we offer; 3) More community involvement; 4) Sales, promotions, and giveaways.
Your company has four locations, each with a different name. Does your social media strategy vary between locations?
We have separate Facebook pages for all four locations but our other social media is called Oxford Lumber Stores or something very similar. We have spent advertising dollars to help with our “name difference” and it has apparently paid off. Most people in our community know about the four locations and names. When we created a new website that went live in July of 2016, it was also promoted on our Facebook pages to help inform the public of our four names and locations. When I post blogs on our website, I always post it to each Facebook page. That way we always have our Oxford Lumber name on any blog post that is shared on Facebook, whether it’s for Oxford, Jacksonville, Roanoke, or Talladega. That helps the customer relate the name back to Oxford Lumber.
Who handles social media posts and marketing at your company?
I handle 99% of the posting on our social media accounts. Occasionally our store managers will do a social media post. I handle the marketing at our company, but our owner is great at marketing, so he does do some as well. The President Bill Newman, VP of Operations Jeff Love, and myself have done a few brainstorming sessions for ideas on marketing our company.
How much time do you spend on social media each month?
I am on our social media accounts daily. I also research the traffic on Google analytics to see which social media platforms are doing better than the others. I also look at the interaction of each post I do to see what type of post it is to help me understand what interests our customers.
Do you do any paid promotion on social media?
If so, which platforms and ad type works best for you? Yes, we do paid promotions. Our Facebook Sponsored Ads seem to do really well. When used correctly, you can target certain demographics and certain interest to reach the exact customers you are trying to reach and it is a very inexpensive way to promote your product or business.
Many of our readers are pro dealers selling primarily to contractors. How has social media helped you reach that audience?
No matter who or what you are selling or to whom you are selling to, using social media as a marketing tool will help grow your business and help improve/ build your relationships with contractors.
What other advice do you have for dealers using social media?
Use it! Out of sight, out of mind. But don’t abuse it! Doing a post, a day or every other day is good but when you post several a day I think you can drive away customers. Your customers are mobile and if you want to reach them you have to have a presence where they are, everything they do seems to be mobile.