As LBM dealers continue to search out best practices for utilizing social media to their business’s advantage, many are looking to early adaptors who are experienced and willing to share to help others in the industry. This month, Tim Skog of The Deck Store offers insight into how the decking retailer and lumberyard 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?
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest.
How do these social media platforms benefit your company?
I believe most social media platforms have an equal effect on performance, some may reach more potential clients or new customers, but at what costs to our bottom line? In the lumber business it is nearly impossible to do social selling, there are just too many products, and at the rate the industry and materials change, it would be a daunting task for any Social Media Manager to oversee. We created Facebook and Twitter ad campaigns to draw customers to The Deck Store Online website in 2017, which will launch soon. Facebook and Twitter are by far the most affordable and reliable to share stories, follow other companies and highlight our own business or The Deck Store crew.
How much time do you spend on social media each month?
I put in about 20 hours a week on all the sites. I was taught that companies should post at least four times a day on Facebook, three times a day on Twitter, and twice on Google. I have never done that. Content in the building/lumber industry has to have more substance. Contractors and DIYs need facts and plans on how to accomplish the projects, so getting to the point is crucial to keeping your target audience engaged.
At The Deck Store, you do a lot of online business. How does your social media activity differ for online sales versus foot traffic?
The online business has been continually growing over the years, and having the social media hot links on the site generates new likes each month. The online store is just that, a store where people go to shop. We really try to get those who have done business with us to like and follow us on all our social media sites but many just don’t get it, or don’t want to. And that is fine. We encourage their feedback and want them to share it with us. This is the best way to interact with our customers. It also helps with our search engine ratings. When people visit our store and see our showroom, we always refer them to our Pinterest site, as we have many of our completed projects to view. We’re always working on new ideas to integrate Facebook and Twitter for those that enter our store, or want to leave comments about our products.
What is your monthly social media marketing budget?
How does it vary between platforms? Last year we really did not budget for anything of importance. We’ve talked about a social media business plan for this year, and about setting aside some dedicated funds that would go into a few targeted events that we will be hosting or attending.
Many of our readers are pro dealers selling primarily to contractors. How has social media helped you reach that audience?
Google has been our friend here. Contractors have been finding us online and contacting us directly. If we do business together we usually find each other on our respected social media sites and stay connected that way.
What other advice do you have for dealers using social media?
The real reason for social media is to interact with each other. It’s a great place to promote goods and services, to recognize your staff or your award-winning customer service. Also use it to help gather feedback and ask questions. Social media is an organic reaction that should be used with caution as well. Do not over-saturate it with your products. Instead, let the quality speak for itself. Those who love your company will tell the world one post at a time. Remember, you’re going to have business and marketing plans outside of your social media. A successful marketing plan is varied and robust, and a solid social media plan only adds to your efforts and makes them more successful.