Tips for leveraging social media to drive kitchen and bath sales
Published by “KBB” Magazine, July-August 2021, KBBONLINE.com/ The official publication of NKBA (NKBA.org) + KBIS (KBIS.com)
BASED ON SHARED DATA in the Kitchen & Bath Market Index compiled by the National Kitchen & Bath Association in conjunction with John Burns Real Estate Consulting, the kitchen and bath industry has been significantly affected by the pandemic. That said, things have started looking better as more Americans confined to their homes have begun initiating remodeling projects. There is business out there, but just how one goes about getting leads is important. If your strategy does not include social media today, you are probably not getting the number and quality of leads you want. Understanding how best to leverage social media is important for any business – especially those selling directly to consumers.
DISPELLING THE MISCONCEPTIONS
One of the biggest false impressions in our industry is that social media is a source of inexpensive leads that quickly converts to a sale. While social media is extremely cost-effective and flexible in enabling companies to target their market at a granular level, it is not meant to function alone. When used with a mix of marketing tools, social media delivers a high return on investment and a steady build of market traction. It enables a business to build an ongoing exchange and relationship with its customers, prospects, and referral sources. To gain the maximum results from social media, however, it is essential that a business have a customer relationship management system in place to manage inquiries and leads generated through its social media channels in an efficient way.
BUILDING A STRONG SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE
Launching a social media program requires several key steps. First, it is important to have a company page set up on Facebook, Instagram, and Google My Business. Instagram is particularly useful for home improvement and design companies, as it provides an online platform for showcasing your work. Google My Business is effective for remaining visible to current and potential customers. For businesses that rely heavily on referrals from other companies, establishing a presence on LinkedIn is equally important. Joining relevant LinkedIn groups and building your network can be especially valuable for companies that are selling high-end products, want to build a strong relationship with manufacturers or those who are considering or may be considering a future business merger/ acquisition.
Once these pages have been created, the next step is to develop a social media marketing program aligned with the company’s other marketing activities. The program should reflect brand consistency, content and messaging that is seasonal, relevant to your audience and showcases great examples of your work. Maintaining a portfolio of visual assets is necessary to generate an active social media presence. Hiring a professional photographer to capture finished work and also asking your team members to help build your visual assets by taking pictures, shooting short testimonial videos and providing suggestions for educational topics will not only help build your assets but also will increase the level of activity on your social media platforms. This, in turn, will help build followers and gain likes and shares for your content, while building brand awareness.
Social media can also be used to target specific audiences using various criteria such as family status, region, income level, etc…, as well as what other social pages the consumer follows. It enables you to drill down where you can even exclude specific zip codes to avoid marketing to areas that have not generated strong lead conversions for your business. Social media also allows you to remarket to consumers who have already interacted with your business, whether on your website, social channels, or advertisements. This enables you to maintain an ongoing conversation with those individuals who may need a little more information or motivation to make a home improvement purchasing decision.
DRIVING WEBSITE TRAFFIC
Social media is far better and less expensive for driving traffic to your website than other mediums. Using social media ads, targeted traffic can be pushed to a website for as little as $0.11 to $0.57 cost per click. Just be sure your website landing pages meet our 4Cs: clever, colorful, clickable and concise. It is also important to link your website to your social media channels an include social media icons and handles at the bottom of all ads to create that “loop” journey for your customers. Additionally, an effective social media strategy should include asking people directly to follow, like and share your social pages. Sometimes it helps to offer giveaways to build this engagement. For business with showrooms, a customer sign-in sheet should be used to capture email addresses.
A successful social media program will be one where posts are consistently made, are relevant to homeowners in your area, are fun, engaging, and helpful but are not a hard sell. People do not want to feel they are being sold. A social media professional will manage the account several times a week, viewing which posts are generating the most traction and when ads are used, how they are performing and/or if the ads need to be updated.
To measure the effectiveness of a social media program, a third-party reporting tool should be used. Reports generated will present all key metrics related to the program and provide insights for new strategies. By following these best practices, kitchen and bath businesses will derive the maximum benefit from their social media program.
SCHEDULE A FREE SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING CONSULTATION
If you have any questions about your social media efforts or how best to leverage social media for your business and lead generation, book a free consultation with Bennington Brookstone.
Sonja Bellem is the President of Bennington Brookstone, a leading provider of social media and marketing communications services with a specialization in the home improvement industry,