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With both a Computer Security background and experience in the construction industry, Brooks was a great fit with Deslaurier when he came on board in 2007. He has been with Deslaurier for 10 years and has been active in many facets of the business. Brooks currently looks after Deslaurier's Social Media platforms while providing IT and technical support concurrently.
Social Media, With Which Comes Challenges & Rewards
Deslaurier decided, corporately, to jump into social media late in 2013 and I’ve been lucky enough to be at the forefront of that plunge. Social media isn’t for every business, and whether or not to have a presence on social media really depends on a number of things: the value to your business, your overall marketing strategy, where you are now and where you want to be in the future, the appetite for your content and the ROI that your presence will yield, amongst many other things. For Deslaurier, it was an easy decision. I’m a firm believer of consistency through social media – you’re either in or you’re out. Be regular, be concise, be accurate, respect the brand you represent, and find the proper balance of content and timing thereof.
As we’ve recently announced on our various social media platforms, exciting news around the office is that our President, Denis Staples, was recently chosen to speak at The Woodworking Machinery & Supply Conference and Expo in November 2017 on the subject of social media. WMS is the largest event for the secondary wood manufacturing market in Canada and takes place November 2-4, 2017 at the International Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. We expect that he will have quite the crowd to address and we are all very excited for the opportunity this presents Deslaurier.
I could talk all day about social media, but I really don’t want to jeopardize the integrity of Denis’ presentation in popping the cork on some of its subject matter. Denis’ presentation will be made available once it has been delivered at the conference. Until then, I’ll leave you with two insights of mine – our biggest challenge and our biggest reward. Social media isn’t easy; it’s not merely a hastily typed tweet or a picture posted on Facebook. There is thought and purpose behind every message we convey and with that, come both challenges and rewards…
Our biggest challenge with regards to social media is followership and engagement thereof. It’s not necessarily the accrual of likes or followers that proves to be difficult, but rather the retention of said followers. In our industry, the biggest thing I see is new customers of ours who are eager to follow us on our platforms. They want to get to know us and know what we stand for, they want to see the quality of our work first hand, they want to see the latest and greatest products we’re bringing to market, and above all else – they want to be assured that they’ve made the right decision in partnering with us for their cabinetry needs. Rarely do we disappoint, but what comes next is something that we must be ever cognizant of. The customer gets their cabinetry, is happy with it, and moves on. They’re not invested in the message anymore; the likes/double taps/swipe rights decrease, and eventually they unfollow. They’ve got what they want from us and then they move on. That’s why it’s important for us to foster our social media relationship not only with our customer base, but also with our many industry partners as well, such as our trades, our suppliers, our builder and dealer clientele, and our adversaries, to name a few. Those are the entities whose followership will remain steadfast and long-term. How we foster those relationships is important, whether it’s by cross marketing, reciprocation, recognition of accomplishments, transparency, or perhaps most importantly above all else – by providing unique and exciting content of a broad variety. This is but one of several challenges, but knowing your challenges and being familiar with them puts you one step further to conquering them.
Our biggest reward in regards to social media, I’d say, is being able to see the tangible dividends or the ROI that our hard work and upkeep yields. Our biggest advertising initiatives, besides word of mouth, are our social media platforms. As such, it’s imperative that those platforms are working for us, which is correlative to what we put into them. It’s the age old ‘garbage in / garbage out’ or ‘you get what you give’ adages. The ROI is commensurate with the amount of time, effort, and qualities thereof that you put into your social media.
There is great reward when a customer comes into the showroom and indicates that they saw our latest product addition on our social media channels. There is reward likewise when our industry partners grab ahold of the same product and repost/retweet/regram/share our message because they believe in it equally.
There is nothing better than being at a partner’s golf tournament, a GOHBA or an NKBA event, or even in our own showroom and receiving accolades with respect to the quality and value of our social media.
It is also rewarding sifting through the metrics and analytics only to conclude that our platforms are working for us, that we have an audience and that they’re engaged, that interest is not waning, and that we’re not only getting new views but that our loyal followers are coming back on a recurring basis for our content.
Our social media is finally at a place where it is driving leads for us – ‘working for us’ as I eluded to earlier. We’ve gotten leads through Facebook and Houzz. We’ve gotten walk-ins that have come through the door because they’re impressed with what they’ve seen on our channels. And we’ve gotten social media driven leads that we’re none the wiser to. In the end, it is having a positive impact on our day to day operations.
Lastly, there mightn’t be anything better than when the company you represent gets recognized and your President gets asked to present some of your own internal insight and social media strategies to the masses at such a renowned event like WMS. For that we are excited and for that you should stay tuned to our channels, not only for a WMS recap when the time comes, but for the same great content we strive to bring you day after day!