Countertops Magazine Archive

Management Matters: Social Media is Here to Stay

Social Media is here to Stay

Yes, I said it. Social media is here to stay. I know for some of you that’s not good news. And you may not like this even more, but it really does work. There could be many reasons for your lack of enthusiasm for social media. Maybe you didn’t start a program because you thought it was a fad, you did make one and it just collected dust or you felt like it was just a waste of time. That’s ok. There’s still time to get into the game. But you have to get off the bench and get started.

Let’s pretend you haven’t done anything with social media. What’s a good place to start? Well, before you get involved in social media, it’s my belief a business needs a website first. I think a website should be the anchor of all social media. It adds credibility to your company. In a world where most people have tossed out their yellow pages and gotten a laptop, it doesn’t make sense not to have an online presence for your company.

So if you are one of the companies that doesn’t have even a basic website, before you worry about social media, you should put this at the top of your “to do” list, and then get to work!

So you’ve built a great website. What’s next? Two of the best places to start to get the biggest reach are YouTube and Pinterest. I would urge you to focus on these two sites first. Doing too much at once will just frustrate you. It’s best to start small.

Let’s take a look at Pinterest first. Pinterest is a pinboard-style photo-sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, and hobbies. Users can browse other pinboards for images, ‘re-pin’ images to their own pinboards or ‘like’ photos they come across. It allows users to save images and categorize them on different boards, and they can follow other users’ boards if they have similar tastes.

You, as an owner of a Pinterest page, can create boards and give them names, “Countertops” or “Kitchens,” for example. You can then begin to populate them with pictures of your own work. Because you are trying to find people in your area to use your services it’s best to tag your boards accordingly. For example, if you’re from the Boise area you could use the tag “Boise countertops.” Also, when you load a picture you can add your company’s information to the description. Using your Web address is very important. A potential client can just click it and view your website.

Another important feature of Pinterest is called “pinning.” Pinning pictures from your website to your Pinterest boards is suggested. Why? If someone pins a picture on your board, your website will get the credit thus increasing action on your website. This makes Google happy and your website will become more visible in searches. Pictures drive social media, so the more pictures you post, the greater your online visibility will be. It’s pretty easy to get started and doesn’t cost you anything, but the potential upside is more people seeing your work and more business coming your way.

Now, let’s go a step further and look at YouTube. YouTube is a video-sharing website on which users can upload, view and share videos. The site displays a wide variety of user-generated video content, including movie clips, TV clips, and music videos, as well as amateur content such as video blogging, short original videos, and educational videos. Most of the content on YouTube has been uploaded by individuals, although media corporations including CBS, the BBC, Vevo, Hulu, and other organizations offer some of their material via the site. Unregistered users can watch videos, while registered users can upload an unlimited number of videos.

How can you use YouTube to increase business? I talked about Pinterest first for a reason. What I am about to explain involves using pictures you have gathered to make small YouTube videos. If you have created a few Pinterest boards, then you now have a reservoir of pictures to use. Years ago, you needed all kinds of fancy equment to make a video, but technology is just moving at light speed. Now high-quality video can be created on your iPad or even on your smartphone. I have apps that cost less than 10 dollars that can be used to make a pretty good production.

So what should you produce? Let’s use a kitchen remodel as an example. You could take 10 or 12 shots of a completed Kitchen with your smart phone, and then upload them to your inexpensive movie app. I like iMovie, because you have the option of setting your video to music, but I’m sure there are others that will work just as well. So, pick some appropriate music to play while your photos are running as the first step. To complete the project you should make opening credits, explain what the video is about and add a good conclusion that includes your company contact info.

Now, for the most important part: Before you launch the video on YouTube, think about the audience you’re trying to reach. For example, suppose you’re a kitchen remodeler and you’re trying to reach out for customers in Boston. I would suggest you title the video “Boston Kitchen Remodeling.” Why? Because you want Google to like you so you will be found, and Google loves YouTube videos. You’ll find in a very short time that when you search “Boston kitchen remodeling” your video will show up on or near the first page. It’s a quick way to move up the ranks. Sometimes it takes years to get to the front page of a search and a lot of effort with key words doing it the conventional way. So this can move you quickly up the ladder. The best part is people love to watch videos so they can’t resist clicking.

Building a website, joining Pinterest and making a simple YouTube video are three not-so-difficult ways to greatly increase your social media presence and increase business. I also encourage you to join groups or forums that discuss social media and learn more. A great place to start is LinkedIn to look for groups…but that is another story.

If you dive into the social media scene, I know you will find it well worth the effort as you reap the rewards.

About the Author
Jon Olson has more than 30 year’s involvement in the solid surface industry, with experience in all aspects of fabrication and sales. He is the past recipient of ISFA’s Fabricator of the Year and Innovator Awards and can be reached at [email protected]