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Hal Licino

Engage Your Home Improvement Social Media Follower with Staff Tips

Aug 02 2011, 07:47 PM by

In the social media age, content is King, Emperor and just about any other royalty you wish to attribute to it. Your social networking adherents are not following your Home Improvement business' online presence because they like your logo or you happen to be across the street from the best burger joint in town: They consider you an official source of information on the particular types of contracting and DIY products and services they are most interested in. To cater to these requirements by your customers, you need to provide unique, compelling and fully relevant content that engages your social network follower and email newsletter subscriber. Easier said than done? Not in the case of your Home Improvement business, which has a mother lode of exceptionally profound, specialized knowledge right in your own location: Your employees!
Leverage Your Brain Trust
You have a brain trust roughly equivalent to your own HGTV and DIY Network right in your store, so why not take advantage of that invaluable resource to inform and educate your customers? The best way to accomplish this goal is to ask the staff in each department to provide special tips, which you can post on your social networks or include in your email newsletters in conjunction with particular promotions. Your seasoned personnel have picked up invaluable nuggets of information over the years on literally every product you stock, and your customers will find little insider tidbits like these completely irresistible:
 
When promoting pocket doors, note that you should allow at least a 3/16 inch of clearance between the door and the jambs so that if the pocket door warps a bit over time it won't bind stuck.
When holding a sale on tile, specify that as an alternative to polymer-fortified thinset mortar the customer can add liquid latex to unfortified thinset.
When marketing central air conditioners, inform your customers that they should clean out their air conditioning condensate line with a wet vac from the outside at least twice a year.
Tweets: Short & Funny
There is literally no end to the tips you can provide for any product you're currently promoting. By tweaking these tips for specific channels you can differentiate the newsletter sidebar from the Twitter post and offer the appropriate type of content for the medium. While in your newsletter you can expand on your air conditioning condensate line tip with a description of how best to clean out the drain pan. The 140 character format of Tweets lends itself to quicker, and perhaps humor-tinged, flash statements such as "Clean out your aircon condensate line with a wet vac twice a year and don't be surprised if you suck out a thirsty gecko or mouse!"
"Hit & Run" Tips
When you're providing valuable Home Improvement tips, you want to speak your customer's language. You have to lose the corporate speak and also realize that you're not providing a degree course but only offering quick "hit and run" tips. Don't go into detail on how removing the evaporator coil differs from Tranes to Carriers, just offer a curt description of a simple task that any customer can perform regardless of their skill level. If your reader wishes to receive more extensive information, provide a link right to that department that they can use… and which really is the desired effect you're trying to trigger anyway!
Sell without Selling
One of the most difficult aspects of social media marketing for retailers to comprehend is that you sell without selling. If right after your air conditioner tip you launch into an abrasive and intensive pitch about your current sale stuffed with hyperbole and Buy Nows, you'll demolish all the good will you've generated by providing that information in the first place. The social media follower has to think that it's their idea to follow your link to your HVAC department to further educate themselves about a subject of interest. By keeping the conversation bilateral and light, your customers will come to rely on you as a "go-to" source of authoritative information, and the sales are sure to follow!

Posted in Tips & Resources, Social Media, Home Improvement

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