Tool and building product manufacturers operate in the highly specialized construction industry and face challenges that consumer-oriented companies don’t. Trade audiences are very exacting, are oftentimes slow to adapt, and can be fiercely loyal which makes brand conversion more difficult. They depend on their tools as part of their business and their reputation. Your social media presence should take these unique audience characteristics into account. Here are a few tips to consider as you launch – or try to improve – your social presence.
#1: Set Goals
Goals are aspirational statements that express what you want your company to accomplish. While this might seem simplistic, many tool companies confuse goals with strategies and tactics, which are the steps taken to achieve those goals. You should be able to state a clear goal for your marketing in general and your social media specifically before you gravitate toward tactics.
# 2: Build a Following
If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? No matter how creative the content, or how engaging your social media efforts, without an audience it will all be for naught. And, it is important to attract and retain the right audiences (emphasis on right). In the case of tool companies, that would be primarily professionals and tradesmen, not the 10-year-old who lives down the street.
#3: Limit Promotions
Like-Gating is over. Facebook has put a stop to this practice. Since companies can’t require fans to like their page in order to enter a sweepstakes, you need to focus on other ways to acquire followers and increase engagement, including having compelling content. You can offer an incentive on occasion, to increase conversations or get feedback on your offerings, but the key is consistently good content.
#4: Give Your Audience Content They Can Use
Think about your target’s typical working day. Most tradespeople aren’t constantly monitoring their phone looking for your company’s latest tweet or searching for new tools on Instagram. But they are looking for information resources that address their specific needs and speak to them in language they can relate to.
#5: Measure and Adjust
Without tracking progress, how can you know how effective your program is? By posting at different times of day and staggering the posts between different days and using A/B testing, you can get a better idea of what types of communications will get a better response.