Digital Case Studies: Kuiken Brothers Company, Inc.

May 24, 2017 James Anderson

Ryan MulkeenAs LBM dealers continue to search out best practices for utilizing social media to their business’s advantage, many are looking to early adaptors who are experienced and willing to share to help others in the industry. This month, Ryan Mulkeen, marketing director at Kuiken Brothers in Midland Park, N.J. offers insight into how the Kuiken Brothers team leverages social media.

Q: What social media platforms do you use?
A: Instagram is our primary contact with our followers. We also replicate that content on Twitter and Facebook. We have Houzz and Pinterest accounts, but we’re not putting too much effort into those sites now. The engagement we are getting on Instagram is night and day compared to others, so that is our focus for now.


Q: How does social media benefit your company?
A: In the beginning it was just enough to have a presence to show that you’re engaged, a way to show a behind the scenes look at your company. It’s different than a monthly flyer, a statement stuffer, or even an e-newsletter. When we started with Facebook and Twitter, it gave us a chance to talk about so many different products and services we had constantly, rather than having to make a huge investment into a printed direct mail campaign.

It’s a continuous drum and allows us to share little details about a product that we supply. On Instagram, sharing pictures allows us to interact and it has been well received with remodelers, architects, and interior designers. We’ve been posting photos and videos for five years now without a strong sales pitch. It’s never a sell, just a focus on sharing content and options to be part of the community. It has turned into great marketing engagement tool for us. We can follow along and see questions and concerns that our customers and prospective customers share, and that helps us from a messaging standpoint.


Q: Who handles social media posts at your company?
A: I oversee all social media accounts and focus my time on Instagram and YouTube. Our Communications Manager Susan Bruno manages the content on Twitter and Facebook although you’ll see a lot of overlapping content.


Q: How much time do you spend on social media each month?
A: We don’t necessarily track time. We have weekly events that we promote through Twitter and Facebook so that is always consistent. But my time on Instagram is 24/7 because there is always so much new and great content uploaded regularly that it helps me to see what is happening real time.

I have a passion for the industry and a desire to see Kuiken Brothers and our customers succeed. I have never looked at my job as “work”—it’s become a part of what I do. Instagram allows me to constantly learn about what is happening and ensure that the content that we are sharing is what our customers want to hear about. We don’t want to be just noise— we want to share relevant information and be viewed as a valuable resource and partner to our builder, remodeler and architect customers.


Q: Do you do any paid promotion on social media?
A: At one point we had tested out some of the Facebook ads, but did not pursue it much further. We have grown our Instagram followers to over 20,000 and have always had great organic engagement that we’re going to ride with as long as we can.


Q: Many of our readers are pro dealers selling primarily to contractors. How do you reach that audience?
A: Contractors’ time is money. They have a lot of things going on throughout the day. We always try to provide them with relevant and informative content, something that will help them save time installing a product, or taking advantage of the services that we offer. We could print a huge catalog and mail all of that information to them, but they’ll never have the time to read it all. Social media allows us to strip apart that big picture and provide snippets of information. If it grabs their attention in their feed as they are flipping through Instagram, and they contact us, we know that it is worth their time.


Q: What other advice do you have for dealers using social media?
A: Just get involved. See what kind of feedback you can get through engagement. You can’t just post and hope. You have to engage and interact. If you love what you’re doing, it will show through the content that you’re posting. Feature something behind the scenes about your company. Don’t just post the beauty shots. Post shots of fully loaded trucks of lumber. Don’t turn the reigns over to an intern. If people ask questions on most social media sites, they are looking for pretty immediate engagement—make sure that you are keeping an eye on the comments and answering as quickly as you can.

Kuiken Stats

DEALERS: Interested in sharing your Social Media strategies? Let us know at James@LBMJournal.com.

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