As LBM dealers continue to search out best practices for utilizing social media to their business’s advantage, many are looking to early adopters who are experienced and willing to share to help others in the industry. This month, Monica Banks of Grand Banks Building Products in Gloucester, Mass. offers insight into how the Grand Banks team leverages social media.
Q: What social media platforms do you use?
A: We use Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Houzz, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Q: Which platform is your favorite and how does it benefit your company?
A: Instagram. We get good responses across the board, and each platform serves a different type of engagement, but I would have to say Instagram. It’s a great way for us to showcase our story and connect with others in the industry. We get a lot of traffic and exposure from Pinterest, but more of our social engagement comes from Facebook and Instagram. We’ve put a lot into photography and it is really paying off. It helps us connect with people.
Q: Who handles social media posts at Grand Banks?
A: I do. Every once in awhile we have some other members of our team contribute. Mostly they send their content to me and I coordinate the story or campaign. That way we can keep our message consistent and focused.
Q: How much time do you spend on social media each month?
A: It’s hard to separate out the time. Our social media campaigns are so connected with all the marketing we do. I would say probably close to 20 to 30 hours a month. A lot of that time is little snippets here and there. Staying connected with the rest of the building community means being on top of what other people are saying. Any chance to comment or respond is a great opportunity to connect with the community and customers, both past and potential. The majority of time is spent creating content, going on photo shoots, brainstorming blog posts and writing them. It’s a lot of work.
Q: What is your monthly social media marketing budget? How does it differ between platforms?
A: We don’t have a set budget. Depending on the time of year or month or current campaign, it can range between $50-$200. We try to maximize our organic exposure, and then set the budget from there.
Q: Many of our readers are pro dealers selling primarily to contractors. How has social media helped you reach that audience?
A: Any channel for you to connect to people helps. We strengthen our relationships by connecting to their project and seeing what they are working on. In addition to that extra connection, it helps establish our identity as a company for contractors who haven’t heard of us. We’ve discovered people on Instagram that we did not know before. Contractors who are new to the area or field can look us up on any of these platforms and see what we sell and what we stand for. The social proof factor is really important. We think about social media as part of our online reputation.
Q: What other advice do you have for dealers using social media?
A: It’s not as immediate as the world would like you to believe. It’s been a lot of slow, organic growth for us. Ultimately it’s all about making connections and growing relationships with people.
DEALERS: Interested in sharing your Social Media strategies? Let us know at James@LBMJournal.com.