As an independent contractor for (mostly) micro and small businesses, I focus primarily on social media, email, and content marketing initiatives. So it seemed a bit redundant to write about the current state of social media within…well, social media. Instead, I chose to focus on the tools I use for a client in the high-end appliance industry. I thought it would be a good exercise in detailing how social media use, and the content being shared, needs to be tailored to the type of product or service being promoted. Even more important is to make sure that the content is geared towards the correct target market.
The promotion of home appliances may conjure thoughts of loud, poorly produced, local television commercials more so than quality social media campaigns. You may have visions of nondescript white goods lined up by the hundreds at a warehouse store and high-pressure salespeople pushing scratch and dent deals. Sure, bargain appliances have their use and target market (of which, I am a part of). However, higher-end appliances make up an important element in the highly visual, and very popular, home renovation and construction industry.
For that reason, appliance retailers and distributors (like my client) can benefit greatly from using visual social media platforms like Instagram and sharing informative content that reinforces a company’s social platforms through blog posts.
Luxury Appliances…The Darling of Image-Based Social Media?
No matter how great the design, appliances by themselves offer very little in terms of eye candy. With the exception of large, high-tech, refrigerators like the Family Hub fridge from Samsung,it is hard to convey the individual style and beauty of a kitchen appliance. Their true presence is usually only felt once the appliances are installed into a new construction or home remodel project. In fact, many times the appliances themselves become the stars of the kitchen.
This led me to implement a procedure in which every home installation is photographed by a delivery crew team member. Since my client does around forty to fifty deliveries a week, I obtain a good amount of content for the company Instagram page. Although many of the pictures never get used, some of the delivery team have really embraced their inner photographer. They then email the photos and I utilize a photo editing app like Enlight to make the pictures look their best before sharing them to Instagram.
By utilizing high traffic hashtags, tagging (or mentioning) the appliance brands, and trying to always use the location of the delivery we connect directly with our target market. An added benefit is the fact that these Instagram pics shared to Facebook regularly receive the best organic (non-paid) reach of any of our posts. This Instagram to Facebook “one-two” punch has really provided a great way to connect with consumers, other businesses, and industry influencers. I have even utilized apps like Chatbook to make photo books from our Instagram photos. These books can then be handed out at sponsored events to showcase the products and services in a (somewhat) low-cost print marketing format.
Blogs…Where Educated Customers Become Loyal Patrons
Luxury appliances have a definite wow factor when it comes to their appearance in a new or remodeled kitchen. But let’s not forget that these pillars of the kitchen are basically the lifeline of any household. Luxury appliances go beyond French-door refrigerators or restaurant-style gas ovens. They also include wine and beverage preservation systems, indoor grills and built-in coffee systems. With so many options there is a definite need for information on how to best use these pricey investments. In fact, Yale Appliance, an appliance store in Boston, uses a company blog to significantly increase their social media traffic. When asked about their blog, Steve Sheinkopf , owner of Yale Appliance says “It is our marketing strategy, and the engine driving our Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest engagements,” (Kuenn, 2013). Blogging in the appliance industry gives retailers the ability to establish themselves as trustworthy and authoritative resources. It creates that all-important element of trust with a target market. As Arnie Kuenn (follow Arnie on Twitter) states, “By providing information that helps a consumer make a decision on a purchase, trust is built, making them more likely to purchase from Yale when they make a final decision.”
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Kuenn, A. (2013). How A Boston Appliance Store Grew Business Through Content Marketing. Marketing Land. Retrieved 23 February 2017, from http://marketingland.com/how-a-boston-appliance-store-grew-its-business-through-content-marketing-61106
Boston Appliance Showroom | Yale Appliance and Lighting. (2017). Yale Appliance + Lighting. Retrieved 23 February 2017, from https://www.yaleappliance.com/