In my last post, I shared with you how to get started on becoming the online solution and educational resource for your product’s benefits. Too many company’s see social media as a waste of time or, worse, use it as a PR machine to pump their company and product name out.
No one reads that kind of puff.
Not surprisingly, company’s don’t see results from their building material social media campaign – and certainly not sales. I see it all the time. I said it once, and I’ll say it again: You are helping someone solve a problem where your product is a possible solution. You are not selling them why your product is the best solution.
Follow these simple steps to build your online credibility for an effective building material social media campaign.
1. Develop an editorial calendar. Develop a list of 30 subjects you think your customers might be searching for that are not the name of your product or company. For example, “How to save energy” instead of “How Owens Corning insulation can save you money.”
2. Decide who is going to write the content. It can be an internal person or group of people. There are also outside firms who specialize in this. Consider using a local newspaper reporter. They like to learn things and write about them without selling and they usually could use some extra money. Ideally, most of the content should be posted listing the main person as the author whether they wrote it or not.
3. Write the content and post at least one story a week. When I started my blog, I wrote 30 posts in 30 days to jump start things and to get in the habit. Proofread, edit and review the posts.
4. Select at least one image for the post. I use Istock but there are many sources for images that are either free or have a cost. If you use a free image, make sure you have permission and give credit.
5. Open your blog and post your article. I would have someone walk you through how to do it to make sure you have maximized the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) elements.
6. Copy the url of the post and use it for an update on Google+. Add a description of the post using hashtags with the appropriate words to make it easier for other Google+ users to find it. Remember, you are primarily using Google+ to gain Google Authorship ranking.
7. Copy the url of the post to your LinkedIn updates with a description. Do not use hashtags in your description as LinkedIn does not recognize them.
8. Share LinkedIn post with your groups on LinkedIn.
9. Sign up for a free service like Social Oomph or HootSuite and link it to your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. You can also sign up for a service that shortens your url’s like bitly and register your bit.ly account with Social Oomph. A professional version of Social Oomph allows you to repeat the same post on your LinkedIn page at whatever frequency you desire in LinkedIn or Twitter for a modest cost.
10. Start tracking the results of your efforts. This can be done in several ways. Set up or gain access to your Google Analytics account is one method.
I first learned about this social media process from Michael Gas of Fuel Lines.
While my business is different than a building material manufacturer, I have seen my website traffic increase by ten times. Another way is through the analytics on your blog site, especially if it’s on WordPress. Over time, you can use these results to understand what topics are generating the most page views. Armed with that knowledge, you can write content that is of interest to your readers and you’ll watch your traffic and sales grow!