During the recent Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) and throughout the rest of the year, kitchen and bath manufacturers are finding social media marketing an increasingly indispensable tool. That’s true whether they’re posting “booth tours” on YouTube, asking customers to stop by their Facebook pages to tag photos or using QR Codes to provide customers and prospects with videos featuring detailed specs on their products.
From Facebook and Twitter to videos, virtual tours and QR codes, social media provides a multitude of new ways to reach tech-savvy prospects.
So, what can kitchen and bath dealers and designers learn from studying these companies’ social media marketing plans? The short answer: a lot. While manufacturers are often among the most cutting edge when it comes to new media marketing strategies, social media is increasingly relevant to all aspects of the kitchen and bath industry. And, with an increasingly computer savvy consumer spending more and more time researching projects and products online before beginning the in-person shopping experience, kitchen and bath professionals would do well to study these strategies to see what might be effective for their own firms.
Additionally, manufacturers with strong social media strategies can be valuable partners for kitchen and bath dealers and designers, increasing not only the visibility of specific product lines, but also of kitchen and bath dealerships as the “go to” source for these products.
This month, kitchen and bath product manufacturers share social media marketing strategies they’ve employed at KBIS and beyond.
It’s often said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and this is particularly true when using social media in the kitchen and bath industry. While Facebook and Twitter played key roles in kitchen and bath manufacturers’ efforts to promote their appearances at the recent KBIS, photos are also integral to the process.
One such manufacturer, Stafford, TX-based Cosentino North America, maker of Silestone natural quartz countertops, liberally utilized Twitter and Facebook to invite designers to visit its booth and view its new colors, according to Lorenzo Marquez, marketing v.p.
However, the company also used photos in a unique way. One evening during this year’s KBIS, the company threw an event it called the “2011 Cosentino KBIS Celebration.” Guests strolling along the red carpet into the party were photographed, then invited to stop by Cosentino’s Facebook page to tag their photos. Asking the attendees to tag their photos increased Cosentino’s Facebook fans and also spurred them to share their own photos of kitchens and baths designed using Cosentino countertops, Marquez says.
Kitchen and bath dealers and designers can employ a similar strategy at their own open house events, showroom parties, seminars or the like. By taking photos and inviting showroom visitors to tag them on Facebook, they not only can add to their Facebook fan base but can also gain exposure exponentially through attendees’ other Facebook friends. Likewise, dealers and designers might take photos of clients’ finished projects and invite them to post these photos on their own Facebook pages to share with friends.
Twitter, too, can be a great tool for enhancing a firm’s reputation and helping to spread exciting news. For instance, Cosentino often uses Twitter to tweet about press coverage it has garnered, or tout appearances of its products on upcoming television shows. Facebook Gallery can showcase photos of actual room installations featuring its products. And YouTube is an important social media marketing tool that allows customers to view clips featuring Cosentino products from HGTV or DIY Network shows, or episodes of “Extreme Makeover Home Edition.”