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Social media: it’s not ALL about you

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Image via Tech Republic
Our Coverings 2015 Speaker Blog Series continues with a guest post from Arpi Nalbandian, owner and founder of Tileometry.

As recently as five years ago, actively spending time on social media platforms was deemed frivolous, a time-wasting activity that benefitted no one, and certainly not your business.
Of course, the above statement is a fallacy. Yet, there are companies (large and small) who feel social media platforms are only a vehicle for spewing out promotional, self-serving posts. While promoting your brand, website, blog, products, and/or company activities is highly encouraged, there is a difference between those who promote AND interact, and those that only promote.
Let me clear. The key to social media success is simple: be SOCIAL! This means you need to interact, respond, and share content on a daily basis.
Here are a few things to consider, whether you’re starting from scratch, if you’re picking up where someone else left off, or reevaluating your social media campaign.

Learn: Take the time to learn by lurking. Follow your favorite people or brands and take note on what you like and don’t like with what they’re doing on their accounts.
Connect: Let’s say you have a blog on your website. Link your latest blog post to your company’s Facebook page and Twitter feed, at the very least. You can also link your blog post to Pinterest on a board you named, for example, Our Blog. You can do the same on your Houzz account by starting an Ideabook that includes just your blog posts. Pin images from within the blog post to Pinterest and Houzz. By doing this, you’ve just connected your one blog post to various platforms.
Images: Image is everything! Our attention span gets shorter and shorter, so use images rather than words in certain situations. It’s great that you found a new tile that measures 48”x48”, is an exact replica of honed and filled Travertine, is only 2mm-thick, and comes in a variety of colors. I’d skip the detailed description and instead would post an image of your new find with a short caption.

Image via Fuentek
For the sake of this article, I’m going to focus on image-based platforms, such as Houzz, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Now, reflect on the following:

The tile and stone business is about visual inspiration
80% of potential customers begin the buying process online

If you think Pinterest, Houzz and Instagram are a waste of time, then take a look at these numbers for Pinterest alone:

70 million users and growing!
80% are women (your customer base)
Percentage of U.S. online adult women: 42%
Income: 41% earn $50,000-$75,000+

Source: Pew Research Center

Image via Shart Media
Next, think about how you currently meet your client’s visual design needs. Do you have an inspiration gallery on your website? Do you showcase new tile and stone partnerships or product availability? What about design ideas featuring installations from your clients? Do you share these images on your social media networks? If you answered no to any of these questions, then perhaps it’s time to implement a program where new or current clients can refer to these images.
Moreover, images serve to help your followers personify a brand. The photo you took of your employees working on a project, your sneak peek at a new tile or stone collection, the image a client sent you after installing your tile or stone in their home or business, or even what you do during your down time. Building a community with your brand’s/company’s followers is priceless!
For more information on how you can leverage image-based social media platforms, please mark your Coverings 2015 agenda, and join me and Christine Whittemore of Simple Marketing Now as we present Image is Everything! How Houzz and Pinterest Steer Clients to Your Tile/Stone Business: A Case Study and Guide for Visual Online and Social Success. Our session is scheduled for April 15, 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM. Until then, you can connect with me here:

Via the Tileometry Blog
On Twitter – Arpi Nalbandian and Tileometry
On the Tileometry Facebook page
On Pinterest – Arpi Nalbandian and Tileometry
On LinkedIn
On Google+ – Arpi and Tileometry
On Houzz
On Instagram

Join Arpi Nalbandian for her session, “Image is Everything! How Houzz and Pinterest Steer Clients to Your Tile/Stone Business: A Case Study and Guide for Visual Online and Social Success” on Wednesday, April 15 from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM at the Orange County Convention Center during Coverings 2015. Click here to view the full list of Coverings 2015 conference sessions. Don’t miss this session – register now for free to attend!