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Try New Technology for Social Media Gains

Social media can be a great tool for retailers to engage with their customers and promote what is great about the industry and their businesses. Some of the most influential people on social media might well be those customers, which was the case during a training seminar at the 2018 NAHB International Builders’ Show. Two builders who are active on social media and have built strong followings shared some tips that could be useful for independent retailers hoping to make their own mark online.

Promote People Who Can Promote You

Matt Risinger started a YouTube channel in 2008 with little idea of what he wanted to say or whether anyone would want to hear it. From that starting point, he built a YouTube channel with over 266,000 subscribers who tune in for detailed how-to guides as well as expert opinions in the building community.

One of the ways Risinger has built his channel has been to promote people and companies that then work to promote him back. This started with fellow builders and grew to include mentioning the manufacturers he was showing during his instructional videos.

Retailers can translate this into featuring employees who are interested in being a part of the business’s social media plans as well as featured products being promoted through sales or other promotions. Tagging these companies lets them know you’re talking about them and they might help broaden the reach of your posts.

“I really approached social media as, ‘Who do I want to hear from about building?’ I wanted to promote the people doing the work and showing off the skills these people have. These are the people I want to go to a bar and hang out with; let’s make that the atmosphere on social media,” Risinger says.

Diversify Your Voice

Heath Racela produces and directs episodes of “Ask This Old House” on Public Broadcasting Service, which features different people in its social media presence. From the corporate accounts all the way down to camera operators, those working on the show are encouraged to add their own voice.

“Almost everyone, including the hosts of the show and our producers, has a social media account and they’re encouraged to use it. As you can imagine, the accounts for the actual show are a bit more serious and staid, but others involved in the show can offer different perspectives,” Racela says.

One example was a new producer who offered a different view of a location shoot near the Grand Canyon. While the show’s account tweeted about the upcoming episode, the producer documented behind the scenes moments and the overall feel of the episode production.

Retailers might not want employees representing their business, but there are different ways to take advantage of different voices on social media. Many platforms offer shorter posting options, often referred to as “stories,” that can be a bit more playful than normal posts. This allows for different access points for customers interested in learning more about a business.

About Chad Husted

Chad is an assistant editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. A Purdue University graduate, Chad has covered sports and news at the high school, college and Olympic levels as a sports writer, editor and designer for multiple newspapers. Prior to joining the NRHA, he was the sports editor for the Herald Journal in Monticello, Indiana, and a designer and copy editor for the AIM Media Indiana group in Columbus, Indiana. When not cultivating his beard, he enjoys backpacking, cooking, traveling and watching too much sports and Netflix.

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