Thursday, May 2, 2013

25 Ways Modular Home Builders Can Use Social Media To Improve Their Marketing

Social media isn’t always the right tool for the job. Not every modular factory or builder needs a blog. YouTube works for WestchesterHomes and Blu Homes, but it might not work for your company. And yet, there’s something to this.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve spoken to four modular home factories and builders that are considering social media for one project or another. Here’s a list of 25 ideas (in no particular order) to help you get started.
  1. Add social bookmark links to your most important web pages and/or blog posts to improve sharing.
  2. Build blogs and teach conversational marketing and business relationship building techniques.
  3. Learn how tagging and other metadata improve your ability to search and measure the spread of information.
  4. Create informational podcasts about a product’s overall space, not just the product.
  5. Check out Twitter as a way to show a company’s personality. (Don’t fabricate this).
  6. Couple your email newsletter content with additional website content on a blog for improved commenting or send content to Modcoach.
  7. Try out a short series of audio podcasts or video podcasts as content marketing and see how they draw.
  8. Experiment with Flickr and/or YouTube groups to build media for specific events.
  9. Recommend that your staff start personal blogs on their personal interests, and learn first hand what it feels like, including managing comments, wanting promotion, etc.
  10. Map out an integrated project that incorporates a blog, use of commercial social networks, and a face-to-face event to build leads and drive awareness of a product. Nationwide Homes is an expert at this.
  11. Start a community group on Facebook or LinkedIn around the space where your customer does business.
  12. Attend a conference dealing with social media like New Media Expo, BlogWorld Expo,
  13. Explore distribution. Can you reach more potential buyers/users/customers on social networks.
  14. Don’t forget early social sites like Yahoogroups and Craigslist. They still work remarkably well.
  15. Practice delivering quality content on your blogs, such that customers feel educated / equipped / informed.
  16. Consider the value of hiring a community manager. Could this role improve customer service? Improve customer retention? Promote through word of mouth? Think Craig Halliday at Nationwide Homes.
  17. Ensure you offer the basics on your site, like an email alternative to an RSS subscription. In fact, the more ways you can spread and distribute your content, the better.
  18. Learn how not to ask for 40 pieces of demographic data when giving something away for free. Instead, collect little bits over time. Gently.
  19. Remember that the people on social networks are all people, have likely been there a while, might know each other, and know that you’re new. Tread gently into new territories. Don’t NOT go. Just go gently.
  20. Track your inbound links and when they come from blogs, be sure to comment on a few posts and build a relationship with the blogger.
  21. Find a bunch of bloggers and podcasters whose work you admire, and ask them for opinions on your social media projects. See if you can give them a free sneak peek at something, or some other “you’re special” reward for their time and effort (if it’s material, ask them to disclose it).
  22. Women are adding lots of value to social media. Get to know the ones making a difference.
  23. People power social media. Learn to believe in the value of people. Sounds hippie, but it’s the key.
  24. Don’t be afraid to fail. Be ready to apologize. Admit when you’ve made a mistake.
  25. Re-examine who in the organization might be best for your social media efforts. Help equip them to learn about marketing on social media.

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