As IWF approaches, I want to take a break from my series on helping buyers of 3DL components and focus on a few ways the industry can improve customer awareness and maximize our potential. As those of you who’ve been reading regularly know, I spend a fair amount of time keeping up with internet activity relating to 3D laminating. In addition to extensive use of Google Alerts, I’m active on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google + and, yes, even Pinterest.
I’m truly enjoying the interaction I’m having with individuals, ranging from homeowners to those in the design community. But do you know what the most discouraging part is? I’m not finding you there! Though the call to engage using social media is coming from all directions, our industry remains terribly under-represented in all of the major outlets. In a nutshell, we’re anti-social.
RenolitFive-piece thermofoil doors continue to draw attention and represent a great opportunity to engage with and educate end users. I know what many of you are thinking. You’re having trouble seeing how all of this can really help you. After all, you don’t sell to the end user.
This is pretty basic guys. How many ads have you seen from companies that don’t sell directly to you? The food industry doesn’t rely on grocery stores to create demand. Stores want to carry what the public is already demanding. Your potential customers, regardless of what they produce, generate orders based on demand.
What do you think they’re likely to do if their customer shows up with a picture of your product?
Here are a few opportunities you may be missing out on:
Let’s use a cabinet door supplier as an example. You may not reach a lot of your customers through Facebook, but your target market is. I’m finding new cabinet shops on Facebook on a regular basis but very few door suppliers. What would happen if you started posting attractive photos of your product and started building a following, beginning with your current customers and employees? How about asking your customers to submit photos of kitchens that use your products and having a “customer of the week” promotion? Those photos will begin to be seen by people outside your customer’s market. Any chance you might receive a few calls about your doors?
I have a client whose business is still nearly 40% down from their peak before the recession. When I talked about Facebook their immediate response was, “Our customers aren’t the type to hang out on Facebook.” My response was simply, “Are you happy with the amount of business YOUR customers are bringing you?” Here’s an example of how good Facebook business page looks.