Facebook, Twitter, Google + - where does your company fall in the spectrum of social media? I like to think of social media as a superhero's secret weapon. Not only does it work for you when you least expect it but your social media presence packs a one-two punch when it comes to making you visible to potential customers and helping you retain your current customers.
I sat down with Lennox Industries' Social Media Communications Specialist Valerie Mastalka to talk about the Lennox Social Media Program and some tips and tricks for social media in 2015.
M: Valerie, tell me a little about the Lennox Social Media Program and what it brings to dealers.
V: Our program provides interesting and compelling content specific to the HVAC industry as well as other generalized captivating content that makes customers want to subscribe to the dealer's feed of information on Facebook, Twitter, or Google +. We also include pre-packaged contests and campaigns, like the Lennox Movember campaign we're currently promoting.
M: What are some of the changes coming along in 2015?
V: This year we started offering dealers the opportunity to use CAP advertising funds to pay for Facebook advertising to promote their Facebook page and bring in new engagement or likes, which is something we will carry on into 2015. We are also introducing co-op social media program fees, the addition of monthly LinkedIn content on business pages, quarterly YouTube videos specific to the dealers, French and Spanish content for social media, and a new social promotion tool kit with email and business card templates for dealers to ask customers to like their page or review their service.
M: What would you say is the biggest struggle you see dealers having with social media, and how does the Lennox Social Media Program aid in that?
V: We see a lot of dealers struggling with building their audience from the ground up, and we always recommend the first thing you do before you advertise is that you get your existing customers to like your page because they can be your biggest referral network. So with our new social promotion tool kit, the dealers can do that via their email list or with business cards they can drop off after a service call to help ask for referrals, which we believe will be very helpful.
M: Why should dealers invest in social media?
V: Social media can be a lead generation tool, a brand awareness tool, a place to advertise, and a place to house referrals and communicate with your customers. But gone are the days of yellow pages and rolodexes - today, once a service call happens, it may be one to two years before a customer needs their dealer again. They often forget who their dealer is and return to the drawing board. So not only is social media a long-term play for lead generation and a crucial place for marketing and brand awareness, it's also a place to retain your existing customers to keep them coming back to you instead of a competitor.
M: What would you say are some good tips and tricks for social media in 2015?
V: Here at Lennox, our goal is to help dealers attract and retain customers, and be able to measure their success in social media as well as the various other Lennox programs we offer.
- To attract new customers - Advertise, advertise, advertise.
- To retain your customers and keep them sharing your content - Be timely and relevant, and don't be afraid to jump on a social media channel if there's something going on in your community that's meaningful to you and engage in a timely conversation with customers.
- Stay in the know - You only know what's working if you're looking at analytics on a regular basis. Subscribe to weekly or monthly reports to see how your social media channels are performing (offered in the Lennox Social Media Program).
- Engage in Lennox social offerings - Lennox is really trying to convey to dealers that the social media program works hand-in-hand with the dealer advocacy program (reviews), our CAP program, and some new future digital efforts. To be truly successful, dealers should buy into all together as a package.
For more information on the Lennox Social Media Program, email Valerie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Valerie Mastalka is the Social Media Communications Specialist for Lennox Industries. Her daily responsibilities include managing the Lennox Social Media brand presence and the Lennox Social Media Program for dealers.