posted March 20, 2011 | Views: 4961
Sterling Surfaces, an award winning fabricator located in Sterling, MA, has been using social media to promote their company for the past few years. Jon Olson, Communications/Production Manager for Sterling and Columnist for ISFA’s Countertops & Architectural Surfaces Magazine, sat down with us to discuss why this form of marketing has been very successful for them.
Q: What made you decide to use social media?
A: I wanted a way to bring more folks to our web-site.
Q: Which social media sites do you use?
A: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube
Q: What type of items do you share?
A: We love to share ideas, projects, and a lot of project photos from start to finish. Social media affords the opportunity to help educate your clients on how a project works.
Q: How do you measure success of the social media sites you use?
A: If my web-traffic goes up that's one way. I've noticed whenever we post a blog via twitter or FB the web-traffic jumps up. Leads are a good barometer. Last year, even in a down economy we have been out straight quoting and selling.
Q: Which social media venue has been most successful for Sterling Surfaces so far?
A: They all have value. When we post a blog, Twitter plays a big role. When I want to post a project, Facebook leads the way. LinkedIn is a great place to brand the company and being involved with others in the industry such as the Solid Surface group adds value. I think LinkedIn will play an important role in the future since you can now have a business page which is another great way to advertise your company for free. Flickr is an ideal way to keep your company prominent in search engines if you tag your photos correctly. The same goes for YouTube. We made a video on Corian® Thermoforming. If someone searches this in Google, a link to our video immediately pops up.
Q: Do you participate in the advertising opportunities a social media site may offer (i.e. Facebook click ads)?
A: At times, but I still feel if you use social media correctly you don't need to spend money on clicks.
Q: Are there any other costs besides advertising to be aware of?
A: You are your own mini marketing agency in a sense so there can be some overhead - it all depends on what you want to put into it. For instance, you may want to make an investment in a good camera for photos and videos or hire an outside company for video production. Time is also a factor. At first I spent much more time on the sites until I got used to how functions worked. Now I may spend about an hour a day depending on what I plan to do. In the long run, the Internet saves us time and money because we are reaching more people while utilizing fewer resources.
Q: How much time do you spend maintaining your social media sites?
A: An average of an hour a day.
Q: What is the main audience for your sites?
A: Designers, architects, fellow fabricators + sheet manufacturers and other industry related companies.
Q: Have you seen sales growth that can be directly related to using social media and if yes, how much?
A: Yes. Sales are up approximately 30% in a down economy.
Q: What is the most important lesson you have learned while using social media?
A: Be consistent with your message.
Q: What advice do you have for someone considering social media to promote their business?
A: Don't start unless you’re committed. There is nothing worse for your reputation than to have a dusty social media site. It may send a message you’re no longer in business!
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