A social society

Sarah Hitchings, sales and marketing director of The Residence Collection, talks about the impact of social media engagement from Instagram Homes to Houzz, boasting a footprint equal to some of the most trusted consumer brands in the UK.

For many of us in the glazing and fenestration sectors, social media is deemed something that’s a bolt-on to the marketing mix and ventures little past Facebook and Twitter, but there’s far more that can be achieved when other platforms are considered.

From our experience, social media is a tool that’s best managed in-house with existing resources, and at The Residence Collection we are fortunate enough to have a marketing function that’s packed with experience and expertise.

We carry out as many tasks as possible in house including graphic design, e-marketing, and social media. There are now numerous software applications that best help you manage a number of media streams, but when you consider that we are highly active across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and Houzz, we have to be actively engaged with our audience daily, and there’s a team of us including me to achieve this.

Our Twitter followers of 5,132 isn’t necessarily a boastful number, but that’s because we’re getting engagement elsewhere, including Facebook where we’ve amassed over 58k likes and nearly 59k followers. When you consider that AGA only have 61k and 60k respectively, and market-leading kitchen brand Wren Kitchens 68k and 69k, you can appreciate what an incredible achievement this is, given that we don’t sell direct to the consumer.

The fact is that a typical customer for The Residence Collection has an eye for product design and home improvement and isn’t necessarily in the camp for the larger and well-known social media platforms. We already have interior designers, architects and influencers tagging us on Instagram, and we even have some of these featured homes in our latest consumer magazine, My Residence.

We have nearly 10,000 followers on Instagram, and people and businesses tag us daily, while architects and designs look for us on Houzz, which is a platform where consumers look to be influenced by case studies and they can search for professionals in their area. As a social media platform, it’s huge in the USA with over 20 million photos worldwide, and it’s beginning to take traction in the UK. So, as a consumer-led brand it’s important for us to be part of the emerging marketing channels in which to engage with our discerning audience.

Pinterest is another strong social media platform for us and is a visual discovery engine for finding ideas like home, design and style inspiration, and we enjoy 78.9k monthly unique views. With billions of pins on Pinterest, you’ll always find ideas to spark inspiration, and it’s something I use outside of business. When you discover Pins you love, save them to boards to keep your ideas organised and easy to find.

While LinkedIn is a valuable business and corporate tool, we are now faced with more social media channels than ever before. People are migrating between platforms and the socio-demographics of Facebook for example has changed in recent years, as it becomes a place to chase the grey pound. The latest statistic will now show you that Instagram has been adopted by the younger generation, who don’t necessarily want to share a social media platform with their parents.

With differing target audiences between platforms, the opportunities to post across multiple platforms using the likes of Hootsuite may seem advantageous, but generic marketing messages are often those that don’t really generate the best ROI.

Our social society has never been so diverse and so too should our messaging across all available platforms, so why not branch out and take your brand further?

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