16 • Vol. 6 / Issue 2 • International Surface Fabricators Association
Yes, I said it. Social
media is here to
stay. I know for
some of you that’s not good news. And you may
not like this even more, but it really does work.
There could be many reasons for your lack of
enthusiasm for social media. Maybe you didn’t
start a program because you thought it was a
fad, you did make one and it just collected dust,
or you felt like it was just a waste of time. That’s
OK. There’s still time to get into the game. But you
have to get off the bench and get started.
Let’s pretend you haven’t done anything with
social media. What’s a good place to start? Well,
before you get involved in social media, it’s my
belief a business needs a website first. I think a
website should be the anchor of all social media.
It adds credibility to your company. In a world
where most people have tossed out their yellow
pages and gotten a laptop, it doesn’t make sense
not to have an online presence for your company.
So if you are one of the companies that doesn’t
have even a basic website, before you worry
about social media, you should put this at the top
of your “to do” list, and then get to work!
So you’ve built a great website. What’s next? Two
of the best places to start to get the biggest reach
are YouTube and Pinterest. I would urge you to
focus on these two sites first. Doing too much at
once will just frustrate you. It’s best to start small.
Let’s take a look at Pinterest first. Pinterest is
a pinboard-style photo-sharing website that
allows users to create and manage theme-based
image collections such as events, interests and
hobbies. Users can browse other pinboards for
images, “re-pin” images to their own pinboards
or “like” photos they come across. It allows
users to save images and categorize them on
different boards, and they can follow other users’
boards if they have similar tastes.
You, as an owner of a Pinterest page, can create
boards and give them names, “Countertops” or
“Kitchens,” for example. You can then begin to
populate them with pictures of your own work.
Because you are trying to find people in your area
to use your services, it’s best to tag your boards
accordingly. For example, if you’re from the Boise
area, you could use the tag “Boise countertops.”
Also, when you load a picture you can add your
company’s information to the description. Using
your Web address is very important. A potential
client can just click it and view your website.
Another important feature of Pinterest is called
“pinning.” Pinning pictures from your website
to your Pinterest boards is suggested. Why?
If someone pins a picture on your board, your
website will get the credit thus increasing action
on your website. This makes Google happy
and your website will become more visible in
searches. Pictures drive social media, so the more
pictures you post, the greater your online visibility
will be. It’s pretty easy to get started and doesn’t
cost you anything, but the potential upside is
more people seeing your work and more business
coming your way.
Now, let’s go a step further and look at YouTube.
YouTube is a video-sharing website on which
users can upload, view and share videos. The
site displays a wide variety of user-generated
video content, including movie clips, TV clips,
and music videos, as well as amateur content
such as video blogging, short original videos
and educational videos. Most of the content
on YouTube has been uploaded by individuals,
although media corporations including CBS, the
BBC, Vevo, Hulu, and other organizations offer
some of their material via the site. Unregistered
users can watch videos, while registered users
can upload an unlimited number of videos.
How can you use YouTube to increase business?
I talked about Pinterest first for a reason. What I
am about to explain involves using pictures you
have gathered to make small YouTube videos. If
you have created a few Pinterest boards, then you
now have a reservoir of pictures to use. Years ago,
you needed all kinds of fancy equipment to make
a video, but technology is just moving at light
speed. Now high-quality video can be created
on your iPad or even on your smartphone. I have
apps that cost less than $10 that can be used to
make a pretty good production.
So what should you produce? Let’s use a kitchen
remodel as an example. You could take 10 or 12
shots of a completed kitchen with your smart-
phone, and then upload them to your inexpensive
movie app. I like iMovie because you have the
option of setting your video to music, but I’m sure
there are others that will work just as well. So, pick
some appropriate music to play while your photos
are running as the first step. To complete the
project you should make opening credits, explain
what the video is about and add a good conclusion
that includes your company contact info.
Now, for the most important part: Before you
launch the video on YouTube, think about the
audience you’re trying to reach. For example,
suppose you’re a kitchen remodeler and you’re
trying to reach out for customers in Boston.
I would suggest you title the video “Boston
Kitchen Remodeling.” Why? Because you want
Google to like you so you will be found, and
Google loves YouTube videos. You’ll find in a very
short time that when you search “Boston kitchen
remodeling” your video will show up on or near the
first page. It’s a quick way to move up the ranks.
Sometimes it takes years to get to the front page
of a search and a lot of effort with key words doing
it the conventional way. So this can move you
quickly up the ladder. The best part is people love
to watch videos so they can’t resist clicking.
Building a website, joining Pinterest and making
a simple YouTube video are three not-so-
difficult ways to greatly increase your social
media presence and increase business. I also
encourage you to join groups or forums that
discuss social media and learn more. A great
place to start is LinkedIn to look for groups …
but that is another story.
If you dive into the social media scene, I know
you will find it well worth the effort as you reap the
About the Author:
Jon Olson has more than 30 years’ involvement in the
solid surface industry, with experience in all aspects of
fabrication and sales. He is the past recipient of ISFA’s
Fabricator of the Year and ISFA’s Innovator of the Year
awards and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the desk of Jon Olson
Social Media is here to Stay