2015’s Top 5 Building Product Dealers and Lumberyards to Follow on Pinterest

8 Oct

Stick a Pin in These Ones—You’ll Want to Come Back to Them Later


Just as social media has taken the B2C world by storm, it is already impacting the B2B world—especially in building products marketing, which offers countless content possibilities such as home renovation, inspiration pictures, DIY information, and more. In previous posts (here and here), we outlined 2015’s Top Building Products Dealers and Lumberyards to Follow on Twitter. But one of the best social media platforms to market building products might not be one that immediately comes to mind when you think of the biggest platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

The platform I’m talking about is Pinterest, which boasts a 38% adoption rate among B2B marketers, with 41% planning to increase their use.[1] As it will become even more important for B2B marketers to not only target the right audience, but to target them at the right point in their buyer journey, it is critical that building products marketers have content available on social networks like Pinterest. Here are the top five dealers and lumberyards paving the way on Pinterest:

  1. Lumber Liquidators: There’s a reason why Lumber Liquidator has almost 8,000 followers. With 4,000+ tweets spanning 40 boards, there are ideas broken down by budget, products, seasons, and even color. Plus, Lumber Liquidator even has a special board for current trends in the industry. This is a great way to use a visual platform to keep followers in the know when it comes to import design and product trends, rather than simply posting an article that they might not have time to read.
  2. Voyageur Lumber: Voyageur takes a smart approach with a couple of boards that focus on product and location-specific projects. For example, one of their boards features “AZEK® Projects,” which showcases the unique decking designs that can be completed with those specific products. But my favorite is a board featuring only homes by Ely contractors (the town where Voyageur is located). In this way, they combine the aspirational nature of Pinterest home improvement ideals with the realism of projects completed locally in their market.
  3. Advantage Lumber: If there’s one thing you come away with after spending a few minutes on the Advantage Lumber Pinterest, it’s that the outdoor living trend is alive and well. From fire pits to porches to decking galore, this Pinterest is cram-packed with ideas for those wanting to up their outdoors game. But the best touch is their customer submissions board, which features a gallery of project images taken by customers of the lumberyard.
  4. Cedar Creek Lumber: Most Pinterest accounts do a lot of re-pinning but fail to post their own content. What stands out about Cedar Creek’s Pinterest is their willingness to create their own content on the platform. From wood carving instructions to completed projects to a board in which they walk users through steps to create their own giant Jenga set, Cedar Creek isn’t just showcasing DIY—they’re leading by example.
  5. 84 Lumber: Although 84 Lumber has a more modest following than some of the other accounts, they do a great job of creating boards that reflect their specific business rather than industry trends that showcase larger scale projects their products have been used for—perfect for a B2B audience. That said, they also mix it up with some unique boards including throwback pictures from their business’s history and one featuring holiday décor ideas using building materials.

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room. The building industry is often considered a male-dominated field (although hey, I’m writing this blog post); meanwhile, Pinterest is viewed as a female-dominated social network. But here’s the truth: so is almost every social media network in existence.[2] In the case of Pinterest, though, the only thing you need to know is that Pinterest doubled its number of male users in 2014, and a full 1/3 of all registrations now come from men.[3] And no surprises here—at the top of the most popular categories for men is DIY, home, and building.[4]

In an industry as visual as building, it’s important to find new ways to showcase your products and expertise. Pinterest is excellent at doing just that. And it’s only growing, offering even more opportunities for you to reach your audience. While these are just a few of the dealers and lumberyards out there using Pinterest, they set a strong example of what social media marketing can mean for building products.


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2015’s Top 10 Building Product Dealers and Lumberyards to Follow on Twitter (Part 2/2)

2 Oct

Prepare to Click Follow—Even More

iPad Finger Follow

Increasingly, building products marketers are taking advantage of social media to promote their business, products, and services—and with good reason. After all, the building products industry is still about people, and as generational dynamics continue to shift, social media provides a simple and affordable method to communicate directly with the people that make up your audience.

Throughout the past year, I’ve noticed a significant increase in the number of dealers adopting social media to communicate with their own audience in their own timeframe. Even better, I’ve noticed some lumberyards using social media really well. Last week, I rounded up five of the top dealers to follow on Twitter—and I promised to bring you five more. Here are #6-10 of 2015’s Top 10 Building Product Dealers to Follow:

  1. 84 Lumber Company (@84lumbernews): Looking for a one-stop shop for the most important housing/building industry news? Look no further than 84 Lumber Company. This account is great about scouring the web for relevant and informative articles that people in the building products industry need to know.
  2. Hingham Lumber (@hinghamlumber): Hingham is a bit of a grab bag of industry news, product factoids, and news, but one thing they’re good about is using Twitter to push their promotions, classes, and special events.
  3. Schutte Lumber Co (@schuttlumberco): DIY is big right now—the rise of Pinterest is a testament to that fact. But Schutte Lumber has managed to utilize Twitter well to provide DIY tips to more industrious customers. Besides that, they also smartly utilize Twitter as a platform to push their blog content.
  4. Economy Lumber (@economylumber): Economy is consistent about tweeting inspirational home ideas, DIY articles, wood-working tips, Houzz favorites, and general project ideas. Plus, they have an excellent blog that posts on the 1st and 15th of every month, and they tweet out links to these posts to keep their followers in the know.
  5. Midtown Lumber (@midtownlumber): With only 315 followers, we might classify this as “one to watch,” but they’re already doing plenty right. Not only do they post the DIY tips, product information, and other standard fare that one would expect from a lumberyard, but they are excellent about reaching out and using Twitter as a way to have conversations with others in the industry. Midtown seems to have already learned an important lesson: social media shouldn’t be a one-way communication.

That wraps up this year’s Top 10 Building Product Dealers to Follow on Twitter. If you’re looking for even more Twitter accounts to follow, look at our previous lists here and here.

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Building Products Trade Show Tips Roundup!

29 Sep

What You Need to Prepare for This Year’s Trade Shows

Tradeshow Floor

It’s official: trade show season is in full swing. As someone who attends his fair share of them, I can attest to it. This week, I will be attending the DeckExpo and Remodeling Show, where I will visit booths from many companies in the building industry. I already have an idea of which booths I want to visit and which products I want to learn more about. This isn’t uncommon in the building products industry—in fact, about 76% of attendees already have an agenda of which exhibitors they want to visit. So how can you, as a building products marketer, capitalize on an exhibit to get the best value out of your time there?

In the past, I have written several blog posts about trade shows and what building products marketers need to do—and avoid—to maximize their return on investment. Here is a quick roundup of those posts:

  • Bring Your “A” Game When You Exhibit: Many companies who exhibit at trade shows can spend thousands of dollars (or even millions) to draw in new customers and show off products. 67% of attendees represent a new prospect, and 81% of them have buying authority. Read this article for 5 tips and tricks to raise awareness and create memorable experiences for your building products trade show audience.
  • Is Your Brand Ready for the Big Show: There are a lot of questions that building products need to consider when planning their trade show exhibit or booth. This article isolates several of the most important questions you can ask yourself before attending the trade show to make sure that your booth represents your brand well during the “big show.”
  • The 5 Most Common Trade Show Mistakes (Part 1 & Part 2): After more than two decades in the building products industry, I’ve seen it all: the good, the bad, and the oh-so-ugly. In a two-part series of blog posts, I outlined the five biggest mistakes that building products marketers can make when planning their trade show exhibit.
  • WHITEPAPER: Killer Booths!: What can building products trade show marketers learn from horror movies? As it turns out, a lot. Download this free whitepaper if you’re afraid that your trade show marketing is falling victim to horror movie clichés—it just might help you live long enough to make it to the sequel.

Building products trade shows can be an enjoyable time and a great opportunity to produce qualified leads. But they also take a lot of planning, research, and hard work to make them successful. Any one of these articles are a good start for building products marketers who want to make sure their booth is up to snuff.

Read more of our recent posts at Navigate-the-Channel.

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2015’s Top 10 Building Product Dealers and Lumberyards to Follow on Twitter (Part 1)

24 Sep

Prepare to Click Follow—A Lot.

Click Follow

You’ll hear a lot of people in the building products industry make the claim that social media isn’t important to their marketing strategies. But the truth is that generational dynamics are shifting, putting Millennials and other social media users in new buying positions. It’s not something that’s coming down the line—it’s something that’s already happening. For many building products marketers, however, the bigger issue is simply knowing where to begin when trying to incorporate social media into their strategies.

To that end, I’ve rounded up a list of the top building products dealers on Twitter. If you’re in the building products industry, go ahead and click the “follow” button on these accounts—they’re getting it right.

  1. Lumber Liquidators (@hardwoodforless): Lumber Liquidators regularly posts information and images about the latest trends in the building products industry including flooring and more. Plus, they post images of customer home transformations that jog the inspiration of pros and homeowners alike.
  2. Moore Lumber (@moorelumber): With daily tweets and informative industry article, Moore Lumber has a lot to offer their almost 1,000 followers. Not only do they share company information and sales, but they also feature supplies that can be used for DIY Pinterest projects.
  3. Sherwood Lumber (@sherwoodlumber): Taking a slightly different approach to some other lumberyards, Sherwood Lumber tweets about wood and forest science as well as industry news that building products marketers need to keep abreast of.
  4. Ro-Mac Lumber (@lumber_romac): This account smartly utilizes expert insight by incorporating company interviews, blog posts, relevant articles, and excellent video content that sets them apart from many of the other lumberyards on Twitter.
  5. Fingerle Lumber Co. (@fingerlelumber): What Fingerle gets about social is something that can’t be taught—it’s about being a part of a larger community and finding posts that people can relate to. Although relatively new to Twitter, they post regularly about their culture, Ann Arbor community events, and their lumber products.

That concludes the first half of our list, and if you’re looking for even more accounts to follow, look at our previous lists here and here.

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Building Products Marketers Need Sales to Survive

15 Sep

Sales and Strategy Go Hand In Hand

Business people meeting

What if I told you that all the effort you put into marketing your building products was absolutely useless? What if I told you that no matter how great the creative, how brilliant the strategy, and how alluring the incentive, your approach was doomed to fail?

Because they are—if you fail to incorporate your sales team into your efforts. I’ve written before about how no building products promotion can be effective without buy-in from the sales team. But this applies to more than promotions—it’s your entire marketing strategy and beyond.

A recent article in the Harvard Business Review takes that idea to the next level, making an argument I agree with: that sales should be part of every conversation about strategy. All too often, marching orders come down from on high with no real understanding of what is happening to those on the ground pushing the product or services. And the further away the “powers that be” get from customer contact, the more obsolete their strategies can often become.

Here are a few of my favorite takeaways from the article:

  • Communication is key: “People can’t implement what they don’t understand.”
  • It doesn’t matter how many emails you send if you don’t engage your sales team as partners: “The process for introducing and reviewing plans often exacerbates the separation of the strategists from the doers. It typically involves a kickoff sales meeting followed by a string of emails from headquarters and periodic reports back on results. There are too few communications, and most are one-way.”
  • If you don’t explain the big picture, they won’t be able to create it: “Even when sales teams are trained in negotiation and selling tactics, the larger strategic context—especially the implications for target priorities—is often left out.”
  • Whose job it is to partner with sales: “Clarifying strategy is a leadership responsibility.”

Click here to read the full article—it’s full of important information that building products marketers should really take into consideration, especially as many of us start to work out the final details of our 2016 planning.

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