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Social Media Room – Part 10: Conversation Starters: Boosting Interaction On Your Blog

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The best business blogs engage readers with content that is relevant, interesting and meaningful.



By Mary Lou Denny, Executive Vice President
Walt Denny Inc.

While the medium itself is less than 20 years old, blogs, it seems, are everywhere today. The two most-used blogging platforms, Tumblr and WordPress publish more than 176 million and 76 million, respectively.

Blogs are easy for readers to “like” and “share” via social media, and the content increases (or strengthens) search engine optimization. Blogging creates positive exposure for furniture businesses, increases brand and retail visibility, and helps build solid relationships with prospects, customers and others.

Interesting, informative and useful material is what keeps blog readers engaged. At times, it can be challenging to continually create posts that keep readers coming back. Here are a few ideas to boost reader interaction and response.

Add video. Video is the fastest-growing, most-consumed online content. In January 2014, for example, 184 million U.S. Internet users watched 48.7 billion online content videos, for an average of 19.25 hours per viewer. New advances in cameras and editing software make creating original video content easier than ever. And there’s the chance that a creative video can go viral, getting a business or brand even more exposure.

Share product reviews. Consumers who are searching online for reviews of your product will appreciate not having to search around, and they’ll welcome the chance to connect personally with your company. Not only can this help your company’s reputation, but it gives you the rare chance to defend yourself against negative reviews.

Teach something. Create a multi-part online “course” on a topic related to your business. If you’re a residential lighting company, offer ways to select and install lighting inside and outside the home. It doesn’t have to be overly detailed, but should have enough useful information to attract readers to each post.

Take a poll. Develop some questions to see what people think about certain products, or to figure out the demographics of your prospects. Invite comments. You may have to deal with some negative feedback, but you’ll get valuable input.

For examples of these tactics, and more, look no further than Southwest Airlines’ award-winning blog. Launched in 2006, it serves as the foundation for all of the company’s social media marketing efforts, with personalization options, a video blog, Flickr feed, news feed, podcasts, rating opportunities, sharing features and official photo and video galleries.

The blog produced by regional supermarket chain Wegman’s mimics the real-life, in-store experience through imagery, content and themes. Posts focus on improving the customer’s lifestyle rather than selling products, and they include real-time conversations between bloggers and customers.

For something completely different, Fiskars has turned the reins of its corporate blog over to the consumers (“Fiskateers”) who love the brand’s craft tools as much as – if not more so – than the company. Thus, the customers have become virtual ambassadors, of both crafting and the Fiskars brand.

For more information on business marketing with blogs and other social media, contact Walt Denny Inc. 708-246-4211, email walt@waltdenny.com or visit www.waltdenny.com.

About Walt Denny Inc.: Since its founding in 1989, Walt Denny Inc., a full service public relations and advertising agency, has been The Home Products Agency, working with a national client base and building each organization’s positive brand awareness through bold results and individualized strategies. Client experience includes industry-leading organizations such as Whirlpool, KitchenAid, HomeCrest Cabinetry, Knauf Insulation, The Tapco Group, Johnson Hardware, Amerock, a division of Newell-Rubbermaid and Leaders Bank. Follow us on twitter @waltdennyinc, join us on LinkedIn http://bit.ly/WDILinkedIn or like us on www.facebook.com/WaltDennyInc.



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