The social media campaign for Husqvarna has evolved to be an important segment of their overall business planning. They continue to actively use the many different social media outlets available as a way to grow brand awareness and connect dealers and end users to valuable information about products, promotions and industry-specific information.
"Social media has become a part of our planning for our year ahead—much like print advertising, digital advertising, television and radio campaigns," explains Jim Parello, director of marketing with Husqvarna. "Social media really aligns with all of that. It is another media outlet for us to really touch consumers and the end users of our products."
Exclusive content and regular posting
Husqvarna offers exclusive content and special offers to social media fans and followers. Social media is an extension of the information that would be found in regular advertising and can often be more personal.
"People who are fans on facebook and twitter will see some information, coupons and programs others will not," says Parello. "We have specific things we reserve for social media audiences."
Offering exclusive content—and posting it regularly—is what encourages people to engage with you in social media and visit your pages often. A mistake many who are just starting out in social media make is to post too infrequently.
"Having valuable information and keeping active is necessary," says Parello. "Commenting on other peoples' profiles and joining groups helps too."
If you are not yet very active in your own posts, join other groups and comment on other pages. Other users will see activity and it will bring them to your page.
Social media to watch and consider
"I don’t really know what place Pinterest holds for everybody just yet, because it is so new," explains Parello. "It's only a year and half old, and is predominantly used by women (over 60% of users are women). You will see dealers on their who 'tag' specific products that will drive people to their website."
Parello suggests dealers also consider using YouTube. With your own branded page you can provide your own videos or link to videos and information of manufacturer YouTube pages. You don’t need to use every option immediately. Focus on the more established social media sites like facebook and twitter for a good start.
Have a plan and guidelines
The most important part of a social media campaign is having a plan. Parello suggests finding out what works for your company and developing guidelines for implementation. Create a policy and guidelines for how staff should use social media.
"Understand what your business is and what your culture is," says Parello. "Begin by developing an understanding of the media you are using and develop a plan for how you are going to use it. Test and try some things, but don’t go overboard."
Demand manufacturer support
Don't be afraid to ask your suppliers for tips and support when developing your social media campaign. Chances are, they have built up there experience and taken the time to research available data on social media.
"The way we do business together is not the way we did business 20 years ago. Utilize the tools that manufacturers already have and if they don’t have the tools you are looking for, demand them," encourages Parello. "Everybody has new products they launch each year. Going out with a sell sheet for how dealers can talk to a consumer about the product isn’t the way we do business today. We need to really expedite our industry and follow the trends of other industries a lot faster than we have been doing in the past."