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#KBtribechat extended version – Q & A about your social media techniques

There are  a handful chats on Twitter that we really enjoy following for their educational and social value. If you’ve never participated in a chat, it’s really quite easy, we’ve listed the most important steps at the bottom of this post. One of our favorite chats is #kbtribechat which is held every Wednesday from 2 to 3 pm EST. During this hour, kitchen and bath industry professionals get together to discuss a different issue every week.   The chat is always informative and fun with to the trade discussion topics changing weekly.   Last week’s topic was social media and the one hour only scratched the surface of this important topic so we have offered to continue the conversation here on Modenus and also via our LinkedIn group. We’d love to hear your input and hope we can pick up the conversation on another #kbtribechat in more detail.

Before we get started, we would like to thank Stacy Garcia and the team from KBtribechat for the opportunity to host this conversation.

Here are last week’s chat questions, but if you have other questions pertaining to social media please post them in comments.

1. What is your favorite Social Media Platform?

2.How do you find your clients on Social Media?

3. Do you use any add-on’s or widgets – like Tweet automators or FB post schedulers?

4. How much time do you spend on Social Media each day?

5. What is the main purpose of Social Media for your business? Is it a marketing tool, communications center, or something else entirely?

6. How is Social Media working for you? Are you getting any kind of ROI from it?

7. Do you handle your own posts, pages, etc? or do you have a staff member or outside company do it for you?

8. Are all of your Social Media Platforms branded to match your website? Do you think that’s important?

9. What are your favorite and least favorite things about social media?

A few guidelines for participating in a chat:

1. If you don’t have one yet, get a Twitter account. It’s ok you can admit it here, we won’t judge you (very much).

2. Run a search for the chats name or keyword on Twitter or on your preferred Twitter client.

3. A few of our favorites for interior design and kitchen&bath design are #kbtribechat (Wednesdays from 2-3pm EST) #intdesignerchat (Tuesdays from 6-7pm EST)  #designtv (Mondays from 5-6pm EST)

4. You can follow along by using the hashtag as a search or, easier, you can log into http://tweetchat.com/ and search for the chat’s name there and follow along or post in real time.

5. It’s a good idea with the chats to follow other people in the chat so you can connect with them later and introduce yourself properly

  • http://www.modenus.com Veronika Miller

    Alright, I’ll start. Thanks again #kbtribechat for letting us host this hot topic.

    1. Fave platform is Twitter, because of it’s immediacy but we also use Facebook, Linked In and our group on Linked In and now Pinterest for visual sharing.
    2. I don’t look for clients necessarily. I use Twitter to network with industry experts and people who are passionate about the same things I am. Through networking with others I’ve made immensely valuable business connections on- and off line.
    3. No. I do copy blog posts to all of our social media channels but otherwise I don’t automate. It’s boring and I really enjoy being engaged with people, you can’t automate that.
    4. No idea, quite a bit but I don’t schedule a certain amount of time. Hootsuite is on my iPhone and my right thumb does the talking throughout the day.
    5. Absolutely, all of our social media platforms are marketing and communication tools. It’s important to realize that they are tools not a lifestyle. These platforms allow us to reach beyond geographic and social boundaries and meet people we’d otherwise likely never meet. We can share what Modenus is all about but much more importantly we can connect with people on a personal level. The personal element is key and to me it’s the only factor that makes social media work in the long term.
    6. I hate the word ROI used in this context, sorry. ROI is an accounting term and this is about networking and marketing. In order to gauge success we have to set a goal and if social media helps us reach that goal we’ve been 100% successful. Modenus is born and raised in social media – we’ve never planned on using traditional advertising to promote the site and now we do the same for the brands we showcase. But even there, we love to hear what their specific goals are before we work with them . This is not a “one size fits all medium” or a magic bullet. It takes care, commitment and focus.
    7. Yes, all our own with exception of a handful of great guest contributors so you guys don’t get bored :) Tweets are all mine.
    8. Branding is crucial and yes, we brand everything we put out.
    9. I love the immediacy and the ability to easily reach out to someone interesting and strike up a conversation. I’ve met some of the most important people in my life and work through social media.
    Dislike: Nothing really about social media platforms, they are what you make of them . I dislike people who use them as pure advertising platforms, it’s boring and makes the rest of the experience miserable so I usually unfollow “message blasters” .

  • Nora DePalma

    Was so sorry to miss this #kbtribechat, but thanks Veronika, for keeping the chat going! Here are my answers: 

    1. What is your favorite Social Media Platform?
    I’m a definitely a Twit. Twitter is very comfortable and easy for networking. Facebook used to be my number one, but finding the dialogue and learning more stimulating on Twitter. Getting more into Google+ and Pintrest. Linked In is my least favorite because it feels so much more stiff and formal, like being in an endless meeting. *yuk* But I really like the  Linked In Groups for the building and design industry: great dialogue and learning.

    2.How do you find your clients on Social Media?
    Like Veronika, I’m not using social media to find clients. In my case, I’m using social media to advance my own learning, as well as to connect with and listen to prospective customers for our clients’ products. 

    3. Do you use any add-on’s or widgets – like Tweet automators or FB post schedulers?
    I will use Hoot Suite’s scheduling feature, but integrate it with “live” conversations. Most of what we do is live.

    4. How much time do you spend on Social Media each day?
    Funny, my business partner John asked this same exact same question!  Since we have to track our time as an agency, I found that I spend between 1 and 1.5 hr per day on Twitter, Linked In, and Facebook. Blogging and commenting adds another 2-3 hours over the course of a week and once a month I spend a good 2-3 hours on metrics to determine best practices to share with clients. 

    5. What is the main purpose of Social Media for your business? Is it a
    marketing tool, communications center, or something else entirely?
    All of the above. Mostly for networking.

    6. How is Social Media working for you? Are you getting any kind of ROI from it?
    At O’Reilly/DePalma, we call it ROR, a return on relationships. Actual human interactions, whether in person or digital have always been the driver of my business success. Let’s call that “public relations.”

    7. Do you handle your own posts, pages, etc? or do you have a staff member or outside company do it for you?
    Our team participates in agency blogging, tweeting, Linked In Groups and Facebooking. Everything under my name is me, for better or worse.

    8. Are all of your Social Media Platforms branded to match your website? Do you think that’s important?
    Visual branding consistency is a smart move across platforms.

    9. What are your favorite and least favorite things about social media?
    Favorite: the people I’ve met and new relationships I’ve developed.
    Least favorite: mobile social media. I need reading glasses.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s how I look at the questions to this week’s #kbtribechat

    1. My favorite is Twitter for connections and networking opportunities. Next is Facebook and Google+ and I actually am finding more value in G+ lately and I am really using Pinterest a lot and getting good results there too. I use many platforms and see the results. Some work, some don’t.

    2. I don’t use SoMe for finding clients. It’s more about learning and connecting, listening and building value that others can use.

    3. I am not a fan of automation as far as social media goes. 99.9% of what I put out is done by me. There are occasions that I have other things that take precedent and will schedule tweets but rarely. Automation takes the social out of social media.

    4.I spend an enormous amount of time monitoring other posts, and platflorms. I will have to admit sometimes in the 12+ hour range or more. However in my thinking it takes effort and work to accomplish correctly.

    5. I have to say that it is all of the list but really it’s about networking with others, learning and developing relationships.

    6. SoMe is working great for me but I have an issue trying to put an ROI on it. It’s about building relationships as Nora has so nicely stated, and developing those. How can you put a monetary value on that. If you’ve build a wonderful relationship out of friendship and trust and others follow your recommendations and tell their friends…. Wait didn’t they used to call that word of mouth.

    7. I handle all my posts. My blogs, twitter, G+, Facebook, tumblr etc and if you have an outside person do it for your business you need to make sure they totally understand your business, your values and more. If it’s someone within your business, they need to be totally vested and capable and not just because they have free time.

    8. Everything that I do I try to brand so there is no confusion. If you see a picture of me anywhere- its always the same. I think that is an absolute. Eliminate any hint of confusion.

    9. Favorite- the incredible and real relationships that I have developed with people all over the planet that wouldn’t have been possible before. 
    Least favorite- when the internet goes down and I can’t.

  • http://twitter.com/Ferguson_FEI Ferguson_FEI

    Did anyone else happen to catch the recent article in KBDN (or blog post by Janice Costa on ForResidentialPros.com – http://www.forresidentialpros.com/article/10449525/the-best-of-both-worlds) regarding online behavior and technology within the industry?

    KBDN polled more than “540 kitchen and bath dealers and designers about their
    technology habits and preferred sources for gathering information.” Some of the results closely resembled mainstream social awareness and use of online material, but I found a few results rather interesting.

    I know I am speaking to the choir when it comes to social media, as most of us would not go more than 48 hours without checking our Twitter feed, but the survey reported Twitter as “the weakest source of information …
    with only 4.3% viewing it as a ‘credible’ source of industry news or
    information.” And over half of respondents stated that they either don’t engage in social media or check their accounts, at most, once a week. With social media infusing itself into how people communicate (over 85% of the online adult population have a social media account of some kind), I would imagine more businesses (this industry included) taking part in social dialogue. At least to be a part of the conversation, talk with peers or to gather knowledge or insight in their industry.

    Did anyone else find the results of the survey different than what you know or expected?

    Here’s a link to the article: http://kitchenbathdesign.epubxpress.com/kbd1 (page 36-37)

  • http://www.modenus.com Veronika Miller

    Thank you very much for this thought provoking post. I’d love it if some Social media savvy folks weighed in on this one.
    To me there are two messages in this recent study. One is that social media needs to be very respectful towards other media since ultimately success requires a combination of several disciplines and two, the kitchen and bath industry remains very conservative in it’s marketing approaches which makes social and digital marketing education necessary and, in fact, an opportunity.
    I’d love some thoughts on this.

  • http://www.modenus.com Veronika Miller

    Oh, I should probably add that my own opinion is a bit of both. I firmly believe SoMe can never stand alone nor was it ever intended to. I think successful marketing incorporates a blend of print, trade show, virtual showcasing and social media. Social media is a tool to extend ones geographic reach into communities with high concentration of like minded and often very motivated peers and establish relationships that traditional media cannot.
    I also feel that kitchen and bath manufacturers and showroom owners must get engaged in social media in order to succeed in coming years. It’s very tough to have to pay for a brick and mortar showroom when web business continues to grow, so it’s only natural to see the web as the enemy but really, there are solutions for brick and mortar businesses if they were to reach into the blogosphere and platforms like Twitter.
    Key is to bring the online buzz back into the showroom – that being the major goal of our Blogtour by the way.

  • Nora DePalma

    KBDN’s findings on Twitter didn’t surprise me at all. It’s a reasonably small community of kitchen/bath pros on Twitter, compared to traditional media and traditional forms of networking, such as trade associations and trade shows.  Not everyone will be comfortable with it, just as not everyone is comfortable walking alone into a local chapter meeting. That said, the folks who are jumping in now have an a current advantage over their peers in search and a future advantage with the next generation of homeowners and specifiers.

  • http://www.modenus.com Veronika Miller

    I agree with you that it’s a small contingent of KiBa folks on Twitter but there is a fairly large crowd (and a very motivated one that tends to support other “tweeps”) of interior designers and architects who are great potential clients for KiBa manufacturers and showrooms – and yes, now is the time to jump in here.

  • Todd Vendituoli

    I really would not have expected those results for twitter at all but I must say that the construction industry and all its parts are a fairly conservative group. That I feel will change in time but slowly. Some in the industry see the value in using social media and platforms such as twitter but many cannot equate it’s worth. Yet the proof is there already.

    As Veronika pointed out, social media and all its platforms, are to be used in conjunction with conventional modes of marketing. It is another tool that brands can use to their benefit if done correctly.  It is not and will not be a total stand alone product that allows you to abandon the other methods of marketing. Social media is a builder of relationships, networking and providing a base of trust and connection and when that is in play the results will come back to your brand or business. Using it is an addition to other venues and another tool to enhance your presence.

    My view is that many brands do not yet fully use social media, Twitter and such because they are still looking for a direct link to sales. I post or such and I get such and such sales. That’s not social media.

    Twitter and other platforms have real value if used correctly. Twitter is for network building and building a community, not for sales. If you use it correctly the sales will come back to you whether you are a major brand or a brick and mortar store on Main Street but it takes time and effort.

    Times change and those that embrace those changes will succeed in this ever changing world and business climate. Those that don’t may have to play a game of catch up later and some never will be able to. Look how many are still trying to catch up to Apple.

  • http://twitter.com/MarkJohnsonFAIA Mark Robert Johnson

    Regarding the KBDN article, I’m not surprised, but it is disappointing to see the slow pace at which the Kitchen and Bath industry is embracing technology. Here is some informal research, qualitative and quantitative, that I’ll offer. 

    1. When I asked NKBA Headquarters about social media education in their curriculum of course offerings a year ago, they said they tried offering the topic but the attendance was so poor they couldn’t afford to continue offering social media as a CEU learning course.

    2. I see a confluence of social media and 3D virtual media on the horizon that is largely off the radar screen of the K&B Industry. Here are some examples:

    2. I’ve taught Google SketchUp 3D Design presentations to the K&B industry for several years. They come, they listen, but few follow up to embrace it, yet it is the closest CAD program to hand-drawing, easy to learn compared to 20-20 or AutoCad, and Google offers it for free. 100% of architecture firms now use Google SketchUp, usually in combination with AutoCad or Revit. Its adoption was driven by architecture students downloading it and using for their projects. When I’ve asked architecture firm principals how they started using SketchUp, they usually mention their young hires who brought it into the firm, the partners saw the productivity savings (particularly for design and client presentations), and they changed their business process to adopt it.

    3. I’ve had the opportunity to address the NKBA Educator Forum the last two years (the day before KBIS Show). I conducted an informal CAD technology survey (by show of hands) among 70 professional educators from NKBA endorsed colleges at their forum. When asked what CAD programs were being used in their colleges, the results were: 85%  using AutoCad; 50% 20-20; 50% Google SketchUp; and 15% Chief Architect. Many of the schools teach and permit their students to use more than one program, so multiple responses were allowed in this informal survey.

    5. Google SketchUp isn’t the entire solution but I mention it because it’s already optimized for social media sharing of design projects, unlike any other CAD design program. Pinterest is taking off with still photography, but there is a huge appetite for 3D…just go to the movies!  Google+ will take that even further and possibly even faster.  

    6. When I tweet using the URL to a kitchen design in the Google 3D Warehouse (a free repository for SketchUp designs to be posted), I average 50 to 80 click-throughs from 1 tweet to view that kitchen design. It astounds me every time! 

    7. My conclusions: 
    a. Current K&B showroom dealers are so busy as independent business people that they are largely bypassing technology-based productivity gains, which may hurt them long term.
    b. The next generation of K&B designers WILL BE earlier adopters of technology because the colleges are teaching it and they’ve grown up with it. 

    Just some thoughts…thanks for this forum to share ideas!

  • http://www.register-web-domain.in Domain register

    I admire the valuable information you offer in your articles. Thanks to sharing

  • http://www.kitchenandresidentialdesign.com Paul Anater

    Sorry I missed the chat when it was live but here are my two cents now.

    #1. My favorite platform is Twitter, hands-down. I love its immediacy and I have made more personal connections through it than any other platform. Facebook reminds me why the people in my past are in my past but Twitter has introduced me to a whole world of people with whom I can create a future.

    #2. I don’t find clients through social media, but they find me through it. The name I’ve built for myself over the last couple of years has made me a target I could have never been otherwise.

    #3. I schedule blog posts and I schedule Tweets with HootSuite. I supplement all of that with a whole lot of live interaction. I don’t use the paper.li type automators, they seem to be mechanical to me.

    #4. Social media is what I do for a living these days so I spend a huge amount of time every day manning my accounts. I rarely take a whole day off from it but I do find myself checking in for an hour or so even when I’m not working technically.

    #5. Social media IS my business. I present brands to the design world and since they pay their bills I must be doing something right. I’m clear from the get go that an investment in a social media plan isn’t a direct sales driver. Rather, it needs to be a component of an integrated marketing plan. All of those components need to work together to create a consistent, approachable position in the marketplace.

    #6. I get an ROI in the sense that I get paid for my time but what my clients get is something a little more intangible. I’m working with a trade show right now and my efforts on their behalf will get more bodies at the show, I’m convinced of that. With an event like a trade show, something that’s utterly dependent on attendance figures, a lively presence on Twitter and LinkedIn (ugh) is a no brainer. When it comes to consumer products, any kind of ROI is harder to calculate. I know there’s a correlation between a social media presence and sales activity, there has to be, but so far as I can tell no one’s figured out what it is yet.

    #7. I do everything myself though I look forward to the day when I can hire someone or someones to handle the actual execution for me. But for now it’s all me, for my personal stuff as well as my client stuff.

    #8. I am my name. That’s a decision I made a couple of years ago and it’s one I’m glad I made. When I was starting out I used to hide behind an alias in an effort to protect my privacy, but then I figured out that privacy on the internet doesn’t exist. My personal stuff’s kind of all over the map but at least my name’s consistent. When I’m working with clients however, I insist on consistent logos, consistent branding and that blogs and websites look like their ad campaigns or overall brand image. It’s vitally important to present a consistent image when you’re a brand. When you’re a person there’s a little more leeway.

    #9. My favorite thing about social media is the connections I’ve made, that’s easy. I’ve been able to meet up with, and travel with, some really great people I’d have never met otherwise. Social media has taken me all over the world and I mean that literally.

    So far as my least favorite thing about it goes, I’ll be honest. There are times when I wish I could just turn it off. Its 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week nature can be daunting and there are times when I wish I could just turn it off completely. But every time I think that, I remember the personal connections I’ve made and I feel compelled to reach out again.

  • http://www.modenus.com Veronika Miller


  • http://twitter.com/cabinetmakers Garcia Cabinetmakers

    Thank you Veronika for continuing our kbtribechat conversation here. I agree whole heartedly that we can achieve more by working together.  I answered these questions at the original chat but will expand my thoughts here.
    1.) Twitter is by far my favorite platform. I love the interactions, the connections, the idea exchanges, the relationships that develop there. Google+ has potential to be a great platform too.  I started doing Pinterest and Instagram as they interface well with Twitter and have found them to be very fun and useful.
    2.) The most rewarding part of my social media experience has been the friends I’ve met along the way.  Organizing a weekly chat has given me a chance to deepen those relationships and share in a meaningful way with lots of fun thrown in.  I had no idea the wonderful world I was entering when I started tweeting.
    3.) I manage three twitter accounts (@cabinetmakers, @kbtribechat and @stacy__garcia).  I schedule many tweets for @kbtribechat, check on it regularly and add live posts when appropriate. The other two accounts I rarely schedule a tweet for. 
    I like paper-li for it’s ability to bring pertinent links together in a concise way.  I have one for the chat community and I have one on my personal account for food news. I read both and find them very helpful.
    4.) I spend many hours at it and find if a lot of fun but social media can take up your day if you aren’t paying attention.  I admit this is a struggle.
    7.)  I handle all of my own posts.
    8.) I try my best to be consistent and transparent on all platforms.
    9.) Favorite: the relationships
    Least favorite: Nothing big to report here. It’s all looking pretty good at this moment.  I am very thankful for the supportive community we have.

    On the KBDN report ~ We are in on the beginnings of the social media revolution. The leaders.  Social media is important for business, is here to stay and will grow exponentially. We find the results perplexing because we know the possibilities but from the outside it looks daunting.  I find this exciting.

  • http://twitter.com/MarkJohnsonFAIA Mark Robert Johnson

    A1) Here’s a new social media find that I’d like to share with others. I’ve been using @SlideShare:twitter recently with great success alongside @Twitter:twitter. I’ve posted 10 presentations in three months and will reach 20,000 views tomorrow. ‘iPad+Apps for Designers’, my presentation about the project @SketchThis:twitter (Eric Schimelpfenig AKBD) and I completed has gone ‘niche viral’, thanks to using it during a live @kbrtribechat:twitter .

    @SlideShare:disqus interviewed me about how I used their platform in combination with a Twitter Chat. The interview was posted on SlideShare’s blog this afternoon. All very exciting! Here’s the interview >> goo.gl/hHSkb  

  • http://www.kitchenassociates.com/ Jon Olson

    Love the comments


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