Tools may not seem like the most shareable product in the world. Some people, in fact, might think that being on social platforms is silly for tool manufacturers. But with DIY trends sweeping the nation, tool manufacturers are venturing into social, and doing especially well on visual platforms. Companies like DeWalt, Bosch, Ryobi and Bostitch create video tutorials on their YouTube pages, update about new products on Facebook, and tweet about their retailers’ promotions and giveaways on Twitter. One tool manufacturer, Milwaukee Tools, has even developed a pretty great Pinterest site.
Though this tells us a lot about the tool industry and how willing they are to create video and visual assets to entice their customers to buy new products, it also tells us a lot about how social media is evolving to encompass industries that were not previously seen as the “right fit” for social. Many marketers used to say that everyday products–from tissues to drill bits to laundry detergent–do not belong on social media. And yet, here they are–making successful waves across all the platforms. So how have these tool brands gone social?
First, they have leveraged video. This medium is only growing in popularity and importance. Essentially, social media is not all about sharing your products, but instead, sharing your brand’s message and helpful information to your current and potential customers. These tool companies have taken the route of giving advice to their consumer about getting projects done.
Second, they have focused on educating consumers. Though the products appear in the video, the fact is that all of the projects could be done with the help of other tools. However, it is the video’s job to plant the idea that purchasing their tool would make it even easier to do. By educating consumers, these tools companies effectively make their videos consumer-focused and limit the self-serving rhetoric.
Third, they’ve appealed to more audiences. It’s the cardinal rule of sales: expand your market. Milwaukee, for example, has developed its brand on Pinterest, which has a predominantly female audience (though the number of male users is said to be growing). Therefore, someone might think it’s not a great fit for the brand. However, upon doing a quick search for power tools, it appears that many consumers are actively pinning power tools (by other brand names). With the recession, the DIY economy has grown, and a large portion of that community is women. The audience is there, so tool companies should be creating a branded presence here as well.
All in all, social media has become less of a popularity contest and more about reaching consumers with useful content. The platforms are not limited to “clearly social” industries like fashion anymore; visual platforms like YouTube and Pinterest have ushered in the new era of social, in which practically any industry or company can be successful.
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