A Preview: How to Use Social Media in the Mattress Industry

About a month ago, I joined a group called SocialMedia.org on behalf of Leggett & Platt. You have to be a billion dollar company with a minimum of 5,000 employees, so that part of membership is a bit restrictive, but other than that, they are an open book. The greatIMG_3796 thing about this community is that you are in it with the top brands in the United States, such as Procter & Gamble, Microsoft, Southwest Airlines, Home Depot, Best Buy, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Lowe’s, BMW, 3M, and many more. You can ask this community anything via e-mail and they will rush to your aid, join a weekly call to listen and learn from other brands, or attend one of their live events and learn firsthand what you can do to use social media to benefit your company.

Last week I was in Orlando, Florida, at one of those live events at a Disney resort just in time for national “I Hate Florida Day,” so I was pretty lucky.

HateFloridaDaDifferent companies took the stage to share stories or case studies so we could all see what they were trying to accomplish, and how they did, or in some cases didn’t, reach the objectives. One of my biggest takeaways was that here are all these big brands – with big SocialMedia.orgbudgets – and they are trying to figure it out just like us. I really went into the event very intimidated, thinking that everybody else was going to be light years ahead of us. I even feared that I was going to look stupid because I didn’t understand some of the vocabulary or how to use the latest tools. It wasn’t like that at all. Because of the culture that SocialMedia.org has created, the people at that conference want to help each other and decrease the learning curve for you if they can. It is a place to learn from people and help others get to where you are, faster. What a great experience.

This event has inspired me to bring some of that spirit to our industry, so in January we are going to begin a series of webinars through Sleep-Geek.com around the social media space. We would like to cover some of the following topics:

  • Define the social media landscape today and the different platforms/tools to get started. What should you know and where should you go to create a company or personal brand in our industry!
  • Let’s look at some of the companies in the mattress industry and see what they are up to. Are they doing it right? How do you define what is right to begin with?
  • How do you measure the success of your social media efforts? What is the ROI of social media, which will be directly followed by a conversation about the ROI of your mother. See this video from Gary Vaynerchuk to appreciate that comment…foul language warning.

  • What does your personal brand look like? Does it matter? How can you build it?
  • How do you sell the need to develop a social media strategy to your boss? Do you even need a social media strategy?

As you have heard me say many, many times before, we are here to help this industry advance to the next level and get the word out about how a new mattress can improve quality of life. We want all of you connected to that idea and sharing it in your social circles. Are you game? Stay tuned for more details on the webinars by subscribing to Q’s Views and Sleep Geek.

How is your social media strategy? Give me your thoughts in the comments section!

About Q

Mark Quinn is a 20-year mattress industry veteran with a passion for presenting business in the best possible light. He works hard on strategy and culture, and has a business focus on leadership and marketing. Quinn believes every company is a media company and works hard in the digital space to bring products and stories to the right audience. Family comes first, and FAITH is a verb.
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7 Responses to A Preview: How to Use Social Media in the Mattress Industry

  1. Great article! Especially love what you said Mark about “quality of life”. After all that is what its all about; making sure that everybody that purchases a mattress gets the best possible mattress to fit their needs, to solve their sleeping problems and ultimately to give them the best rest possible!

    We at C5 believe and follow the 80/20% rule. 80% education and interaction, 20% sale driven. We’ve seen many mattress store owners utilize Facebook for sales-driven content only; which is NOT what their customers want to see, nor will respond to.

    Having a post sale strategy is a key (one of many) to building brand advocates that will market your company via their sphere of influence. And in the social world, there is a healthy balance that needs to be put into practice to engage, educate and most importantly delight your customers.

    After all, its one of the best word of mouth marketing engines available today. So lets utilize it to build brand advocates that truly understand what quality of life means because they are sleeping soundly because of you!

    • Q says:

      I agree Carlos. Companies that simply MARKET AT YOU with specials and promotions calling out prices and events only don’t get it and won’t every realize their max potential. Thanks for the comment, we look forward to hearing more from you as a contributor in Sleep Geek!

  2. Great article Mark! Very glad you are taking the initiative to lead this conversation.

    You raise some great questions about how you measure success, which companies are succeeding, and the like. You may recall that we did a blog post last year about the use of Facebook and Twitter by mattress companies. A year is a long time in social media, but I think your readers might still find the perspective on Facebook and Twitter pretty relevant — especially in terms of how those two social media channels fit with the mattress industry’s unique characteristics.

    http://www.goodbed.com/mattress-blog/2012/05/16/how-are-mattress-companies-doing-on-facebook-and-twitter/

    In terms of how the mattress industry uses social media to build and leverage the brand advocates that Carlos mentioned, we here at GoodBed would certainly like to be part of both the conversation and the solution. Looking forward to more discussion!

    • Q says:

      Michael, we would love to get you involved in the webinars that we are planning as your knowledge around these matters would be very helpful to many. I do remember that post and would encourage others to give it a read. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Hi Michael –

    Solid statistical article you shared, thank you. With regards to our inbound strategies pertaining to social and how they relate to mattress companies and building brand advocates; we focus on quality not quantity. As any other statistic – social stats are critical to building out brand advocates. They help us determine who is most active, what posts work best for the audience we’re serving, where people are posting from (for local) and more!

    For instance, with Facebook – their insights are a great way to see what types of posts are more favorable with followers based on the level of reach and engagement they receive.

    The posts that get more likes, comments and shares show up more in news feeds and are seen by more people. A key is to look for spikes or dips to learn more about what might have influenced the reach.

    With the posts that have more success – you can of course Boost to gain more viability which offers a greater return and is more affordable then their ads.

    One of the key’s for us in building advocates is to see how the personas we built out for our clients match compared to the the fans, people reached, people engages and check-ins. I love that they provide city stats as well so you can really narrow your focus, especially when you have multiple stores and want to push individual messages.

    Love this dialog. Thanks for all you do Michael – goodbed.com is a great site – one our account managers visit often.

    • Thanks Carlos. Your use of Facebook sounds very creative and insightful. I look forward to learning more from your experience.

      Looking at your website, I really like your specialization in the mattress industry. One of the key points of my blog post was that the mattress industry has a very different relationship with consumers than companies in most other industries. As a result, it’s very hard to draw useful lessons from successful social media examples outside the mattress industry — because what works for like Coca-Cola or Burberry probably won’t work for Sleepy’s or Simmons.

      Another thing on which we whole-heartedly agree is the critical importance for mattress retailers to shift marketing dollars away from wasteful traditional media like TV, radio, and direct mail — where 99 out of 100 people aren’t in the mattress purchase funnel (if they even see the ad at all) — and toward digital media — where they can target people that are not only in the purchase funnel, but even nearing the actual purchase at the bottom of the funnel.

      • Carlos says:

        Thanks Michael – you are right on target; the mattress industry is very unique in comparison to other markets. Serving our market comes with much responsibility; and the foundation – the very core of our efforts should be based on educating.

        You are also right – we’ve found that 95% of people that visit a site aren’t ready to buy! And unfortunately that’s the same number for all the mattress store sites that aren’t ready to interact and nurture a lead into a customer.

        We’re very excited for what 2014 has in store and look forward to working together at making this industry a great success in many ways. We’re confident our Inbound Mattress Marketing knowledge will be of great help.

        Keep up the great work Michael and look forward to working along side you in 2014.

        Cheers.

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