At 55 years old, I wonder if the whole social media craze will start to resonate with me. I would rather shake your hand and talk with you in person than on the phone, but I’d also rather call you than text or email you.
Although I do have a Facebook page (that my wife created for me), I rarely check it and I don’t really know how to post something. Though I believe I can be social, I’m just not a “social media” guy.
But I am an alarm guy, and when I heard that several dealers at UCC were growing their base of monitored alarm accounts through social media, I needed to know more.
Marketing Pro Helps Lead Companies Along Right Path
My first step was to consult my good friend Barbara Zenz, who is an advertising professional and president/CEO of MyStudio[Pros], a marketing company that provides marketing services to UCC’s dealers.
“Social media has become the new ‘town square.’ It’s a place consumers go to find out about new services and who uses who,” Zenz said. “MyStudio[Pros] works with many alarm dealers to update their Facebook pages and helps them post new customer offers. Facebook is your homepage for the ‘social’ web. It’s important to keep it fresh and interesting.”
So this is all well and good, but the proof is in the puddin’ as we like to say here in Texas. So I asked Zenz to give me an example of how a social media campaign actually created leads for alarm dealers.
“We helped a dealer target a post to real estate agents in his area with an offer for a ‘new home buyer’ package,” she explained. “In the first week alone, not only did he receive nine leads, he also established a relationship with several realtors.”
Impressed with the results, I then asked her to explain the value proposition of social media to an alarm dealer in the long run. “It is a valid question,” Zenz said. “We all have limited hours in our professional lives to accomplish goals and to deliver on promises. So, instead of thinking of social media as an additive property, think of it as a complement to your existing activities and the work you are already investing in on lead generation, customer communication and support, client retention, research and training.
“Social media opens doors to vast opportunities, which can be linked to many facets of your business, such as marketing, sales, customer service and tech support,” she said.
Alarm Dealer Commits to Engagement & Earns Testimonials
It sounded like Zenz was really on to something, but I still needed some real-world convincing. I wanted to get perspective from an actual alarm dealer to see how they felt about social media and its impact on their business.
I don’t know anyone who’s more active on social media than John Loud, president of LOUD Security, so I called and asked him what social media means to his company.
“At LOUD Security, a successful marketing approach on social media boils down to three must-have ingredients: commitment, consistency and content,” he said. “Commitment means you’re all-in. Commit to platforms that work, like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Commit to growing your fan base. And thirdly, commit to delivering relevant content on a regular basis.”
What has now become obvious to me is that when done properly, a solid social media campaign builds brand recognition, customer loyalty and it definitely can create new monitoring opportunities for alarm companies.
Loud added, “The next ingredient is consistency. We do whatever it takes to ensure that we’re staying faithful to our fan base. Like you, they are blitzed by distractions. We visit them often, on social media ‘bearing gifts’ of relevant content, and they learn to count on us.
“Lastly, Content must be relevant to your followers. Don’t simply ‘sell’ them or they won’t stay,” he continued. “Instead, ‘engage’ them with content they can relate to. Humor, as any nervous speaker can tell you, is a universal communicator. We show them that we’re passionate about security, we offer great tips and let them come to us. We also let our customers do our bragging with great testimonies.”
So it seems social media success isn’t logistically hard, per se, but it must be earned. Any company must be committed to its followers. The challenge is to be consistent in communication, and have content that makes them want to come back for more.
But what has now become obvious to me is that when done properly, a solid social media campaign builds brand recognition, customer loyalty and it definitely can create new monitoring opportunities for alarm companies.
I doubt this column will prompt a social media revolution in the alarm industry by going viral (that sounds bad, but remember in the social media world it’s usually actually a good thing), but I do hope readers — as I was — are able to glean some meaningful insights about the platform’s potential role in our industry and how it can impact their alarm company.
I know that this journey was very eye opening for me. If you’d like some help getting started, give me a call and I’ll introduce you to Barbara Zenz.
As for me … well I guess this old dog should go and learn a new trick and try to post something on Facebook. Maybe I can start with this article.