Social media sites such as Pinterest and Instagram are visual smorgasbords of design and lifestyle ideas. Appliance brands have jumped on board to promote their products, but also to strengthen their brand’s image and connect with consumers in their everyday lives.
Benoit Thorp, joint managing director of umm.. communications is a social media strategist who has overseen some 30 key accounts for brands including ILVE, Logitech, Mrs. Fields, Tsingtao, Monteith’s, Tiger Beer, Cuisinart, Cafe2U, Chasseur and Victorinox.
Thorp shared some of his insights into social media strategy with Appliance Retailer and outlined how useful it can be for an appliance brand.
How influential are sites like Pinterest and Instagram for appliance brands?
“Pinterest has niched itself as a predominantly female social media network, with 92 per cent of all pins being made by women,” Thorp said. “This is incredibly important for ILVE as household decisions are highly influenced by women.”
“Behaviour – The way in which people use these platforms is generally for leisure, as a hobby – a modern day scrapbook. This allows brands to showcase and share not only the product in many different real life situations and scenarios, but also connect the brand to other similar brands.”
ILVE’s Pinterest doesn’t just spruik the brand’s appliances, it keeps a wide array of lifestyle boards updated, such as Dining Alfresco, Festive Decorating Ideas and Beautiful Italy. Designer images and the wider appeal behind marketing a lifestyle — rather than just a product — increases the emotional pull behind a brand.
“Instagram is optimised for mobile viewing – allowing for people to easily document and share content, based around appliance products,” Thorp said.
The very talented @phutang is photographing our newly renovated Sydney showroom! We can’t wait for you to see how gorgeous it looks. #phutang
Another good tip is to appeal to foodies. “Content around appliances, e.g. cooking, are a hot topic on social media. A brand that has a strong social media strategy can create connections with this organic content that is being generated.”
What benefits does using Pinterest and Instgram have for ILVE?
“They showcase products in new, different and exciting ways. They project brand personality and build brand depth. This is cheaper and quicker than traditional advertising and print,” Thorp said.
This bright white kitchen opens up to the ocean, do you think its simplicity suits its surroundings? #interiordesign
Thorp said a strong social media presence creates relationships with potential customers before they are even in the market looking to buy your product.
“When consumers are in the market, they will think of the brand which they have been entertained by, learnt from, been inspired by, engaged with other fellow people etc.” It’s also a way of having a two-way conversation with customers about their tastes and preferences.
Italy’s Costa dei Trabocchi looks like a technicolour dream! We’d love to go off here for the weekend, how about you? #Italy #holidays
Social media can create brand loyalty with existing customers Thorp said. Considering that a decade may easily pass between kitchen updates, social media provides an excellent channel to keep up the brand awareness by providing recipe ideas for the product that they see, touch and operate almost every day.
Cauliflower, mushroom and white wine pasta. This looks incredible! What are you cooking for dinner tonight? #ILVE
Finally, the data built up in the back end of social media accounts — the number of like, shares and comments — are a valuable form of market research that provides updates in real time about what trends customers are responding to.