Tag Archives: social media

Social media and the retail flooring business

I’ve been involved with social media since the early days and have nearly 15 years of experience using the internet for business.
Why?
Thanks to Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children (USMC for short), I started college late and once I graduated there was no time to waste… I’d just gotten married.
In my effort to secure a BA in journalism from the University of Maryland, I found myself surrounded by guys younger and more tech-adept than I.
But we got along great and since the Usenet groups and ezines in their earliest forms were what I cut my teeth on.
It was this early access to emerging tech that proved the biggest assett as I grew my flooring business and eventually was able to sell it.
Frankly, the flooring industry is behind in using social media and many websites still look like ads… silent, still ads.

If you have a retail flooring business and need help, send an email and we can talk.
Some of the things I do are so effective, I’m just not going to share them with some folks.
But, odds are you’re not one of them 🙂

All the best,

Chris

Using technology to improve the flooring business process… and social media to tell you about it

Sometimes I take for granted all the tools we have at our disposal.
But since we operate worldwide, we need the latest technology (or the greatest if the latest isn’t fully vetted).
In this case, we’re using a tool called “the digitizer” in concert with measuring software by RFMS, on whose platform we operate our entire operation.
We’re using it today to convert images to a scaled digital format for Chris Pirillo… someone you may have seen if you watch CNN Live Tech or are at all involved in social media.


What are we doing?
Well, I’ve been involved in using the internet for business since I launched my first startup in 1996. Social media in its many forms has played a substantial role in moving forward at a solid and fast pace. Just recently, social media, specifically Google Buzz, was the avenue where I learned about a predicament Chris (the other, far more popular Chris) was in.
A painter had allegedly done some sub-par work at Chris’ Seattle home and he was venting on Buzz. I say “allegedly” because it’s an old habit from journalism school. I caught that “Buzz” and immediately touched base with Chris to let him know I could help.
Hey, ready, fire, aim, right?!
Actually, through our network of Carpet One retailers, I knew I could contact a Seattle-area business owner and find a fantastic painter to help Chris, so I “assumed the sale” and made it happen.
Then Chris and I started talking about his floors.
The thought hit me to leverage our expertise with his – flooring (high-end) and social media/all things “web.”
Chris has allergies and wanted to get rid of his carpet.
I had the key.
What was the key?
Dust-free refinishing of hardwood that we would supply and install, all coordinated from my office outside Washington, DC for his home in Seattle, WA. As a US Green Building Council LEED AP, I push this system because it’s very IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) and user-friendly because of the high-efficiency dust-containment system and water-based, low-voc finish that dries very quickly and is extremely durable.
And here we are, pressing on and getting this ball rolling.
Check back for updates because we’re going to document the entire process online through different avenues of social media – this blog, YouTube, facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Google Buzz, etc…
Hang on to your hats!

All the best,

Chris

Using Twitter for a green flooring business

Twitter is one of my favorite social media tools.
Why?
As a journalist (University of Maryland College of Journalism ’95) I love it when people get to the point.
A 140-character limit makes that a necessity.
And in a world full of greenwashing and marketing blah, I can tell exactly who’s teaching and spreading good information vs. who is spreading “manure.”
When I tweet, I try to quote someone worthy of quoting, or include a link to something useful. Followers will only stand for useless information for a short time.
Think about it, when I sift through the tweets of people who follow me on Twitter (here is a link) I can tell who I want to “consume” and who I want to block.
“Consuming tweets” is tech lingo for digesting them… I mean, actually reading them, num, num, num!
I maintain lists of Twitter users who routinely spam the forum, and Twitter pays attention to that list. In fact, I’ve added spammers and watched as their accounts were then suspended. Not that I’m proud of that, but, well, heck yeah!
Here’s an example of pure crap on Twitter:
Username @BuyAccounts
Description – ready made Twitter accounts with as many as 1,000 followers for as little as $6.
So, tell me, does this sound “social” to you?
So why would a user like this follow 1900 and have only 650 followers?
Beats me.
So, if you’ve set up a Twitter account for your business and aren’t seeing things move along as fast as you’d thought, maybe it’s because you’re boring (online).

I can help.

All the best,

Chris

Wanted – Large, Worldwide Flooring Business Looking for Social-Media Adept Suppliers To Do Business With

We do business all over the world.
We also do a significant amount of business (in the tens of millions) locally in the DC-Metro area.
Why do suppliers have such a hard time adopting the use of technology for communicating with me given what’s at stake?
When I say “Follow me on Twitter – @LEEDTHEWAY or @WEBMINDSET” and you can keep track of what interests I have and what I’m working on, I get blank stares.
Well, amigos, this has to stop if you want to do serious business from here on out. I live online and my team has an unparalleled track record of success when it comes to getting and, most importantly, closing online leads.
So, if you work with Armstrong, Shaw, Mohawk Industries, Mannington, Anderson, US Floors (they actually get it), StainMaster, etc… let’s connect online and I’ll walk you through the process.

Cheers,

Chris

How To Use Social Media For Your Retail Flooring/Carpet Business

…and not waste time or money!
Besides making your business and yourself interesting, which is of paramount importance, social media should be viewed as an extension of your personality not directly linked to sales. Use it to create a community around your brand or location/services.
That, in a nutshell, is my way of establishing expectations for this post.
I’ve spoken with hundreds of flooring business owners and it’s clear this message needs to be understood or many will miss out on a major aspect of using the web for business.
Facebook, YouTube, Digg, Twitter, blogs, MySpace, Google Buzz… none of them are to be viewed in the same light as display ads, radio, billboards.

Sure, there are advanced tools to measure ROI of social networking, but if the actual concept of social media isn’t firmly in your grasp, these tools won’t work.
In fact, they’ll probably do more harm than good.
Think about it – have you ever gone to a networking meeting and had someone come in cold and try to put a sell on you?
It’s just not the way things are done.
So, here’s how it works.
First, you look for commonality so you can establish rapport.
  Do you know someone who seems to have something in common with just about everybody? Are they lonely? Probably not. And the same is true online if they translate that personality.
Do I have your attention?
More to come in a few hours after I get out of this meeting.

Chris