Social media is a term that has become synonymous with life. It is difficult, in the present day, to find any activity in which social media has not played a role. By definition, social media is a collective term for websites and applications that focus on communication, community-based input, interaction, content-sharing and collaboration. However, in terms of the home improvement industry, social media also plays an important role in business development.
What are the most important channels in the home improvement industry?
Social media plays a vital role in the home improvement industry. Inspiring, motivating, engaging & informing potential customers can all be completed through social media, and this through various channels.
For example, Instagram is most often used to inspire viewers to start new projects, but also to inform them DIY jobs that they should be completing at different times of the year, and informing customers of any potential sales or information. Facebook is also a widely used social media channel, as is YouTube, X (formally Twitter), and Pinterest. Other channels, for example WhatsApp, can also be used to communicate more personally with customers.
Different social media targets through different channels
Of course, the use of different channels is aimed at different generations of consumers. The below table emphasizes that different age groups are more likely to use different channels of social media. For example, TikTok has the youngest viewers in general, between 10 – 19 years old, whereas Pinterest is more often used by 50 – 64 year olds.
|Number of Active Monthly Users||Number of Active Monthly Users||Number of Active Monthly Users||Number of Active Monthly Users||Number of Active Monthly Users||Number of Active Monthly Users|
|2.9 billion||2 billion||1 billion||4.3 million||>2 billion||810 million|
|Largest Age Group||Largest Age Group||Largest Age Group||Largest Age Group||Largest Age Group||Largest Age Group|
|25 – 34 (31.5%)||25 – 34 (33.2%)
18 – 24 (31%)
|10 – 19 (25%)||50 – 64 (38%)||15 – 35 (highest reach)||25 – 24 (58.4%)|
|43% Female, 57% Male||48.4 Female, 51.8% Male||61% Female, 39% Male||78% Female, 22% Male||46% Female, 54% Male||48% Female, 52% Male|
These are of course essential considerations when creating a social media strategy. The length, type and style of the content has to be individualised for the various social media channels used.
Difference in retailers and suppliers use of social media
Alongside the various social media channels, there is also a variety of social media use in the home improvement industry from the perspective of suppliers and retailers.
For example, through the medium of Instagram, it is possible to see that, in general, retailers use the channel to promote entire DIY, home improvement and garden projects, whereas content from suppliers generally focuses on individual products or product groups.
An example of this can be found in the Worxtools channel, in which (at the time of writing) five of the six most recent posts promote a particular product they offer. However, considering a retailer, in this case Hubo_belgie, three of their most recent posts focus on entire projects that can be completed, two are particular products on sale, and one promoting the fact that they were voted Best Retail Chain and Webshop in Belgium.
Best strategies for home industry retailers
One of the most prominent and unique channels in social media in the home improvement industry is the MACH MAL mit OBI YouTube channel, aimed specifically at Generation Z and Alpha. Launched in August 2020, the channel has already grown to 324,000 subscribers and over 90 million video views. One of the reasons for the success of the channel could be attributed to working with popular content creators in the creation of the videos, alongside the consideration that the channel is not aimed at selling projects or products, but rather inspiring and empowering viewers.
Best strategies for home industry suppliers
From a supplier perspective, if we look into the Instagram and Facebook channel of Tesa, one of the most popular recent posts that they shared is a short video demonstrating their hairdryer holder product. This post garnered over 72,000 likes on Instagram, and 390 on Facebook. A key consideration here is that the post takes the form of a video rather than a photo or montage, and videos usually result in higher audience engagement.
Trends of the last 10 years in retailers and suppliers using social media
In the last ten years we have seen an explosion in social media use in the home improvement industry. Social media was, 10 years ago, was not as vital a consideration as it is today. One of the key reasons for this is that in 2013 the prevalence of smart phones was not as high as the present day. Furthermore, mobile data was still relatively expensive and slow. Now that almost 7 billion people have access to a smartphone, and high speed internet, social media has become the ever-present lifestyle factor that it is today.
Success stories in social media strategies in home
Considering the above, creating an engaging, inspiring and innovative social media strategy is of essential importance to both home improvement retailers and suppliers. Through the use of social media these stakeholders can gain relevance, inspire younger generations of DIYers (and future customers) and grow their businesses. However, prior to creating or developing a social media strategy the channel, audience and content must be thoroughly considered.