In this, our final series about the departments that are taking GIC into the future, we highlight GIC’s communications team. This cutting edge team works on many levels to ensure GIC’s exceptional brand is well marketed, employees are kept in the loop, and communications are effective. Meet GIC’s communication team, Stephen and Doug!
Our communications initiative is divided into several areas: website and business development, graphic design, and marketing. For the purpose of this article, we will talk about what our team is doing for the GIC websites and social media.
1) Website Development and Maintenance: We redesign, update, and manage three websites in order to provide valuable informational resources for our customers and our employees.
- Customers: http://www.generalinsulation.com – about GIC, our products, data sheets, MSDS’s, news feed, branch contact information, etc.
- Internal employee training: http://www.gicacademy.generalinsulation.info – a newly launched employee-training portal where all employees can learn and acquire the tools to succeed.
- “My GIC” employee portal: www.employee.generalinsulation.com – our internal communications and informational hub for employees. It is also our communications link between corporate and the branches.
2) Marketing – Social Media: There are three billion people worldwide using social media networks to engage with brands. It is a fast, inexpensive, and effective way to reach almost half the world’s population with the push of a button. As the millennial generation replaces baby boomers, they are put in decision-making positions and it is important to understand the way this generation makes decisions. Millennials develop trust and build relationships with brands through social media. If we are able to develop an engaging, informative, and valuable stream of content that humanizes the GIC brand, we believe we will be able to develop the trust needed to be “top of mind” with the decision makers of the future.
A year ago a few of us were talking about ordering pizza at the office. I suggested we get it from a pizza place near the office. One of our younger office coworkers said, “No way!” I’ve looked them up and the two closest to us don’t even have a Facebook page! If they don’t have a Facebook page, they’re not real, so I would never order a pizza from them!”
This employee was communicating in a way we never thought about. Researching communication trends of the future we found that millennials build trust through brand image on social media. You must have a presence on social media and meaningful content to be “real”. That’s how our social media strategy was born. Our social media goals are:
- Brand Awareness and Staying Top of Mind – When someone thinks of insulation, fireproofing, or other construction products, we want them to think of GIC first.
- Humanize the GIC brand – Introduce your followers to the people who make up your company and showcase how existing customers are using and benefiting from your products.
- Establish GIC as a thought leader – One of the go-to sources for valuable information related to our industry.
- Increase Website Traffic
- Reputation Management
- Targeted Advertising (promotions & vendor relationships)
- Reporting and Analytics – It is always a challenge for marketers to prove return on investment, but with social media tracking and analytics tools you can see the full impact of your social media activities, from “follows” to engagements, right through to purchases (eventually).
Here are a few examples of how we implement this social media strategy at GIC.
GIC lifestyle and company culture content such as featuring employees, work anniversaries, customer appreciation events, training events, trade shows, health and fitness contests, 5 min w/ Frank and Culture of Commitment blog articles.
Promotions such as the one we did for spray gun cleaning.
Material/Equipment Content – Highlighting materials we sell, and describing the importance of the materials; featuring new equipment branches purchase.
Vendor announcements (e.g., Sika)
Informational Content (Energy Costs Savings Tips, Benefits of insulating an attic, Importance of Fireproofing, Safety Issues).
Driving traffic with Building Envelope Vendors (Hunter, Carlisle, RMAX)
Below is a testimonial from Gerry Towle, GIC’s Vice President of Building Envelope, about how LinkedIn has helped grow his division’s business.
LinkedIn is my favorite social media platform. It enables me to connect with my targeted audience. Here are some of the ways I have used LinkedIn to grow GIC’s business:
1. Finding business connections isn’t always easy. To get names of key personnel at companies through the business directory or from the administrative assistant is very hard and takes time. I use LinkedIn as a search engine. In most cases the name of the person you are looking for will be listed among the search results. Even better, LinkedIn as a search-engine gives more potential leads and lists potential colleagues of your key person in the side bar.
2. I also take advantage of LinkedIn Groups, like Building Enclosure Council or U.S. Building Envelope Consulting group. These are only two of the 60+ groups that I am a member of. Being an active participant in a LinkedIn group can help you and your business network with other professionals and businesses in your field, especially those outside of your immediate circle.
3. I have worked with Steve Shore and our other marketing team members to showcase products that the Building Envelope division has recently brought on. This was done on our General Insulation LinkedIn page.
So, either create or update your LinkedIn account and start sharing and commenting content. Then, take the next step and post your own information or find and share an interesting post from our customers. It will delight the customer and build trust with our brand.
This final part of our four part series shows how passionate GIC is towards embracing the future. By thinking strategically and investing where it counts, they are prepared to move quickly in this ever-changing fast-paced environment.