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Masco Cabinetry: Using social to drive trade show engagement, leads

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B-to-b social marketing can be powerful when aimed at an inherently interested customer base attending a product-intensive live event, but whose attention is bombarded by competing messages. That was the experience of Masco Cabinetry, which wanted to raise awareness of its products at a trade show last year. With Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and QR codes assigned in different proportions to the company's major brands, Masco used social networks to drive traffic to its booth last April at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, aimed at interior design professionals and home-improvement retailers. “At the show, we were looking for more than just the embossed-pen experience,” said Susan Cross, brand and communications manager at Taylor, Mich.-based Masco, which promoted its KraftMaid, Merillat and QualityCabinets lines at the show. Masco also supported the launch of a new marketing campaign for its premium KraftMaid brand. “It's about the messaging—pre-, during and post-show—the media, social and direct communications,” Cross said. “But social is central to the integrated effort.” Each brand's specific social platforms were enhanced to highlight the show, but most activity occurred during the four-day event. KraftMaid relied on YouTube videos that showcased its styles. KraftMaid also stationed Ed Sanders, carpenter for the TV show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” at its booth. He signed autographs and answered questions from Twitter followers, which gained additional social mentions. KraftMaid also debuted its ”Silhouettes” branding campaign at the show. The campaign features print ads and TV spots, as well as in-store video at the Home Depot, Lowe's and KraftMaid dealers. “Social is how everything hangs together and feeds off each other,” said Ed Dziedzic, account director at Olson, Minneapolis, Masco's agency, which worked with Maumee, Ohio-based Hanson Inc., Masco's digital support agency on the social campaign. “It's really about connecting the dots. At the show, Twitter drove booth traffic with short bites, invitations were extended via YouTube and Facebook allowed visitors to have their photos taken with Ed Sanders for posting on our Facebook page.” Meanwhile, Twitter feeds about the Merillat cabinet brand were featured on several large screens at the booth. Additionally, the company again leveraged its partnership with celebrities with cooking demonstrations by celebrity chef and Merillat spokesman Curtis Stone, who drew hundreds to the booth and prompted numerous tweeted photos. For QualityCabinets, the company's value brand, Olson and Hanson developed a promotion to establish its social presence. Visitors scanned a QR code to view a mobile page, and shared their entries on Twitter. A randomly selected winner received a $500 credit for shopping site Etsy.com. Masco used Tweetdeck and Hootsuite to monitor social activity, with deeper monitoring activities using Alterian SM2. Masco parsed brand terms, relevant keywords researched before the event, and keywords and hashtags added during the event. Cross said the social response was strong. The KraftMaid brand saw YouTube views grow by 42%, with Twitter followers up 7% and Facebook fans increasing 10%. During the event the KraftMaid by Design blog garnered 600 unique visitors and 1,500 page views. The Merillat brand increased its Twitter followers by 12% during the event, and QualityCabinets went from a zero social presence to 212 Twitter followers and 73 Facebook fans, with about 3,000 impressions generated. Both brands saw significant QR code scans during the show. Post-show website traffic and new leads were up significantly as a percentage of overall show and booth visitors, with more than 70,000 visits during the show, Cross said.
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