It’s not easy to build a robust social media program from nearly nothing.
That’s what faced Josh Landsberg when he joined KB Home in January 2011. The homebuilding company had a 4-year-old YouTube account with outdated content and minimal video views, and an inactive Facebook account.
Rather than jump in right away, his team studied other homebuilders to see what opportunities they could find. Landsberg also included other department executives to provide input and be part of the social media rollout.
That approach won KB Home top honors in the Best Social Media Team category in PR Daily’s Digital PR & Social Media Awards.
Its strategy behind all those accounts is to be responsive, timely, and engaging. That has reaped big payoffs, including landing on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
Its quick response strategy on Facebook even paid off in the form of a home sale in San Antonio, when someone inquired about floor plans available at a particular community and ultimately ended up purchasing a new KB home.
In surveying its competitors, it appeared that no one else was really engaging on Facebook in a meaningful way. KB Home was determined to be different.
But company executives had major concerns about negative postings and how messaging would be regulated to ensure it complied with restrictions inherent to KB Home being a publicly traded company.
Landsberg worked with numerous KB Home corporate teams, including human resources, legal, IT, and customer relations. All of these groups had to provide input and be a part of the rollout in order to ensure KB Home’s social media launch went smoothly.
Landsberg brought Ali Kendall onto his team to assist. Working closely with corporate customer relations, the two developed a strategy on how to best respond to Facebook posts.
Its winning strategy: Quickly move issues related to customer service off social media and into the more traditional customer service channels of email and phone.
Proof in the pudding
KB Home’s Facebook page went live in mid-April 2011. In its first year on Facebook, the team experimented with a variety of tactics: posting outside links, promoting KB Home events, and sharing photos and videos.
They also developed two national Facebook promotions: the “EPG Share and Win” contest, and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” Home Giveaway “Vote and Win” contest. Facebook likes grew 30 percent during the DeGeneres show giveaway.
The response to the “EPG Share and Win” promotion was so great that KB Home CEO Jeff Mezger mentioned it on an earnings conference call. An analyst later responded, “Wow, that’s the first time a builder has talked about Facebook on an investor call.”
Following the successful launch of the corporate Facebook page, Landsberg’s team trained division employees to develop and manage local Facebook pages. Those divisional teams can better promote local events and new communities to a targeted audience.
The same response tactics developed for Facebook are used on its Twitter account, which became active in April 2011. Twitter is used as a way to monitor hot topics and potential issues that involve KB Home.
Additionally, its YouTube account was updated, with new content featuring Martha Stewart, as well as KB Home’s involvement on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” being promoted via all of KB Home’s social networks.
Our congratulations go to Landsberg’s team.
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