Getting back on Track in the Digital Realm
By Ian Faight
HMA Marketing, Communications and Digital Content Director
If the pandemic and shift to working from home have taught us anything, it’s how important it is to have a reliable internet connection. From Zoom meetings and file sharing to staying connected and networking with colleagues and customers, the past year has been spent exploring all that the digital realm has to offer. And if your company is like the HMA, it’s also been an eye-opening exercise in evaluating your own website and social media practices.
Here is a brief overview of what the HMA has discovered about its digital offerings—and a glance at the steps being taken to get back on track.
Tidying Up Websites
Did you know that the HMA is responsible for managing the day-to-day upkeep of three industry websites? That’s right, in addition to keeping members informed at HMAmembers.org, HMA staff also oversees HardwoodInfo.com and CypressInfo.org—two promotion- and education-focused websites that provide consumers and design professionals with resources on hardwood and cypress building products.
While all three websites are filled with valuable information, some of the material is in need of updating. The HMA has been diligently researching and refreshing facts, figures, graphs, and charts relating to forest statistics, green building, and sustainability messaging with the most recent data available. Spoiler alert, there’s good news to share and the HMA will be actively promoting this updated data through various marketing channels.
In addition, the HMA is tweaking the visuals on these three websites to give them a fresh look. Whether it’s a save-the-date for an upcoming meeting, video of a recent virtual tour or live presentation, or photography of hardwood projects, we’re hoping these visuals will entice website visitors to click on them to learn more.
So be sure to visit the sites often as new content is posted regularly.
Staying on Top of Social
Is your company active on social media? Or better yet, is your company paying attention to what works and what doesn’t? It’s always a good idea to evaluate the effectiveness of your approach to social media and make adjustments accordingly.
The HMA currently manages a Facebook page that’s primarily geared towards members and vendors. Posts generally include news that’s relevant to the association or industry. And while engagement isn’t quite where we’d like it to be, we’re not giving up! Instead we’ll be posting more consistently and utilizing content that we’re producing for other communications.
But that’s not all. HMA staff also manages Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter profiles for the American Hardwood Information Center, Southern Cypress Manufacturers Association, and the Real American Hardwood™ brand. And we’re happy to report that we’re seeing growth in terms of followers, likes, and shares across the various platforms.
And speaking of the Real American Hardwood Coalition (RAHC), HMA has been working with the Marketing and Promotion Taskforce on a new resource, titled Beginner’s Guide to Social Media: Tips, Tricks, Dos, and Don’ts. The free guide will be made available to RAHC supporters—which includes all HMA members—to help companies navigate the world of social media, develop a strategy, and refine their approach. Visit RealAmericanHardwood.org to download the guide, as well as other Real American Hardwood brand assets.
If you’re looking for more helpful resources or have questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org today.