4/10/10

Sharing a Positive Message About Manufactured Housing

I am so glad Spring is almost here - it’s been rough winter weather wise and business wise, but I’m definitely seeing signs of great things on the horizon. It seems like I’m not the only one -the phone is ringing, emails are flying and in the past week I have signed two great new clients in our industry! What is really great news is that others are starting to notice our industry and talk about what we do in a positive way - especially having to do with modular. Champion Homes and Palm Harbor did a wonderful job of representing us at the International Builders Show and I’ve seen lots of positive press from that, and this week we had a huge door opener - an article in the Washington Post! The name of the story was “The Mansion Goes Modular” and not only were people able to see and read this article in the paper and online at their site, Yahoo also picked it up as a feature and highlighted it on their front page! This is exactly what we need to be sharing with our customers, local media and potential clients. Think about if you have someone who is a little worried about going modular instead of doing a site built home. Showing them this article with the credibility that editorial from the Washington Post can offer could help close a sale for you. My business (and the way I pay the bills!) is doing design work, decors, and show houses for builders, retailers and communities, but I firmly believe by doing a lot of writing and using the social media to talk about the great things my clients and the industry I love are doing we all win - it’s just the right thing to do. Here are some ways that we can all share some good news and get our industry moving forward again.

Share the Love: People and companies that write and publish love to have their stories shared, as long as you either link to their site where the story is published or ask permission to publish on your site.
The “Eyes” Have it: More and More the success of any social media including blogs, websites, etc. is judged on how many “hits” it receives or how many people are reading it. By sharing the Washington Post story with as many people as you can we’ll be showing the Post that there is a lot of interest in what they wrote about and hopefully they will write more!
Speak Up: Usually at the bottom of an article there is a comments area where you are encouraged to share what you thought about the subject. This is where the publication is able to listen to what readers thought and again judge the success of the story. If each of us wrote a positive note in the comments about the Post story not only would the Post see that they did a great job, it would also be sending the message to anyone who reads the article that modular homes are a great thing! Be sure to not use this area to specifically advertise your homes or products - this is an area for editorial not advertising. When there is an article that isn’t positive I use the comment area to try to set the record straight - after Katrina and The FEMA “trailer” articles started, this Lifestylist spent hours trying to explain that what they were seeing and mostly talking about were RV’s, not manufactured homes. I also told the story about our industry worked 24/7 trying to get safe housing to those who no longer had a home.