Topps Tiles Social media

Background

Topps Tiles is the UK’s leading tile specialist and retailer. The company has a network of 373 stores nationwide and employs some 1,500 tiling experts. With its headquarters in Leicester, we were ideally placed to offer social media support to their marketing team.

Having worked with them before on brochure design and advertising for promotional campaigns, we were tasked with managing their social media channels. This involved us providing strategic direction, planning and publishing content, and generally overseeing their social profiles.

Initially we started by managing their presence on Houzz, the online community for interior design and home inspiration. We then took on Facebook and Twitter, comprising of four profiles split between retail and trade. Two aimed at end consumers, two at professional tilers. Instagram and Pinterest also followed, giving us stewardship of seven social media profiles in total.

With a customer base made up of trade and retail consumers, our challenge was to get to grips with both sides of the business and find ways of engaging both audiences. It was clear from the outset that the way to do this would be be very different, from the types of content to focus on, right down to the style of imagery and tone of voice to use.

Approach

As ever, we approached this by spending time getting to know the business, speaking to people with different perspectives and amassing as much insight as possible. Aside from their marcomms team, we met with digital, operations, product development and their trade division. We were also taken on a tour of their warehousing and distribution centre.

We visited several Topps Tiles outlets and consulted store managers. Two members of our social media team even went on a training day for the trade, learning alongside professional tilers about different grouts, adhesives and methods of underfloor heating.

From this we developed a solid understanding of their product range, the people and the culture behind the business. Most importantly though, we learnt a lot about their target audience, allowing us to spot opportunities and see where we could have most impact.

Drawing on these insights, we created a set of strategic content pillars for both trade and retail. By identifying key themes, it allowed us to provide clarity and purpose to their social media activity. We organised and presented our plans in the form of a weekly social media schedule, with colour coding to differentiate the types of content.

In addition to new product launches and promotions, we focussed the retail side on interior trends and design. For the trade, we instead channeled our efforts into raising awareness of their loyalty scheme for tilers. This involved showcasing how trade loyalty points could be accrued and spent, as well as the wider benefits of membership and participation.

We developed a unique social voice for each audience. For retail, we were emotive and expressive, using abstract concepts to evoke a sense of style and aspiration. On the trade side, the tone was punchier and to the point but with a playful sense of humour.

To extend organic reach, we made use of strategic hashtagging, while paid boosting helped to amplify content and drive greater social engagement. On Instagram, we engaged with influencers and encouraged brand advocacy through the sharing of user generated content.

Results

Overall we increased average monthly engagement by 204% across the social media pages we managed. By contrast, monthly impressions went up by 20% versus the baseline. This shows just how much our content resonated with the social media audience.

In terms of followers, we grew the online community by 22.5% in a little under six months. With an actively engaged social media following of 35,000 and rising, Topps Tiles has never had a more captive audience for its marketing messages and products.

In amongst the headline stats, there were some notable highs and interesting trends worth pointing out. With a strategy based on posting original content and regrams, we saw engagement levels rise by 83% on Instagram. This helped to drive up the follower count by an average of 15% per month, making it the company’s biggest growth channel.

When it came to Facebook and Twitter, monthly impressions were generally a little under half a million, but in one particular month we reached more 700,000 people. Engagement levels shot up too, especially on the retail side where we saw an increase of 147% and 202% respectively for Facebook and Twitter.

The Facebook competitions we ran were particularly successful at driving likes, comments and shares. All featured Topps Tiles products and the viral nature of these posts helped get them seen by tens of thousands of people. The Xbox competition also helped attract new fans to the trade page, increasing followers by 40% when all told at the end of the month.

We created an entirely new structure for Pinterest, which involved tidying up existing boards and creating new ones around key content pillars. Aesthetically, this helped to improve the look of the page, but it also improved performance. Average monthly viewers jumped 42% to 1.7 million, with Pinterest also topping the pile in terms of social traffic to the website.

As Houzz was a new platform for Topps Tiles, we initially spent our time setting the account up, and encouraged interaction and reviews to gain a complete profile. Once we’d achieved this, we shifted our focus to growing our community on Houzz by engaging in discussions, regularly uploading high quality content and continuing to encourage reviews. The profile was awarded a Best of Houzz 2018 award, along with badges including Houzz Influencer, Recommended by Houzz and 100+ Saves.