September 12, 2016

Should Loggers be on Facebook?

Technology used on logging jobsites and forestry equipment, and the data that comes from it, is power – power to plan, make decisions and solve problems in a more efficient way. You may choose to embrace it or you may not. Either way, technology is not going away and it will continue to bring new benefits to the logging business.

Beyond the machines, different technologies are reshaping the way just about all businesses operate. Social media has become more than a way to keep in touch with friends and family. Companies have embraced sites like Facebook and Twitter as a powerful means to meet and exceed their business goals and be more successful than ever.

Savvy loggers are turning to social media as a means to find new and innovative ways to conduct everyday business functions and efficiently market their products. The advancement of Internet technology as well as the invention of social media networks have allowed companies around the world to effectively communicate with their customers and market their products in ways that were previously unavailable – and the forestry industry is no exception.

For some loggers, the current wave of technology may be overwhelming. I see a lot of resistance to the newness or a perceived complexity in applying it to their current business models. Others feel they have made their way just fine without technology, and it should be best left for the next generation to figure out. For loggers who are hesitant to embrace the social media resources available at their fingertips, I think they will find that it's very easy – and rewarding – to begin to embrace small changes.

For an example of a logger who is embracing technology, you need look no further than Daniel Turner of Turner Logging LLC in Stockton, Missouri. For Turner, logging has always been more than a job – it's a way of life. A fourth generation logger, Turner puts pride and dedication into every job he completes with his family owned business – driving innovation along the way. Early in his career he realized "the way we've always done it" was not necessarily the best way, and had a clear vision of how the business could run more efficiently. With time and strategic planning, he successfully helped transition the family operation to updated equipment, trading operator fatigue and downtime for increased productivity.

Turner has also found success through social media, creating a Facebook page for their customers and the general public to keep up with their daily activities in the logging industry. Through the page, he strives to help their fans and followers better understand the logging industry through pictures, descriptions of the duties they perform and historical content about the land they come across in the timber.

"Facebook has been a great way to add credibility to our business," said Turner. "Our current customers and potential customers can go on our page and see what we're doing in our operation day to day. They see our pictures and know exactly what to expect when working with Turner Logging," he added. "I think this type of transparency gives us and other loggers a better image."

As Turner has shown, social media and digital marketing can be a powerful way to reach your customers and spread the word about your business. Below are some beginner's tips to keep in mind when marketing to your audience through social media.

  • If you aren't currently using social channels to support your business you should consider having a social presence on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube and be sure to cross promote these channels.
  • Include the "essentials" on your social channels. When your customers visit your social media assets they will look to find your address, along with a link to your website (if applicable) and a phone number to reach you.
  • Remember on social channels your followers are looking to get quick bits of information. Make sure your posts are short and to the point. This is especially important on Twitter, which allows only 140 characters a post.
  • Images are great assets to have on social channels because they help to capture attention and bring personality to your posts. Videos are another great way to engage with your followers online. As with social posts, videos should be short to keep the viewer's attention.

Once you have you have your channels up, make sure that you have a resource for maintaining or keeping your social channel content up to date. For inspiration, visit the Turner Logging, LLC Facebook page.