Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Floor Covering Conversations Evolve

Christine B. Whittemore, Simple Marketing Now
The floor covering industry is relatively new to online conversations - otherwise known as social media. Nonetheless, the industry has started to catch up! Floor covering conversations are evolving.

How do I know this? From my research creating and updating the Social Flooring Index, which monitors the social state of flooring. I launched it in July 2009 and issued the latest update in April 2011.

In the April 2011 update to the Social Flooring Index I noticed 168 blogs focused on flooring and flooring related content compared to 88 blogs in August 2010 and 53 in April 2010. These 168 blogs generated 7,571 conversations over the past 6 months which translates to 1.877 blog posts per week compared to .7254 posts per week in August 2010. Flooring conversations are evolving!

Here are highlights of the April 2011 Social Flooring Index update:

• 20 of the 168 blogs have high and medium influence in the flooring social media community and the Carpet and Rug Institute Blog ranks highest.

• Although the majority of the blogs included in the Social Flooring Index are North America based, their geographic distribution suggests opportunity for more flooring blogs to develop.

• A majority of the Social Flooring Index blogs have not fully integrated their activities in social networking platforms.

Three social ‘tribes’ have started to develop focusing on the CRI Blog, BuildDirect and the Social Flooring Index.

• Blogs included in the Social Flooring Index have as yet unexplored opportunity to connect with one another. Doing so will create a stronger network.

Social Flooring Index Wordle
Image created via Wordle

43% of conversations specifically mention flooring products compared to 65% in August 2010. Other conversations address broader topics.
The evolution of floor covering conversations suggests room for more...

- More high quality blogs such as the Floor Covering Institute Blog, the CRI Blog, the BuildDirect Blogs and others which publish interesting content, often editorial in nature, that through relevance educate readers.

- More conversation that truly addresses questions and concerns relevant to customers of the floor covering industry.

- More interaction online to create a stronger floor covering community [e.g., via comments, links, inclusion in blog sidebars, and guest postings].
What's the point of all of these floor covering conversations?
If you frequently read the Floor Covering Institute Blog, you already understand the benefit of online conversations, or articles, such as these that explore topics and issues relevant to the floor covering industry. What we write here may spark other ideas for you. These ideas may in turn lead you to leave a comment or send an email or pick up the phone to explore it in more detail.
Online conversations enable collective learning and creative problem solving. They generate feedback on ideas that may not be fully developed or have room for as-yet-unidentified changes in approach. 
They also allow you to develop an understanding for the thought-process of the person writing, begin to establish a relationship and start trusting what that person expresses. Not too different, if you think about it, from what an pen pal exchange or ongoing business correspondence used to make possible.
Eventually, online conversations allow all those involved to become smarter and more competitive and lead to more successful business relationships.
In other words, evolving online floor covering conversations are cause for celebration for the flooring industry.
What do you think? How do you see floor covering conversations evolving? What topics do you consider critical that should be addressed and haven't yet?

To learn more about me, visit Simple Marketing Now where you can also check out where else I blog.

Christine B. Whittemore
Chief Simplifier - Simple Marketing Now


  1. Excellent post, i will be back to this blog. I am in the flooring industry myself.
    I work for Silikal America

  2. David,

    Thanks for your comment. I notice that you have a blog, too. How has that changed your experience in the flooring industry?