Alter Trading and the Case of the Scattered Herd

Alter Metal Recycling

A worldwide leader in scrap metal recycling for over 122 years, Alter Trading has over 80 different sites across the midwest. When we met with Alter, each of their sites was responsible for its own social media – a situation that led to little engagement but big headaches for their marketing team.

Alter Trading contacted Seafoam Media as they shopped around for solutions to their lack of consistency. They wanted to bring some order to their marketing efforts and make a bigger splash on social media. We knew we could help.





The Challenge

Wrangling dozens of sites into one corral

We faced a few challenges with Alter Trading, the first being their sheer size. With so many individual locations, and so many pages on Facebook and other social media channels, the workload was daunting, especially since we wanted all of their sites to be on the same page (metaphorically).

Another challenge came up as we considered their audience. Was there such a thing as a scrap metal community? And if so, how on earth would we find it?

To meet these challenges, we set ourselves a couple of initial goals:

  • Establish a consistent brand voice for Alter Trading and make sure it was represented on their site and across all social channels.
  • Find the right social media fans and position Alter Trading for better engagement.

We hoped that, with these starting points, we’d be able to do a lot more for Alter.

Liz Oeltjen on increasing social media followings.

The Opportunity

There’s gold in them there hills … of scrap metal

We were able to identify two key aspects that would make our digital marketing efforts succeed:

Alter had a huge customer base just waiting to be connected.

We soon discovered that there were, indeed, scrap metal fans out there. And they were eager to connect.

Already successful at their various locations, all Alter needed was to develop a consistent message to attract more fans. 

We also knew that if we could fine-tune their message and speak to their audience in a strategic, consistent way, we could draw even more fans in.


Our strategy for Alter Trading was to consider the audience – and start a few conversations.

Consistent Brand Messaging 

Before we could reach out on social media, we had to get Alter’s message and value proposition crystal clear. For a company of Alter’s size, it was essential. We wanted to make sure that each and every customer, no matter where they lived across the country, had the same experience. That took revising many of their digital assets on social media – logo, copy, and photography – across platforms to prevent confusion and help their brand stand out.

Holly Wentworth on brand consistency.

Alyssa Shank on audience and demographics research.

Social Media Strategy

The internet is a huge place, and Facebook is full of potential fans. So, how do companies cut through the noise and find the right fans? We did some deep research to better understand what motivated and excited Alter’s followers. By targeting online scrapper communities and recycling enthusiasts, we were able to get more engagement than we ever anticipated.

Engagement, Conversations & Conversions

Posting on Facebook was only the beginning. At Seafoam, we strongly believe that social media should be a dialogue, not a monologue. Once we began seeing engagement on various channels, we focused on that dialogue and began having conversations with fans. We learned more and more about what made them tick as we responded to their concerns. Soon, we were able to anticipate what they wanted to see. In other words, understanding the community gave us a wealth of content ideas. We’re happy to say that, today, the conversation is thriving.

Holly Wentworth on creating engagement.

Contact Us

Our team is ready and waiting to answer any strange-confusing-complex questions you can throw at them.