Posted by: jeb1 | October 28, 2010

Socially Connected Remodelers

Businesss are waking up to the possibilities of social media,” according to a special section in today’s Wall Street Journal. “Corporations can ignore [social media] and be subject to their use or figure them out and leverage them,” said an IBM vice president.

In preparation for a couple of short presentations I gave on social media at the Remodelers Advantage Summit last week, I reached out to a few remodeling professionals.

Burgin Construction on TwitterRhonda Burgin, Burgin Construction, Santa Ana, Calif.: Social media “is a wonderful way for us to engage with our clients. We don’t use these platforms as high-pressure sales outlets,” Rhonda told me. “We try to focus on introducing and participating in conversation with our customers through them. We love it when someone comments on our blog, posts on our Facebook page or Tweets us.”

eco-modernism on TwitterBecky Shankle, eco-modernism, Raleigh, N.C.: “Twitter especially has connected me to other professionals I can collaborate with. It’s great to talk shop with people or ask for recommendations when you don’t have to explain industry lingo. I’ve also gotten a few project leads from it.”

SLS Construction on TwitterSean Lintow, SLS Construction, Cullman, Ala.: While he “wouldn’t touch Facebook with a 10-foot pole,” at least for now, he values Twitter for referring leads to his company and readers to his blog, as well as introducing him to hundreds of professional colleagues. Sean’s advice for other remodelers using Twitter:

  • Clarify your social media motivation and goals: e.g., get more web traffic, boost sales, reinforce your brand, find business partners…
  • Think of it as akin to “going to a bar, meeting friends and making more friends,” Lintow told me. Don’t attempt to sell directly, but do be interesting and encourage people to check out your website, if you update it.
  • Continuing the bar analogy, buy the first drink — that is, retweet and respond to posts by others. Most people will return the favor.
  • Focus on the quality of your followers, not the quantity. “Don’t waste your time with ‘get 500 followers fast’, or some of those other services,” Lintow said. “When you ‘authorize’ that service they start sending our tweets as you” — and you may end up driving away your real fans.

What’s worked for you in social media, and what are your biggest questions? By sharing your thoughts here, you’ll help us identify topics for useful articles and webinars going forward.

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