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.
Rhonda 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."
Becky 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."
Sean 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.
3 Comments (Login to Add a Comment)
DB-RemdCA1442 952 days ago
It’s difficult to say if it’s working or exactly how, yet. But there is a sense that’s a little like being able to hang out of a high window and chat with the other folks in completely different buildings; who are also hanging out from their upper windows. Information passes freely between us, and instantaneously. The other choice by comparison feels a little like sitting inside with the windows closed, a pen and paper in hand and writing letters long-hand. Then you’ve got to figure out how to get the content where it needs to go and account for the time it takes. Well, so much for metaphors. The fact of the matter is this: the more connections we make between our business and every online venue we are on, and then connect these connections, the better. The louder and farther we are able to ‘show-up’ in the searches is like having a bull-horn with volume control. Finesse is important depending on the forum, but it comes down to branding, repeated exposure and virtual personality, I guess. Regardless of how anyone feels about social networking, it IS here to stay and it’s a new and growing community. What’s more, it’s a dynamic community a lot of us are probably part of already, and it’s at our fingertips. What I want to explore, is how we can actually help move this along as opposed to just jumping in, going with the flow and just crossing our fingers. I mean, is just being part of it enough?
DB-RemdCA1010 952 days ago
Thanks Leah for mentioning Burgin Construction, I love Social Media as I think it is very important to all business's. If there is anyone out that that needs helps or advice, please let me know. I would love to share my ideas, thoughts, anything, etc.
ProfServID1409 952 days ago
It is refreshing to see the remodeling community becoming more comfortable with social media. As one who does marketing for companies and associations in this industry, getting buy-in on its value has been an upward battle. NARI of Idaho finally embraced it and has been building a loyal following. There are many willing to help the community get started, such as Leah Thayer, who did a great job breaking the tasks down into easy to understand and implement steps during the 2010 Remodelers Advantage Summit. It isn't hard, and it isn't expensive. So go for it!