Not being a real conversationalist and not one to really care what you ate for lunch or what you were going to watch on TV tonight, I thought social media was a real time waster (which it can be) But in the past year and a half I have found it to be one of the best, cheapest, easiest way to build a client list, get your name known and increase visits to your website.
Here are just a few things I have learned about Social Media Marketing
1. It’s not what you like or are into; its what your customers like and are into. They tweet, facebook and are involved in linkedin and all kinds of other social networking sites. If people are there and you are not guess how much work you will get from those folks?
2. If ALL the major brands that spend millions in finding out the best place to advertise are heading that way, what makes you think you can survive and grow without it?
3. Hardly anyone uses the yellow pages anymore.
4. Adwords and lead generating firms can get very pricey. Most social sites are free and or VERY inexpensive
5. You can now focus your advertising by age, location and even income in some instances.
People are quicker to trust and recommend someone they met through a non- work related conversation than they are from looking at an ad, website or business card. Go figure but talking about the last episode of Duck Dynasty can get you more work than telling people how great of an electrician you are!
The key to social networking is in how you use it. It takes time to build relationships but once you do, networkers tend to stick together.
I mentioned before that I am a member of inside919.com. This is a business network group of over 3,000 business folks in and around my area code. It is fabulous. You can see if there is one near you by visitng http://www.insideareacodes.com/ and looking for your area code. If you join, do me a favor and tell the owner Pat that Bob Wagner referred you. Even if the group is still young and growing, you will become the go-to-guy for electrical when it takes off. Linkedin also has local groups you can join and facebook, while I haven’t seen it as successful for contractors fan pages yet, it can be an easy place to build connections that can and often do turn into clients.
The bottom line is that Social Networking IS in fact changing business and the way we reach people. If you don’t change with it, it will be harder to survive. I would recommend taking it slow, learning all you can; watch how others do it and then gradually get involved. Never and I mean never jump in blasting everyone with electrical ads right up front. It will back fire on you and cause you delayed results.