The early adopters of social media gained a first-mover advantage that many contractors are finding difficult to overcome today. That doesn’t mean you don’t start, it just means that most of you are going to have to work your asses off to make a difference.
How can you gain a foothold in social media today?
The days of casting wide nets to gain traction in social media circles are over. To win you need to focus like a laser on your target. To do that you need to take some specific steps that will help you navigate the social media pool and keep you and your contracting company from wading too far into the deep end too early.
Becoming an engaged advertiser online
1. Make sure any advertising you do offline has an online component built into it.
2. To stick with the swimming analogies, dip your toe in the water first and see what your competition is doing online, steal their strengths and capitalize on their weaknesses.
3. Make sure your campaign is “social media focused”- In other words, make sure your offline ads direct people to follow you on Twitter or fan you up on Facebook.
4. Be careful here, but you can promote your offline campaigns through social circles online, just don’t come off as a spammer or you’re screwed.
5. Get a Twitter account and a Facebook page…that is all.
6. Since social media typically doesn’t have a solid ROI attached to it, set goals that reflect your presence in the market; how many twitter followers you develop, fans on Facebook, etc. Many people will tell you the number of friends or subscribers don’t matter. Well they do, because each Twitter follower or Facebook fan has the potential to be one of the following 3 things; an advocate for your brand, a client, or a critic, but they will never be all 3 at the same time!
7. Track – Make sure you know how people are finding you online; Google places, Twitter, wherever people are coming from you want to make sure to spend more time there.
8. Reach out to the people who can influence your brand in your space. But be careful, this one too can hurt your brand both online and off.
9. Keep going-making a difference online means working hard, just like you do during the day. Just because the leads are not falling through the door doesn’t mean you are not making an impact.
10. In complete contradiction to number 6, numbers don’t matter. Even if you only have one follower, you have an audience that deserves your attention, or just get out of the way and let your competition take care of them!