It’s a shame so many contractors recoil at the thought of social media marketing since many of you would really be fantastic at it. Why do I say that? Because you do it every day face-to-face! So, to get a better understanding of how social media works you just need to take a look at the way people are influenced in the real world.
Here’s an example social media influence in the “real world”
My wife went out and bought a new purse last weekend, brought it home and started to pack it with all the junk (I can say that since she doesn’t read my blog!) she had from her previous purse. A friend of hers came over, saw the new purse and asked where she got it. Within a few days the friend came over again, this time for dinner and sure enough she had a purse like my wife’s but a different color…obviously.
Now that’s old school social media, here’s how it works online
Let’s say my wife is standing in the purse section at Macy’s, she’s torn between which purse to buy, so she whips out her cell phone and takes a picture of her choices and uploads them via TwitPic to Twitter asking her followers which one they liked better. Now my wife isn’t some twenty something fresh out of college, (again, she doesn’t read this blog) she’s a 40 something business owner herself. The point I’m making here is that social interaction hasn’t changed, just the process and the platform with which we use it has. In other words, we are all social creatures and sharing information is a critical part of our social selves, just the way we are doing it today is different from what it used to be because we can reach so many people at the same time.
How you can make a difference online
As an expert in your field you can become what’s known as an “influencer” online. While my wife may ask one or two people what purse she should buy, she could very well consult with 10, 15 or 20 people when it comes to who she should hire to install a new roof on our house. And if you’re the roofing contractor who has provided her with the right advice and didn’t come off as a snake oil salesman then you could very well be the one she would hire.
You see, the Internet used to be used as a watering hole for people gathering information. Now, more people are making their purchases based on user reviews and what other people are saying about your company, not you. And if you still don’t think this social media thing is going to catch on then you need to pay more attention because people are buying cars and houses on the net and you can bet your ass I can hire a plumber online too, and it’s happening every day!