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Social Media for Contractors: Not Knowing Isn’t a Good Reason Anymore!

It’s 2014 and it’s not cool or funny to grumble something like ‘social media is for kids’ under your breath when asked if your business is on social media.

Let me put it in terms you will understand

Anytime you make an investment in new equipment (or change procedure) in your company,  you have to train your staff on how to deploy and use correctly, right? The same is true in the digital world. 

It’s not funny, in fact, its costing you business, so learn. And by learning I don’t mean giving the recent grad in your life a few bucks to show you this Twitter thing, I mean sit down in front of a computer and put forth a full-throated effort to step from the primordial sludge of YP advertising and get with it man! 

You have a few different options right at your fingertips. All you have to do is stop visiting the forums or window shopping online at makita.com  long enough to educate yourself…for free!

Here’s a few places to start

YouTube: Their number two category, behind music, is education. You can find a plethora of free information available at your fingertips at any hour of the day. The benefit is that it’s free and the videos are in small, manageable chunks. The downside is that the videos may be out of date and might be inaccurate. When it comes to social media, you want the newest video on a subject because the tools continuously change and a video shot a year ago may give you instructions on a feature that doesn’t exist or has vastly changed in the meantime.  http://youtube.com

GCFLearnFree: This is an amazing free online resource for training on digital tools, career, reading, math and more. It was created by the Goodwill Community Foundation International and has more content every time I look. http://www.gcflearnfree.org

Small Business Development Center or local college: These are excellent physical resources where you can learn new tools or get help. The downside is their advanced offerings completely depend on your market and the teachers available. Most colleges are in the very early stages of offering classes in this niche.

The other way to approach this is to seek out professionals. A technology or Social Media trainer will teach you and your staff to keep the tasks in-house, reducing the amount you will be spending month after month if you were to hire outside staff to manage your needs. This approach helps staff to take ownership over the process and outcome, and will empower your team to make smart decisions as the landscape changes. If they don’t know what they are doing or how to do it, they are at a disadvantage, are dependent on others, and may feel compelled to outsource the function.

 Meet with a trainer, set your goals, and build an in-house training program to keep your staff (and yourself) up-to-date and educated on the newest technology that are appropriate to your industry. 

 For individuals, you can take advantage of many of these same options. You won’t have a need to create an in-house training program unless you believe your boss should consider such a thing. When it comes to hiring a professional, cost may be prohibitive. In this case, banding together with friends to create a custom group when hiring the professional is a great way to get the information you want and allows you to spread the cost to several people. Hope this helps!