Being a savvy professional has never been just about having a boatload of money or a plethora of wealthy investors. A true business leader aims to identify rewarding opportunities and make the most of them. Marketing is war zone where only the sharpest players are likely to survive. In order to succeed, you must always be on the lookout for an edge.

In the remodeling space, that edge is social media. As one of the most powerful tools of research and marketing of our time, social media provides remodelers with the ability to:

Stay ahead of the competition (this window is closing quickly)
Keep an eye on what the market says about them
Build brand awareness
Position themselves as experts in their vertical
Create new leads and opportunities

A common misconception among people today is that social media is just for kids. This is not the case. People from all age groups are a part of the social media network, and plenty of successful remodelers realize the value of being in the public eye online. Social media doesn’t only help you reach consumers, it also gives you the ability to interact with vendors, suppliers, and dealers.

However, even though the advantages of social media are more than enough for it to be a required expertise going into 2014, many remodelers neglect keeping their pages up to date or avoid going social altogether. Often, this is because they don’t understand how to maintain their site or they’re afraid of customer feedback.

This is where careful planning and strategic marketing comes into play. By building a social media presence for your business, you’ve taken a giant leap forward when it comes to being closer to your clients and customers. And—here’s a newsflash—people are already talking about you…you just don’t know about it!

Bottom line, there’s no denying the power social media marketing. The only thing that matters is how soon you take advantage of this golden opportunity.

—Darren Slaughter runs SlaughterMedia, a social media management and website design firm serving only home improvement companies. You can find out more about social media by reading his blog.