Still think social media is a silly time-waster? Mike Lyon says you’re due for a “fundamental shift” in how you think about generating business.
More homeowners turn to the Web to find remodelers. “If you don’t show up on the first page of a Google search, you’re sunk,” says Lyon, a marketing consultant with DoYouConvert.com. Search engine optimization is critical, and Lyon recommends hiring an SEO expert. But you can also rise to the top by doing strategic social networking. Start with the following free services.
- Blog using a tool such as WordPress.com or Blogger.com.
- Be active on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. “People are asking their Facebook friends for recommendations,” Lyon says. Think of these platforms as magnets to your corporate site.
- Upload videos to your YouTube page. Since joining Twitter in May, remodeler J Steele, of Black Diamond Builders, in Lake Forest, Calif., has driven more traffic to his website and expanded his network to include a team of sisters whom he met at a “Tweetup.” They created a terrifically upbeat YouTube video for him (right). “Before, my site had just been validation — a place to send referrals after they contact us,” Steele says. “Now our site needs to hit people first,”
Lyon’s social media advice:
- Link your profiles to your company website and vice versa.
- Be interesting, helpful, professional. “If you’re not giving good information, nobody will listen,” Lyon says. Avoid sales pitches. Instead, “be the thought leader in your town,” he advises.
- Be a cinch to contact. Have a big button on your profiles: For fast answers to your remodeling questions, click here or call.
“Social networking isn’t the marketing strategy; it’s just one tactic,” Lyon says. Do it well, and it’s almost certain to ignite new interest in your company.
—Leah Thayer, senior editor, REMODELING.