Help you meet clients and prospects: This is where consumers — and their friends — hang out. And you can engage with “your existing customer base that might form an affinity group,” says consultant and REMODELING columnist Joe Stoddard. “You can gain new customers through testimonials from that group if you’ve created positive relationships with them.”
Raise brand awareness: “It can provide a non-salesy, informal, friendly place for people to learn about your business personality,” says Dave Alpert of Continuum Marketing, but don’t push sales. You need to offer something of value, such as free information.
Boost website traffic: Promote your site with links and keywords when using social media. Check out AddThis.com, which offers an easy button for people to click to share your information.
Help you manage your reputation: Use Angie’s List, Yelp, and other local sites to respond to reviews, show how you deal with problems, and create links to testimonials.
Social Media Can’t
• 90% of online consumers say they trust recommendations from people they know
source: Ecoconsultancy, July 2009
Do what you do best: “Social media makes it easier for happy and unhappy customers to share their experiences. But for a remodeler to develop a good social media strategy without making a concerted effort to deliver exceptional customer service is a waste of time,” says Geoff Graham, president of GuildQuality.
Quash criticism: There’s always someone who’s unhappy. But at least you can join the dialog early.
Provide free marketing: Many sites may be free to use, but it takes a lot of time and effort to properly feed and care for social media. If you’re going to set it and forget it, well just forget it.
Be your only marketing method: Social media can only support a larger marketing program.
Promise a following: You must create a narrative for consumers to see what’s in it for them — and be patient.