And Plumbers are no good at Facebook or Twitter. There, I said it. I’ve been meaning to say it out loud for some time. I’ve been hinting at it, I even blogged here on The Hub about it a while back. Not every plumber is bad, just most. Not all HVAC blogs stink, just the majority. And not all Facebook feeds via “XYZ, LLC Services” are terible, but a lot are. There’s got to be a human element in your social networking to engage the reader/client. Blogging on your website is also a form of social networking and marketing your talents/services to potential or existing clients. Offering up useful information in small doses that may be topical or seasonal [share info on annual boiler service or garbage disposals around the holidays], something your client can do themselves to save a couple bucks. This is not going to take money out of your pocket. What it will do is build their respect level of you, their appreciation for your professional skill and knowledge for when they truly need someone out to the house or office, they will call you first. So, why are there so many contractors still sucking at this today?
There are a few reasons and I’ve put together a list. If you can identify with any of the following, open a new tab and Google search “local online marketing firm”. If you already have someone working on this for you, either you’re the problem or they need to be fired; you decide. Here goes:
- Do not share your political views on your business website, blog or social media presence.
I have “Liked” multiple business pages on Facebook operated by companies that range in size from 1 to 100 or more employees. I’m talking the contractors who are doing the work, not the manufacturers or suppliers. It never fails, I tend to see at least once a week a miniature rant about some gun control debate or local/national election and the one-sided stance on the issue. Add to that profanity or sophomoric remarks. All of this on a Facebook or Twitter post! Sharing this type of opinion for the entire world to see is ridiculous and a turn-off to any potential client [even friends] who do not share the same opinion. If you might have the not so bright idea to do this, even once in a while, don’t.
- Sharing “How-to” information does not take your paycheck away.
One of my closest contractor friends asked me a number of years ago when I first started blogging why I was willing to tell my customers how to flush a water heater themselves or how to fix a leaky toilet when, in his mind, I should keep those “trade secrets” to myself so I can get paid to do them. To that I answered with this: “They’re already looking for info on how to do it themselves. They’ve already decided to not pay for someone else to do it. Why not reach out to those in my service area and offer a helping hand for some of the little things? They might consider me for the big things when they come along…” Guess what, that’s been exactly the case as far as I can measure….and make no mistake, most of what I write about contains no “trade secrets” and my best competitors are already blogging too….I intend on being the leader.
- Logging onto Twitter or Instagram once a day and posting/retweeting ten things at midnight is not doing anything for your brand awareness.
Should I even have to talk about this? Listen, I get it. You’re busy! So am I! I run a small plumbing & hydronics business in Minnesota. I turn the wrenches. I also help run this website, I’m a father and husband, scoutmaster and trade school instructor. I sit on the board for a few organizations and I find time to volunteer monthly at the local food shelf. People telling me they don’t have time to promote their business effectively online, is like an electrician complaining about the lighting. There are easy tools to use to fix this problem. I use them, I pay for some of them and I benefit from all of them. Check out Hootsuite.com or sproutsocial.com to start. Be original on a real schedule, you might actually see a return.
- Do not stop using social media because the phone isn’t ringing off the hook.
Social media and blogging on your website are not necessarily going to have the phone blowing up. In fact you may not have a steady flow of anything coming in the way of referral traffic but, without it you will definitely have none. Consider your competitors are doing it and vying for your client list, you are better off staying in the game for another inning. Giving up and not making the most of the potential is foolish in my opinion.
If you’d like to read more about this and other social media topics I have written about click the links below.
5 Things you won’t catch me doing on Facebook (Mechanical-Hub Guest Blog, November 2012)
Your Social “Brand” Should be Human (Mechanical-Hub Guest Blog, April 2013)
Ignore social media at your own risk (Contractor Magazine, November 2010)
Mechanical-Hub, Aune Plumbing, LLC