Ways Contractors Can Use Twitter to Increase their Business
I know how it is, believe me, I’ve been there and done that and got the t-shirt. Including the one I own now, I have owned and worked for more than 10 different contracting companies, and one thing remains constant, the need for leads. Well I am here to tell you that you probably won’t see a significant amount of leads from a Twitter campaign no matter how much time you spend on it. People just don’t go to Twitter when they are ready to purchase a major home improvement. So, we should just forget Twitter altogether? I say no and there are several reasons why.
One, since contractors don’t see much success from Twitter, most of them don’t bother. Therefore, there isn’t a lot of competition, so the people out there that use Twitter won’t be bombarded by your competition like they are in the yellow pages, service magic or other marketing methods. It’s not hard to dominate Twitter for a specific trade in a specific market. In fact it’s pretty darn easy. Two, twitter is constantly evolving and changing. Putting the effort in now to having an effective Twitter account will only help you in the future when something changes in the platform that allows for more local targeted activity.
Even though you will not see an immediate influx of leads from your Twitter campaign there are 3 huge benefits to contractors who are using Twitter effectively.
Brand building and consumer awareness
. I don’t need to explain the value and importance of brand building and consumer awareness to you. The book shelves are lined with books on brand awareness. Twitter is an excellent way to do just that. You can tout your services, products and offerings 50 times a day without being considered a spammer or over doing it.
People who find you via other methods (direct mail, yellow pages) may check your twitter feed to see if you really are who you say you are. If they check your twitter profile and your last tweet was 287 days ago, it looks bad and will actually count against you.
Use Twitter steadily and effectively to build your brand awareness. Link your blog, article accounts, Facebook pages and all of your activity to you Twitter account so you have a steady, constant stream of activity that reaches out to your Twitter following and displays you and your firm as a real company, who is actively engaged in the industry and is a leader in the community in which you serve. Doing this effectively will increase your closing percentages as well.
. If you aren’t currently building and maintaining a marketing list, you need to ASAP. A list of interested, qualified prospects is the best tool you can have to generate leads at will for your sales team. A large list of people who have raised their hand and said YES, I may not buy to day, but I am interested in learning about what you can offer me, how you can save me money and keep me updated as to specials or promotions you are running, is they best asset you can own as a contractor.
The difficult thing is building the list. Luckily, Twitter is a great tool for building your list. Its low pressure, low opt in effort and the consumer can control the privacy. Therefore it is very easy to get someone to follow you on twitter. Then, you make it your mission to offer items of extreme value in exchange for their email address and their permission to market to them.
Using Twitter to do this is the most effective function of Twitter and will allow you to build your list on a steady, regular pace each and every day.
. If you build a targeted list of followers that live in the market you serve and are interested in home improvement you will get referrals. As long as you provide great information and helpful advice, people will take notice and pay attention to you. They will add you to lists and “re-tweet” your offers and information. Even if they aren’t in the market for a new roof, they will refer you to someone in their circle of friends who has expressed an interest in purchasing a new roof. We all know that best leads are referrals, so the more people you can market to effectively, the more referrals you will generate from Twitter.
Many people serve as “hubs” in their circle of friends. Have you ever noticed how customers are constantly asking you if you know a good painter or a fair priced landscaper? Well, they associate YOU with being in the business and a part of that circle of influence and will trust your advice regarding referrals within the home improvement industry. They may not take your advice on child care or a new restaurant review, but when it comes to home improvement, they will consider your advice over another person who may be say a dentist.
The same holds true for their friends/neighbors who are interested or actively involved in home improvement. If you have a “follower” who is interested in home improvement and has done a few home improvements on their own, or even hired 3 or 4 contractors for different trades in the past few years; that person, will get bombarded with referral requests. Their neighbor will see them at the mailbox and say “Hey, I noticed you hired someone to redo your roof and then your pool. Have you ever looked into replacement windows? I was thinking about replacing my windows, do you have any advice?”
If you have the presence of mind built up in this person’s awareness, you will get the referral. She will say, “You know I never looked into it, but I do follow this guy on Twitter who is always running specials, and giving great advice on energy efficiency and stuff, he really is an expert. If I were going to replace my windows I would definitely go to him first. I will forward you his info when I get home.”
If you structure your Twitter account correctly all three of these benefits will come as a natural byproduct of your Twitter campaign. Set it up correctly, manage it correctly and update it often, and you will begin to see these three benefits, which may not generate immediate leads for you and your business, but will begin to build the base of your marketing system which will allow you not to need any lead generation strategies, because the leads just naturally come in via, brand awareness, your effective list management and referrals.