Using Twitter. Twitter is a way for you as a contractor to connect with new, potential customers as well as letting customers connect to you — with their project concerns, questions, warranty follow-up, problems, your work process, talk about your company with others, make recommendations or criticisms, and on and on and on.
- Twitter is also a way for you to listen in on what your clients, customers, and potential customers are saying about you. You may then implement damage control (if needed) or otherwise.
- Twitter is also a way to get real people to give you their opinions about their concerns with hiring or finding a contractor. We all know that a lot of folks have been taken and get shabby workmanship from hacks.
For many with no ad budget, this is the age of digital “word of mouth”. Most contractors agree that word of mouth advertising is the best advertising around! You, as a local contractor, should set up your account with local presets to appeal to your local audience.
Tweet location. This is important to have the box checked in your Twitter account page. It lets customers know that you are local and available when there is a concern. You may ask,”Couldn’t a customer just pick up the phone and call me?” Sure, they could, but the reason is to publicly publish how great a contractor you are and that you take care of your client’s — all for the world to see. This is what I call real-time referrals. What better way for a NEW CUSTOMER to check out your company and learn how you conduct business, besides listening in and reading your tweets? I’m not saying Twitter is the end-all be-all form of free advertisement available; however, it should be used in conjunction with your other forms of marketing procedures.
Notices. Make sure you set your notices up for: 1. Email when someone starts following me, and 2. Email when I receive a new direct message. You’ll want to keep up with people’s tweets sent to you so you can promptly respond. For those out in the field, You should set your phone up for twitter so you can tweet in between your route of jobs for that day. Why? Because your customers may have concerns and you should want to paint a picture of your construction company’s life (folks love to read tweets about stuff we take for granted).
Find your target market. The best use of Twitter for your business, of course, is to start gathering followers in your targeted market. You won’t find roofing contractors on Twitter with hundreds of followers, as your target market will be geographically constrained. I wouldn’t worry about the numbers. Rather, focus on getting the right followers for your construction business.
Tweet often. Tweet on a regular basis; at least 5 posts daily. I’ve found that tweeting on a regular basis will oftentimes bring you new followers. Some will follow you based on keywords that you type; others will follow you when that are just surfing and reading random tweets of interest.
How to find stuff to tweet about. After setting up your Twitter account, eventually you will find yourself suffering from “Twitter Block”, a condition where you are frozen with nothing on your mind to write. Sign up for a Google account (email & password). Then learn the ins and outs of Google Alerts. Set your Google alerts account up for topics in your niche (the stuff you’re in to), as well as other fun stuff unrelated to your niche. Voila! Now, you have stuff to tweet about everyday (Google Alerts is updated regularly). Be sure to insert your own personality into your tweets. You should balance posting useful links with other mundane things in your life to make your Twitter account come alive with personality! Remember: write posts that are funny, engaging, flowing, and interesting. You want to be remembered and followed.
The key here is about building lasting relationships. Nothing is more valuable in the long run than building lasting relationships with your clients, customers, and potential customers. Think about it. How many times have you completed long, labor intensive project that many months or years remodeling someone’s home, then to go on and never hear from them again? Keeping these distant relationships through Twitter is invaluable. Current and former customers may point their circle of friends and family to you (the best form of advertising — referrals) just because you care to continue correspondence or, at the least, may choose to follow your company at a distance and decide if you’re a good fit for them.
- bit.ly – You must have some urls shortened for tweeting. Otherwise you may not have enough characters for typing a tweet with a link.
- Google Alerts – Set your alerts up for topics that interest you. You then have a wealth of information to tweet about.