Contractor Social Marketing Is All About Creating Online Relationships..
1. Use Social Media for Listening In
The best way to start using social media is to set up your accounts and spend some time "listening" to what is going on in your industry. Social media now covers nearly every topic imaginable so finding a niche within contracting should not be an issue.
If you don't find your niche, even better. You have stumbled on an opportunity to begin the conversation. By listening, you are able to get a sense of what is happening and the types of questions that exist in your industry.
Once you get a feel for what is going on, jump in and participate.
2. Just Be Social - Meet People Online and Offline
Don't forget when you get that business card that you have another opportunity to expand your business network. You likely have 10 contacts sitting in your desk right now that you have never thought of connecting with online.
Meeting people online is part of the Listening phase. While your listening, be sure to pay attention to conversations that interest you. Utilize an indexing software to log your favorites into. Bookmarking will work to.
I use Google Reader. I enter in the address of the blog that I like and when I have time to read, I simply go to my reader. The folders that are in bold have new content. I go to the folder and the all the new titles are in bold. As I scroll through the titles, the bold magically disappears.
When I hit the articles that I have already viewed, I know I have already been to that section. I can also go directly to the article where I can leave comments.
I build relationships by going to a variety of blogs and commenting on their articles. If you add valuable perspective to the conversation, you will get noticed and likely a visit from the author of the blog. A way for you to meet people without being pushy.
3. Start Conversations Through Social Media
Have a problem?
Want to know how other people are doing things?
Try asking your question in a forum related to your business or even your twitter account. By starting a conversation, your question not only goes out there to everyone in the world, if it is interesting enough, you may get 10, 20, or 30 answers.
Free advice, plus everytime someone answers, their responses become searchable. In LinkedIn, it is not uncommon to see 10 or more answers to a question. I often take a look at the profile of the person to see who they are.
Just more exposure for yourself AND getting an objective viewpoint of a worldwide audience. You never know where a great solution may come from.
Asking questions not only gives you knowledge, but it also helps to gain exposure for you or your busienss.
4. Use Social Media to Add Value To The Community
Adding value to the community means helping others. We all have different levels of experience and knowledge. Using social media, you can easily find forums or even question sections on all the popular platforms such as LinkedIN, Yahoo, and others in your industry who may be targeting a different niche.
By reading through the questions in these questions sections you can learn a lot about what is going on. You will likely find that you have an expertise that can be beneficial to someone else. By taking the time to answer a question, you may create a new friend.
Don't answer a question if you don't know the answer. Maybe you have used a certain resource that would be helpful for the questioner. As long as you are adding value to the conversation, jump in and be helpful.
5. Ask Questions Through Social Media
Adding value to the community can also involve asking questions. What kind of problems are you having? Need to know how to do something? I recently needed some information regarding video blogging and could not find the resources I was looking for.
I posted my question in a forum, and less than 24 hours later had links posted that were a big help in putting video's together. I had a question, needed help and someone who didn't even know me reached out and helped me out.
Having questions that are challenging and engaging is an effective way to generate buzz or get interest in who you are. Questions in LinkedIN, forums, Yahoo answers all become indexed pages. You never know how many views your question will generate.
A Successful Social Media Marketing Plan Relies On Content Marketing
Building relationships is a great way to get your website found, but there are many more steps that will enhance your efforts. This e-book is 48 pages of tips, facts and strategies to get your website found.