Like it or not, social media is a part of today’s marketing reality. For those remodelers who didn’t grow up digital, it’s sometimes hard to see what social media can do. For those remodelers who have grown up digital it’s easier. However, for many social media experts, what is missing from their expertise is the understanding of what types of social media work specifically for remodeling contractors.
What is Social Media Really?
Depending on which dictionary or expert’s definition you use, what social media is can be more broadly or narrowly defined. However, a key element in social media is the sharing of information by the users of a website, rather than just the website’s creators. At Continuum we are less concerned with what an online venue is called than if it can be used cost effectively for remodeler marketing.
Selling Vs. Engaging with Effective Social Media
While trends change, most people using social media may expect to be sold to in ads they see on social media but not in the “social part” of social media. Even paid posts in social media should be socially redeeming…meaning helpful, interesting, fun, engaging, enlightening, etc. Most social media experts understand this. Many remodelers who engage in social media on their own, don’t. You can also engage on social media with people in ways that are strategically supportive or not to your marketing program. And strategic social media engagement for remodeling firms is not the same as for other types of businesses.
Social Media’s Impact on Marketing is Sometimes Not Direct
Strategically and intelligently used social media can sometimes have a positive impact on your overall marketing in one of a number of ways. Some are direct, some are not. Some both direct and indirect. For example, many search engines factor in social media activity when ranking of your website. So having some basic and legitimate social media presence can help your SEO efforts even if your social media efforts are not pushed to the point where they are generating leads. Leads helped by the impact of social media may say they found you on Google and not from your social media venues.
Who Can Best Implement Your Social Media Efforts
While some aspects of social media are usually more cost effectively when done by in-house staff than by an agency, Continuum’s role can be to help provide guidance, strategy, ideas, technical and logistical support and sometimes content. By doing so, we can help keep your in-house social media from becoming too commercial or going off in the other direction and having either no or a deleterious effect in other ways.
And of course, if you don’t have the staff or time to engage in social media marketing Continuum’s team is more than able to help you.
Not All Social Media is Useful for Remodeler Marketing
Frankly you can waste a lot of time, money and resources on social media and get little to nothing back. This is most true if you don’t select the social media that will strategically and practically work for you. Continuum works hard to find the intersection between social media marketing opportunities in general and those that can work for remodelers. There are many factors that go into the equation including your overall marketing effort, budget and who you target as prospects. For example, recently there has been gloom and doom in the press as teens have started to abandon Facebook. For many marketers this means they should pull back their efforts with Facebook. For remodelers, it could mean that the concentration of those using Facebook are in the prime of their remodeling lives. Conversely what are some of the hottest new trends in social media may be totally useless for remodelers.
Determining How to Evaluate the Hidden Value You Get or Don’t from Social Media
In today’s multi-modal marketing environment, it is sometimes hard to determine what marketing is driving results. It is possible that someone learns of you because they first saw something about you on a social media site and may tell you when they call. However, if your social media strategy is more targeted to past clients and people who already know you, the business it may generate will be correctly, but incompletely, marked as a repeat or referral lead. The fact that the repeat project or referral was in part because you kept in touch with a past client for a longer and more meaningful time than in the past is unlikely to be marked down in your log book when determining where those repeat and referred leads came from. This is similar to how some other types of marketing have a meaningful impact but never seem to be given their due.