ABCs of Social MediaWe continue our social media blog series to provide you with practical tips on how to be successful in social media as a contractor or small business.

In the previous blog post, we discussed how participation in social media can benefit your business and helps you stay connected with your customers online. Now, let’s dive into specific social media tactics that can help you succeed.

Where to get started?

As a contractor, you might be concerned that social media is time consuming and there are too many networks to keep up with. What’s more, the digital landscape is always changing and new opportunities evolve.

How can you decide where to focus your efforts? Which online groups and business pages merit your attention?

Prioritize!

Identify specific topics that interest you and start searching for online discussions that are currently happening in your field. Social networking sites allow searching for groups and business pages by interest and location.

Interested in indoor air quality issues? Search for #IAQ on Twitter or Facebook. Interested in adding geothermal services to your business practices? Follow geothermal experts like Jay Egg on Twitter, or join GeoExchange Forum for opportunities to ask questions and get the latest industry updates.

Content Quality and Frequency:  Signing up with a new group or following a business on Twitter is easy. Yet, participation in too many groups could be overwhelming. Before following or joining a new group, view content quality and frequency of postings. You might find that a certain group and business page has a lot of members; however, it is not very active. Other groups might have an overwhelming number of posts that are irrelevant to the purpose of the group or your interests.

Industry Associations and Trade Shows: Many industry associations and trade shows have established professional networking groups online. You might find it easy to connect with upcoming trade shows you are planning to attend.

The Comfortech Show, AHR Expo, Green Builder Show, and many others – all have growing social media presence. Simply follow their Twitter accounts or “subscribe” to their pages to receive the latest updates.

Professional associations and local chapters offer opportunities to stay connected with your peers on social networks as well. For example, ACCA (Air Conditioning Contractors of America) has over 9,000 members on Facebook.

Industry Forums

Leading online industry forums, such as HeatingHelp.com or HVACtalk.com provide active discussions on diverse industry subjects – from contracting business challenges to project stories from the field.

Company Pages

Connect with manufacturers, wholesalers, and supply houses that have active social media presence. Following them on Facebook or Twitter is an easy way to get the latest product information, find special offers, and learn about new training opportunities.

To sum up, prioritizing your efforts and having specific goals in mind is key to success. Share your stories about online groups and networks you found interesting. Which ones would you recommend joining?

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