ByronM - 1:00 am on Oct 5, 2010 (gmt 0)
I am sure a lot of plumbers and carpenters can't really wait to get home to start blogging and twitting about great toilet installations they just completed.
Misconception #1 about twitter & facebook - Not all content has to refer to blogs. As a professional or independent you should be building your web presence to increase your opportunities. Extending this presence through facebook and twitter is optional, but a no brainer. If you wrote a page about winterizing your house, tweet it. If you fit it into a regular blog, more power to you.
Hype needs to be stopped, the line needs to be drawn somewhere.
What hype needs to stop?
A small company or a consultant rarely has the time for this. Unless profits are really huge, and then what customers need to be tweeting on is about outrageously high fees these companies are charging.
Its free to create a page on facebook. Its free to invite your friends and customers to join. its free to link your data to facebook. Its free to tweet bit.ly links to your website. Its free to tweet deals. Its free to run a search query on twitter 2-3 minutes a day and find out if people are needing your services and reply back to them. Not to sell them initially but to offer advice.. build a relationship and then let them know your in business. Or if you dont want to do that, then at least listen to your customers or potential customers. If someone tweets "a plumber really screwed up our plumbing" that is a door WIDE open to interject your offer that you're missing out on.
PPC adverising on fb is really affordable. So affordable we use it to advertising our meetup group and book club and i pay 20-30/month out of pocket to reach 10s of thousands of potential people with very specific topics. The min bid on Facebook really is a free market compared to google. Once you have a certain CTR and maintain that you can manage your own pricing without impacting your growth. You may not exceed that growth because of being outbid on the short term however i've foudn out once i reach x clicks per day and sustain that then i can "smart price" myself down to basically nothing per click :)
I am actually beta participating (beta for me) in one similar program, not as big as Twitter or Facebook. What I find out that if you are not ready to satisfy 99.8% of all the customers (we are talking about 998 out of 1000, count your orders) - you are going to be squashed, jumped on and ranted upon by a few bad apples that you shouldn't have sold to in the first place and that are always complaining regardless.
Social networking isn't about appeasing customers, its about networking with them. its another avenue you should train your customer service reps to be aware of if you don't want to use it on your sales channel directly.
Great punchline though from BBC "Once upon a time companies could afford to be rude." .....
Not sure what that has to do with social networking :)
Some of my best examples of social networking.
The mundane - was listening to my zune hd and a certain band play list was playing and i noticed that an artist used the same generic band name and was included on the playlist. I got on twitter (on the zune hd mind you, where i was ALREADY at..) and @zunesupport Hey guys, there is a problem with this album being included on this artist, shouldn't be here :) 15 minutes later @me Thanks, we'll have it fixed. Next time i synced up my zune it was corrected.
I didn't have to go home, login to zune.net, open a ticket, get a generic response it was being looked at never to hear from any living breathing person again. Nor did i have to drop what i was doing, open an email program or a browser or change my train of thought. I just used an already fully integrated solution to get a great answer in 140 characters or less.
The following day i was following zune and tweeting #musicmonday because the service was so great i was willing to share my experience and excitement thereof.