In a child’s vocabulary today, Google, Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo and many other words are common. They were never in our vocabulary as children. As times and technologies change and grow so quickly, it is hard to keep up with these trends and decide which ones to learn more about and get involved in.
When these words are so critical to your business, this is definitely not child’s play.
Social media is growing and changing daily. As a general rule, we need to pay attention to “the Big Three.” Here is a brief overview of the top three social media tools being used today and how they can help or impact the HVAC industry:
- Linkedin – by definition, Linkedin is a place where you can find past and present colleagues and classmates quickly. You can also discover inside connections when you’re looking for a job or new business opportunity as well as have a network is full of industry experts willing to share advice.As a general rule, Linkedin is mostly used for business, as opposed to Facebook in which you will see a stronger mix of social and business. So how does this social media site help HVAC contractors? Well for one, it has a group that anyone can join called HVAC professionals. It is a very active group with over 5,000 memebers, most of which are senior level heating and cooling contractors. They post resources, answer each others questions and much more. You can find out anything from industry trends to new rules and regulations or new product availability. There are additional groups as well that have great value. You can check the group activity or have the information emailed to you on a daily basis.
- Twitter – by definition Twitter is a social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read other user’s messages called tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author’s profile page. Your user name starts with the @symbol (e.g. @SocialTract) and it will help to learn about search and hashtags (#) to find out what is going on in areas that interest you (e.g. #hvac). This social media outlet is a great way to reach people with what is going on right here and now. The goal (for contractors) is to show yourself as an expert in the industry by tweeting about things relevant to your customers. If people think you are interesting, they may follow you. You could also simply follow the tweets for the hashtags #hvac and #hvacr to see what is new and trending. You could also follow the hashtag for your city or state.
- Finally Facebook, in which users can add people as friends and send them messages, and update their personal profiles to notify friends about themselves. Additionally, users can join networks organized by workplace, school, or college. Great advantages include the ability to create a page for your business as well as have a personal account for yourself. This is also the easiest site to post pictures to, maybe when out on a job or showing what an air filter should not look like. (Hey, and you can tweet out your facebook post via Twitter!)
This is a very basic overview of these top social media sites. Future posts will go into specific details about each one including case examples from current SocailTract customers.