Self-Taught MBA: Getting Social With Guerrilla Marketing - Fine Homebuilding
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Building Business

Building Business


Self-Taught MBA: Getting Social With Guerrilla Marketing

comments (7) January 17th, 2013 in Blogs
FPR Fernando Pages Ruiz, contributor

The Brand Sphere: Social networks and channels present brands with a broad array of media opportunities to engage customers and those who influence them. For homebuilders and remodelers working in local markets, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are a good place to start. 
The Brand Sphere: Social networks and channels present brands with a broad array of media opportunities to engage customers and those who influence them. For homebuilders and remodelers working in local markets, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are a good place to start. Click To Enlarge

The Brand Sphere: Social networks and channels present brands with a broad array of media opportunities to engage customers and those who influence them. For homebuilders and remodelers working in local markets, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are a good place to start. 

Photo: Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/briansolis/6039016890/in/photostream/


Once you have built your page with general business information, some pictures, and comments, you get the ball rolling by inviting your friends. If you already have a personal Facebook page, just look for the "invite friends" window on the right hand side of the screen (or click on the arrow next to "Build Your Business" in the upper right) and start selecting those you wish to invite. When they come to visit, most will select to "like" your page (the thumbs-up logo), which means that their friends will know they liked your page and they will receive a notice every time you update information.  

You can see how this will grow exponentially and how simply updating your page makes it easy to stay in touch with the community and your customers. Other ways of getting the ball rolling include an email link that Facebook offers to invite your email contacts. You'll find this tool on the "Build Your Business" tab at the upper-right area of your page. Select your email service, enter your password, and see your contact list pop up. You can then select those you want to email; Facebook will do the rest automatically, emailing all your contacts an invitation to "like" your page.

Here's what it looks like:

A suggestion for your Page will be sent to your subscribers who are already on Facebook.

Recommended

 

Fernando Pages Ruiz

Fernando Pages suggested you check out his page.

Like

Simple enough, but powerful. As soon as 30 people "like" your page, Facebook will begin tracking activity on your page in a window with a chart labeled "Insights." This way, you know how many people have seen your business promotion, and you can tweak your approach to maximize results. You should also add a link to your Facebook page on your email signature and your website, if you have one.

Social housekeeping  

Soon enough, you will begin to get traffic and, inevitably, comments. Good comments are great and the only reply needed is "thank you." Criticisms can be a little harder to deal with, but they require a response. Sometimes a simple apology works. At other times, it's best to take the matter out of the public eye by asking the individual posters to contact you privately by email or phone to discuss the situation. If an unhappy customer posts multiple complaints, you can delete all but one that contains your invitation to deal with the matter person to person, and then block this individual from posting additional comments to your site.

If you want to spend a couple of hours learning the basics of social media, as I did, I encourage you to see this free webinar, Discovering Social Media.

Next time, I'll discuss LinkedIn, a social-media site geared to business-to-business activity and is perhaps the best means of reaching customers for subcontractors and consultants. It's also a great way for homebuilders and remodelers to participate in business forums.

You can see my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/BuildingAffordable

Additional resources  

Social-media marketing

Social media and what to avoid

Facebook community and guidelines

Twitter logo information

This list adopted from Using Social Media for Your Business, Amanda Bergstorm, Nebraska Cooperative Development

 



posted in: Blogs, business

Comments (7)

apu04 apu04 writes: Very nice blog and informative
Posted: 10:45 am on February 14th

EduardoG EduardoG writes: I must disagree with this premise of using Facebook for a number of reasons:

Having used Facebook for my business for over two years, sending out info on specials or informative tidbits to FB friends, finding numerous FB sites of groups in my target market with thousands of friends on them (such as military pages when giving a military discount for my service) I have yet to receive one call. I always track my marketing by asking callers where they heard about us. Other negatives about using Facebook:
1. People can post negative comments on your business site
2. A friend can post something offensive to others, who will then judge you by the post that has ended up on your page from your friends posting.
3. If using a personal FB page that also mentions your business, you can turn off potential clients who may not like your political or social commentary or postings of your friends, etc. TMI
4. The reason I got off FB entirely is that I realized that they must be planting spyware that could read my email address book at the ver least, as people were being suggested to me on my FB page that were only linked to me through my Outlook address book and no other way.
5. The negative origin of FB being Zuckerberg using the original version to slam former girlfriends and other students, the possibility that he took other students IT ideas to create it and did not give them credit or financial compensation.
6. The fact that FB is now selling personal information of all users to big companies, and is collecting social and political comments to create lists based on your personal opinions. This is Big Brother at its worst. I find it to be a huge invasion of privacy with very little reward in promoting my business.

I find a professional looking website with photos and client quotes along with a nice business card that directs people to the site a much better advertisement for a business, combined with getting out into the community, making personal contact and giving them the card (making sure to mention the website to check out our work).
Posted: 11:35 am on February 3rd

MChandler MChandler writes: I really enjoyed having dinner with you all the other night. I got a lot out of IBS I really recommend that you take a look at the Tradies app for I-Phone and Android and at infinicards from US.Moo.com

As far as my approach to Facebook goes I have to look back to when I was just starting out and a mentor/early employer/ friend took me aside and said that to be successful in sales it is important to meet people in non-sales environments such as social events, non-profits, church groups and school events. Even coaching your kids sports league can give people who would never call to set up an appointment a change to connect, ask a few informal questions and "suss you out" to see if you feel like the kind of person they can trust and work with.

So my Facebook presence is not as a building company but as an approachable person who owns a building company. I highlight that I'm an environmentalist and recreational musician, sculptor, inventor and a guy who loves being a dad and mentoring young musicians.

I do put pictures of my construction projects and links to upcoming classes and events where a person might easily approach me and talk about building. I post notices of accomplishments and industry recognition that spreads the word that I'm an expert in my field.

I don't typically "friend" current clients. I want to be sure they're enthusiastically satisfied before I give them the ability to post on my wall. Once I'm sure of that, they can be a great source for positive comments and "likes".

Not having a "commercial" presence on Facebook keeps me from getting hit with charges from Facebook and it means that people "friend me" rather than becoming "fans" My goal is to be seen as knowledgeable, approachable and a creative problem solver. I want folks to click through to my website when they are ready to talk business.

My partner actually has two Facebook personalities - one as a home designer and another for her dance and dance apparel business. She feels that it might be un-productive for folks who think of her as a designer of cool eco-homes to be seeing rambling new-age posts and images of the latest fashions from Burning Man festival. She doesn't "friend" me on her dance wall, maybe she wants to shelter me from that too.

I don't "friend" my teenager either. Neither of us really need to have the other's friends showing up on our walls.
Posted: 5:19 pm on January 27th

FPR FPR writes: DancingDan, I had dinner with two builders last night, one uses Facebook to promote his business, the other does not. I hope to get Mike Chandler to post here explaining how and why he believes Facebook helps him get to know his clients and keep in touch with them after the job is done. Regarding your point on sloppy writing, I know what you mean. We may have won speed and quantity in communication, but lost a great deal in thoughtful dialog and careful prose.
Posted: 3:53 pm on January 25th

FPR FPR writes: DancingDan, I had dinner with two builders last night, one uses Facebook to promote his business, the other does not. I hope to get Mike Chandler to post here explaining how and why he believes Facebook helps him get to know his clients and keep in touch with them after the job is done. Regarding your point on sloppy writing, I know what you mean. We may have won speed and quantity in communication, but lost a great deal in thoughtful dialog and careful prose.
Posted: 3:52 pm on January 25th

FPR FPR writes: DancingDan, I had dinner with two builders last night, one uses Facebook to promote his business, the other does not. I hope to get Mike Chandler to post here explaining how and why he believes Facebook helps him get to know his clients and keep in touch with them after the job is done. Regarding your point on sloppy writing, I know what you mean. We may have won speed and quantity in communication, but lost a great deal in thoughtful dialog and careful prose.
Posted: 3:52 pm on January 25th

DancingDan DancingDan writes: I am a social media agnostic, Fernando. My business has a FB page, but I'm not convinced it does us much good. I guess it helps our visibility.

What I saw on some of the pages you link to (and esp. the Beazer homes) are people whose command of English is pretty crappy - grammatical mistakes, bad spelling, etc. That's both the people posting and, unfortunately, from whomever runs it for Beazer.

It obviously (or perhaps not so obviously) makes Beazer look bad for their public face to write poorly, but I also think having all these posts that barely make sense don't do their brand much good either.
Posted: 10:40 pm on January 18th

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