In this 21st Century world, being digital and online is a must for growing your business. Yet many of us, who did not grow up “plugged in,” find it difficult to know where to start in generating a presence online. But from customer service to lead generation, the internet is really one of your best resources for building your reputation, name-recognition and ultimately business. Let’s take a look at how you can get started … with LinkedIn, YouTube and Flickr Social Media.
SOCIAL MEDIA: As with Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Flickr can provide additional exposure to your business. Each platform is uniquely suited to express some facet that should increase interest in your construction. For example, LinkedIn is a professional network. There, you can network with other builders, professional trade organizations and potential business partners. YouTube is a great medium to post video of your work, perhaps in its finished form or perhaps to show a time-lapse of the construction process. Finally, Flickr (along with Facebook and Twitter) will let you post photos of your work to entice clients.
LinkedIn: As we mention above, LinkedIn is a networking platform. It is great for making connections with industry professionals and for building your resume. As with Facebook, to have a business page, you must first create a personal profile page.
Begin by going to LinkedIn and complete the pop-up that requests your name, email and password. It will then allow you to add contact information, a personal photo (think professional-looking), your educational background and your employment history. Your next step should be to search for people you know to be your connections. Consider colleagues, anyone whose business card you have, friends and new people you meet through the LinkedIn feed.
After your personal page is set up, move on to your company profile. Add your logo, a brief background history, description of what you do, specialties, location and contact information. You may optionally add a number of employees, upcoming events, and job openings you have.
When everything is to your liking, add a status update. You should post a status update at least every two weeks. Another option LinkedIn gives is to add a poll to your profile. Think about a topic related to the building industry and craft a poll that might pique the interest of the entire community.
Keep in mind that LinkedIn is a professional Social Network community, and never post questionable or spammy things.
American eBuilder is on LinkedIn! Find us at american-ebuilder and connect with us!
YouTube: YouTube has great potential, if you have a way of capturing video. You could use your smart phone, but to present a professional face, you probably should have someone with high quality video equipment help you. Consider a virtual tour of one of your completed homes, with commentary that points out the workmanship and details that a potential buyer might appreciate. Or think about doing a time-lapse construction video with commentary that highlights your foundation work, your framing and other features which make your building distinctive.
Once you have your video in hand, you will need to create a YouTube account. Go to the YouTube site and click on the words, “My Channel,” in the right-hand menu under the Home button. If you already have a Google account and are logged in, it will allow you to immediately create a channel. But if you read the small print, that same box gives you an option to “Use a business or other name.” Click on that. Next, you must name your channel and select a category under which your business falls. Then click “Done.”
Now you can customize your channel. You may click to add artwork across the top of the page. This artwork must be size as 2048 pixels wide and 1152 pixels tall. You may upload your videos as well. Click on “Upload Videos” and then select the video file on your computer. You should also pick your audience. Public will give you the most exposure. Finally, add a title and a description to your uploaded video. Just a note about posting video … while YouTube imposes a 15 minute limit, best practice indicates that your videos should be between 1 ½ to 2 minutes long.
These videos will be a valuable asset not just to potential customers, but can actually serve to market your homes to out-of-state clients looking to move as well.
Flickr: While YouTube is good for video, Flickr is great for still photos. The advantage to posting photos on Flickr is that because Yahoo owns it, your photos will be easily indexed and found by Yahoo search. As with the other Social Media platforms, you must first create an account. Click on the blue “Sign Up” button on the top right. If you already have a Yahoo ID, you can create your account with that. If you do not, you will first create a Yahoo ID. Then you will be able to add a profile photo and customize your Flickr url (as your business name).
Now you are ready to add photos of your work! You may upload individual photos, or you may create sets of images. Be sure to give every image a title and description, since that will help Yahoo search to find it.
In terms of Social Media, you’re all set! Just don’t forget to occasionally update all of your online venues with an updated post from time to time, to keep your site and your brand in top search engine locations.