Is Your Social Media Really Social?

There are many reasons to build a social media presence for your Home Performance business: SEO benefits, potential new customers, establishing brand credibility, building your reputation and establishing a presence nationwide -- the list goes on.

But while we've written extensively about why you should sign your home performance business up for social media, even if you hate it, you should also keep in mind that there are different ways of using it.

Broadcast, or Participate?

Social media has been described as the "world's largest cocktail party." This analogy holds some water: it's informal, it's democratic, every person there can potentially strike up a conversation with any other person there. But that's only if the way that people (and, particularly, brands) use it is actually social.

In a recent Vocus / Duct Tape Marketing Survey of small and medium sized businesses and organizations, the vast majority of respondents (91%) said that they use social media to share news about their organization. A far lesser number (46%) said they used socail media to handle customer service issues -- a much more cocktail-party-like use of social media, since it involves interacting with other people, rather than simply broadcasting news. 

A few other stats from the social media survey:

Other Ways to Use Social Media for your Home Performance Business:

Of course, handling customer service issues on social media isn't everyone's cup of tea, and it's certainly not the only way to be more social online (although it can be powerful, since you're handling customer service issues in the eye of the public, where everyone can be wowed by your timely and courteous responses).

  • Be an educational resource
  • Share news and other great content even if it doesn't explicitly promote your business 
  • Ask questions, give feedback
  • Keep an eye out for conversations (example: search for "house is drafty" on Twitter search and you'll find a ton of people talking about how cold and drafty their houses are), and chime in where appropriate. Just remember to not be spammy, and act like a person (not like a robot).

Of course, sharing news about your organization and content on your website is a fine way to use social media for your brand, just be sure that it's not only a one-way street: if people comment or reply to your post, try to respond. Build a conversation rather than just talking to yourself.

First Things First:

Whatever you do, don't let any of this stuff scare you away from social media. As we've argued before, the most important thing is that you are there, even if you don't dedicate a ton of time to growing your followers, etc. Simply being present, particularly on Facebook, is an important indicator (for people as well as search engines) that your business is real and that it's run by real people and not robots.

So, how are you using social media for your home energy business? We'd love to hear about it in the comments.

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