In case you haven't noticed, we've written pretty extensively about why home performance professionals should embrace social media. You don't have to do everything, and you don't have to make it a full-time job, but having at least a presence on the big platforms like Twitter and Facebook is an increasingly important part of a comprehensive marketing plan. (Think of marketing as you would home performance, in terms of the "whole house," and the importance of social media may make more sense.)
If you've signed your business up for a Twitter account but haven't had time to dig in and start building your community, we thought a short post about how to use Twitter lists to grow your following and connect with like-minded professionals around the country might be useful.
Straight from the horse's mouth, here's Twitter's guide to lists for some more technical information on how to physically set up lists, follow lists, see what lists you're on, etc. The rest of this post focuses on how home performance companies specifically can best take advantage of lists to grow your audience, build your credibility online, and hopefully get some new customers.
A good place to start building your Twitter following is on local lists featuring Twitter users in your area. Depending on how vibrant the social media community is in your area, there may be a few or tons of lists of local Twitter users, and you may even be able to get more specific and find some energy efficiency industry-specific lists.
To get started, do a search for your town or city on Twitter and see what comes up. If you can identify some social media movers and shakers in your region, they're likely to have some lists put together. In the absence of any good lists in place, creating your own list of Twitter users in your area is another option. (More on this later).
You can also find influential Twitter users in your area using a third-party app or website. Klout is a popular one. Whether or not you agree with the principle of the service (which gives social media users a score based on their online influence), it can be a good place to find and connect with people.
Local lists are important because your primary market is in your region. Increasing your visibility among social media users in your area is more likely to drive actual sales than growing your influence nationally -- although there's value to that, too.
Outside the local realm, which could be more or less fruitful depending on where your business is located, there is a very vibrant community of home energy professionals already on Twitter. Connecting with them is a great way to grow your social profile, have meaningful and useful conversations, and possibly even help drive web traffic and leads.
A few existing lists to help you get started:
- Home Energy Efficiency Pros (by Energy Circle)
- The A List (Energy Vanguard)
- Energy Efficiency Info (by Efficiency Vermont)
- Home Energy Pros (by Home Energy Magazine)
- Home Energy Pros (by Home Energy Saver PRO)
- Around the Water Cooler (by ACI)
And that's just a start.
So what to do now that you know which lists to check out? You can subscribe to lists; you can contact their managers and ask to be added; you can scroll through the lists and follow the most interesting people; and on and on. The way you use the lists is up to you, but whatever way you choose rest assured this is a far easier way to expand your reach on Twitter than flying blind.
Creating Your Own Twitter Lists
Once you get to a more advanced level, you may want to consider curating your own lists of Twitter users. In addition to helping you keep track of different things going on in your own personal Twitter world (have a list of other local businesses in your area, for example; as well as a list of influential energy efficiency "tweeps" to help you stay on top of the industry nationally), creating your own lists has some other benefits: spreading goodwill to other Twitter users, helping build and promote the broader energy efficiency community; establishing yourself as an influential voice in the community, to name a few.
For more info about using social media to promote your home performance business, feel free to chime in in the comments or give us a shout directly. We'd be happy to help however we can!