There are around 505 million blogs in the world today and not all are created equal.
So, how do you identify and communicate with the right blogs and forums to get in front of professional tradesmen? The first question to ask yourself is: are your products or services applicable to your end users using social media? If the answer is “yes,” then your goal should be to do comprehensive research to identify the right communities, monitor them and jump in and get involved in the conversations. As you get involved in these conversations on social media, keep this in mind:
- Your brand can be affected positively or negatively. You don’t control the message.
- Your brand depends on the “loyalists” who are passionate about your brand.
- Key blogs or social media sites are authored by thought leaders from your industry.
- Social media demands transparency, so be honest in your engagement.
Here are a few sites that may be of interest to brands attempting to reach and interact with the professional tradesman:
Industrial/MRO Blogs and Forums
The blogs of MDM: segmented into Distribution Operations, Distributor Analytics, Human Resources, Distribution Sales & Marketing, Online Marketing, Industry Insiders, Mergers & Acquisitions, Distribution Technology, Economy and Management & Strategy.
The Thomas Blog: various topics in categories such as Trends, Content Marketing, Business Tips, NextGen for Industry, Marketing Advice & Strategy, SEO, ROI & Analytics, Lead Conversion, SEM/PPC, Manufacturing and Industrial, among others.
IndustrialSAVER: IndustrialSAVER.com serves as a free all-in-one Online Industrial Marketplace, B2B Classifieds and Trade Portal for those looking to buy/sell all kinds of industrial, engineering and construction supplies, equipment and machinery as well as custom and contract manufacturing solutions.
CR4 Forum: A forum for engineers, scientists, technical researchers, technical buyers, students and folks who just like technology to discuss engineering news, seek technical help and get answers to burning questions. CR4 is a community website supported by IEEE GlobalSpec.
Maintenance Forums: Where reliability and maintenance meet. A forum created so current and future Certified Reliability Leaders can connect, share experience and advice.
Residential Construction Blogs
Home Construction & Improvement: Todd Fratzel is a full-time principal engineer for a large design-build construction firm. In his spare time, Todd blogs on home improvement and construction. In addition to the expert advice available on this site, Todd is also very accessible for questions or advice about individual projects.
NAHBNow: NAHBNow is the official blog of the National Association of Home Builders and your one-stop source for home building industry news, product information and educational resources.
Commercial Construction Blog
ConstructConnect: ConstructConnect unites four industry leaders (BidClerk, Construction Data, CMD, iSqFt), to provide construction industry professionals with the most complete, accurate and actionable preconstruction data.
Building Green: Blog from BuildingGreen.com, an independent publishing company committed to bringing its members accurate, unbiased and timely green design information.
Green Building Insider: Highly specialized industry news on the rapidly expanding green building industry. They have collaborated with industry, regulators and other experts to provide green building news, interactive webinars and educational products.
Architecture and Design Blogs
BLDG Blog: This blog is written by Geoff Manaugh, freelance writer and author of The BLDGBLOG Book. The blog focuses on architectural conjecture, urban speculation and landscape futures.
Inhabitat: This site is devoted to the future of design, tracking innovations in technology and practices that push architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future. Started by NYC designer Jill Fehrenbacher, this blog was intended as a forum in which to investigate emerging trends in product, interior and architectural design.
Construction Informer: An active blog by Duane Craig with interviews, articles and discussion about building structures and the things that make up the built environment.
Electrical Blogs and Forums
Electrical Marketing’s LiveWire: Premier source of news and economic data related to the electrical products sales channel, providing executives of electrical product manufacturing companies, independent electrical manufacturers reps and electrical distributors information on how to run their businesses more profitably.
NAED Voices of the Industry: Publishes topics written by thought leaders in the electrical distribution industry.
www.electriciantalk.com: Professional Electrical Contractors’ forum.
www.contractortalk.com: Professional Contractors’ forum with electrical sub-forum.
HVAC Blogs and Forums
ACHR News Blogs: Blogs for The News, includes: Opinions Blog, Editor’s Blog, Guest Blog and The Coach’s Blog. The blogs feature news, opinions, business advice and a variety of other topics.
HVACsite.com: Part of a network of forums for professional contractors.
www.HVAC-Talk.com: Online forum of Contracting Business; a non-DIY site and the ultimate source for HVAC information and knowledge sharing for the industry professional.
Plumbing Blogs and Forums
Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Tips & Tricks Blog: Gain a better understanding of, and appreciation for, the plumbing systems in your own home with a myriad amount of information on all things plumbing.
The Plumbing Forum: Strictly for the exchange of plumbing, kitchen, bath, toilets, faucets and piping information (not for pricing, price quotes, how to operate a plumbing business, or for ethics [law] questions).
Reddit Plumbing: Community where you can post questions, stories, links, etc. The community comments; posts can be upvoted or downvoted with the most interesting content rising to the top.