Blogs and Forums for the Professional Tradesman

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:


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Tradesmen: Trade forums can help answer your questions

Sandy Bucher, Media Engineer, Sonnhalter

Have you ever had a question that you didn’t have the answer to, and wanted to ask a person in the same occupational trade as you? If you normally read magazines specific to your trade, there is a chance that magazine may offer a forum where you can post a question and have like-minded participants help answer it for you. Or, if you search for a trade-specific forum, you’re very likely to find one out there.

I’ve listed some forums below to give you a head start. Don’t be afraid to ask anything. There are always people out there willing to help you out.

HVAC market – online forum of Contracting Business – forum for the HVAC market

Plumbing market

Plumbing Talk – online forum of Contractor Magazine – for professional plumbers only – a forum of RIDGID users

Electrical market – forum for the Electrical market

Different trade forums for contractors – forums for all kinds of trades

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Using Social Media to Market an Event

When doing an event, from a press conference to an open house or a new product launch, are you using social media to capitalize on it? Social is an inexpensive and cost-effective way to enhance the buzz around what you’re doing. I’m not suggesting that social replace traditional methods, instead use social to enhance them.

I recently read an article on Social Media by Rich Brooks on 12 Ways to Market Your Event with Social Media. Rich makes some good points and here are some highlights:

  • Before the event – Market your event through Twitter. Even consider your own hashtag in all your tweets. If the event is large enough give it its own Twitter account. Use Facebook Events to attract fans. Use LinkedIn groups you belong to to promote the event. If you have a blog, use it to promote it. Forums, talk up your event and its benefits. Tell them about the agenda, speakers, etc.
  • During the event – Use those hashtags to make your event more findable and searchable. If it’s a local or regional event, use Foursquare and Gowalla to promote it by announcing the event, link to a registration form, give updates. If you belong to Forums, talk up the event and its benefits. Live blogging from the event, let people know what they are missing. Share video and photos – a picture is worth a thousand words.
  • After the event Blog about highlights and possibly interviews with attendees. Post similar comments on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and ask for feedback.

These are some great tips. What are you doing to capitalize on social?

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6 Practical Ways to Use Twitter For Your Business

A lot of B-to-B marketers still find it hard to understand practical ways to use this marketing tool. Twitter can be used as a marketing tool to build your brand, build credibility by sharing your expertise and grow your network. Twitter is my number-one source for views to my posts. Here are a few ways you can capitalize on this powerful tool:

  • Establish yourself as an expert in your field by authoring your thoughts on an industry topic, sharing tips and links to articles posted elsewhere.
  • Grow your network by joining industry groups or forums
  • Participate in Twit chats as they relate to your industry or expertise
  • Use Twitter search to find out about competitors, trends or what people are saying about you
  • Give -Get referrals
  • Add your Twitter ID to all correspondence whether it’s your e-mail, business cards or even your sales material down near the corporate signature.

These are only a few ways. I recently read a post by Meryl Evans, 62 Ways to Use Twitter for Business, that you might find interesting.

Here are a few other posts you might find interesting:

5 ways to find prospects on Twitter

5 ways to use Twitter as a tool to reach the professional tradesman

use Twitter as a PR tool to help build long term relationships


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5 Ways to Get Free Traffic by Participating in Forums

forumsA forum is a group of like-minded people who share a common interest in a particular subject. It could be anything from fine wine to travel to the best ways an electrical contractor can make more money. What’s great about the internet is it’s one big database where you can search for virtually anything.

Use Google or any other search engine and type in your area of interest, e.g. fine wine, and add the word “forum” after it (there are 2,170,000 results on Google for this). If you type in electrical contractors forum, you get 2,270,000 results. The point is, there are plenty of people that share the same passions as you do.

Forums do have rules you need to follow them. Some are written and some not. If there are written rules, they are usually posted. Remember, this is a social site, not a sell site. Forums are a great place to listen, learn and grow trust with the audience. So how do you get the most out of forums?

Here are 5 of my favorite ones from tips from Nicky Jameson from a recent post .

  1. Register for a forum – then lurk. Get the feel for the tone, style and interaction of the group you joined.
  2. Slowly start posting – once you get the lay of the land, start by posting an introduction. Then you can move onto answering questions.
  3. Build a reputation – do the basic stuff, that is, make good posts. Seek to establish yourself as an expert.
  4. Answer questions – provide the most complete answer as possible with the appropriate links.
  5. Share your opinion – make sure they know it’s your opinion so folks don’t confuse it with facts. Contrary opinions can be useful in highlighting an alternative option.

You can read her entire post at: 11 Steps For Getting Free Traffic From Forums.


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