The Best Way To Reach The Professional Tradesman: Social or Traditional Media?

The answer is both. Contractors are busy folks and they get their info from various sources and sometimes it’s on the fly. I’ve done several interviews of contractors from HVAC/R, electrical, plumbing to general contractors that have said that they get info about how to run their business from both the traditional trade publications as well as various sources on the Internet.

They use the trade publications to catch up on what’s happening in the industry, who bought who, and to read articles to help them run their business. They use the Internet to do research on various things from troubleshooting to new product demos and online training. Some participate in online forums with their peer groups to talk about issues/problems they are having in their day-to-day operations. Most of the Internet activities are done either before or after the normal business day. One example is Contracting Business magazine who sponsors a forum – HVAC-Talk – that’s the leading forum for HVAC professionals to talk to each other. They average over 50,000 page views a month.

Contractors as a whole are lagging behind when it comes to social media. The reasons given range from, “I don’t have the time” to “I don’t understand it,” and with the economy the way it is, my first priority is to stay in business. The ones that get it and are using it have found that it’s another marketing tool to generate new business and stay connected with their customers. Most trade associations haven’t done a good job explaining to their members the possible usages and benefits for social.

Manufacturers shouldn’t be discouraged. Those that have embraced social are reaping the benefits. It’s just another way you can get customers to interact with you. Here’s a great example of a hand tool company, Snap-on Tools, that on Facebook has over 25,000 fans. Every time Snap-on updates their events section or uploads new video or photos, all their fans are automatically updated.


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3 Ways Viral Marketing Can Help Reach the Professional Tradesman

global_network_viral_marketingIt used to be that marketers counted on “word of mouth” to help spread their message to the tradesmen and maintenance professionals. Today, social media takes this to the next level and does it quicker and better.

Since you already know who you’re focusing on by using viral marketing, you can make it easier for your message to be passed on. Viral marketing has gained popularity because it produces results that are measurable while increasing your brand awareness. A recent post by Chase McMichael, The 3 pillars of viral marketing, outlines ways you can put viral marketing on steroids. Here’s an overview of how using these techniques can help you reach the professional tradesman:

  1. Target your audience. Social media makes it easier and faster to reach your target. More people are posting their personal profiles on social networks allowing you to data mine them and identify and rank affinities within specific communities like HVAC -TALK.
  2. Reach your audience. Once you’ve identified your user, you can quickly pinpoint influencers and begin enticing them to become brand ambassadors.
  3. Create the right call to action. If you’re doing your homework by monitoring these communities, you will soon identify the issues that need to be addressed and the appropriate call to action. It might be good to join a great online community that you have or sign up for the latest performance charts of a specific tool or application,

Conclusion: Messages that connect with you target can drive a high degree of brand awareness and acceptance. Practical and simple to access technologies help drive engagement and participation.


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