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Facebook for Pool Builders in 2013:
Some NEW Tricks Worth Trying…

By Brett Lloyd Abbott, MYM Austin Inc.

Hard to believe it’s been 3 1/2 years since I first began offering advice about Facebook. (I would offer you a hyperlink to my original post, but it’s so old, it’s probably not worth your time.) Initially, I encouraged you to “stick your toe in the water,” and get a sense of what “social media” is all about.  “Because it isn’t going away,” I warned.

In early 2010, I gave you some more specific advice, namely:

  • Sign up for your free Facebook account.
  • Create a “fan page” for your company.
  • Start posting photos of your work in progress.
  • And encourage your clients to go check it out.

Indeed, in 2013, that’s still good advice. But there are some better, more advanced tricks now.

Do you really want to “rock the world” with Facebook?
Then here’s what you should start doing IMMEDIATELY:

  1. Create your company Facebook page.  (Presuming you haven’t done so already.  FYI – You have to have a Facebook account to do this, but I trust that by now, after all these years of helpful advice from me, you’ve at LEAST got your own Facebook account…)
  2. Continue posting photos of your work in progress.  (I told you to do this way back in 2010.  You ARE doing this, aren’t you?)
  3. Say something interesting about every photo.  Facebook is “a place for conversations,” right?  You would never blindly show a photo to a friend without saying a word or two about it, would you?  So don’t do that on Facebook either.
  4. SECRET NEW TRICK FOR 2013 #1: If you sold the pool, then TAG yourself in the photo. (You don’t have to physically be in the photo.  Just “tag” yourself anywhere on the photo.)
  5. SECRET NEW TRICK FOR 2013 #2:  TAG your WORKERS in the photos.  For example, if you’re shooting gunite, then tag all the gunite workers (and/or the owner of the gunite company) in the photo.  Once again, it doesn’t matter whether they are physically in the photo.  Just tag it anyway.
  6. SECRET NEW TRICK FOR 2013 #3: And this is the BEST trick – Tag the HOMEOWNER. (And yes, you guessed it, it doesn’t matter whether they are in the photo or not.  If this is their home/backyard, then tag them anywhere on the photo.)

Now why is this such a freakingly brilliant idea? Because every time you tag someone, they get an e-mail notification from Facebook saying “You’ve been tagged in a photo by <your name here>.” That means when you post a project photo, you don’t have to “cross your fingers and hope” that they happen to see the posting.  You can rest assured they will actually receive an e-mail notice that there is a photograph of them (or in this case, their yard) waiting for them on Facebook.

And that’s the perfect set up for what we really want to happen: We want the homeowner to “like” and better yet “share” this photo of their project with all their friends.  Because when they “share” a photo with their own comments, then 100 to 500 of THEIR friends will see YOUR work in progress.  That includes an implicit testimonial/approval of YOUR company in the process, by the way. And that’s a LOT more interesting and a LOT more effective than you beating your chest, trying to brag on Facebook about what a great pool builder you are.

Now some sales people have told me “Hey now, wait a minute!  Maybe my homeowner doesn’t want to be tagged in a photo. I’d better get permission first!

Friend, if you’re in the middle of building an $80,000 pool for a homeowner, and you don’t know how your homeowner feels about photos or Facebook, then I daresay you may have a bigger problem.  But I’m not in the mood to go negative today, so let me help you circumvent this issue from the get-go.  Here’s the conversation I would have with EVERY homeowner immediately after signing the contract:

Well Mrs. Smith, I guess that’s everything.  I want you to know I’m really excited about making this project happen for you.  And of course, you’ve got my cell phone number, so please don’t hesitate to call me anytime, day or night.

By the way – do you happen to be on Facebook?” (In the United States, and most other modern “pool buying” countries, 9 out of 10 homeowners are.) “Well great, because here’s what’s going to happen next. While we’re working on your project, our supervisor is going to be taking photographs of the work in process. And if you like, we can post those photos on Facebook.  That way, wherever you are, any time day or night, you can see what sort of progress we’re making in your yard.

Now if the homeowner happens to say “Oh, no, I’m not on Facebook…” or “Oh, we’re very private people.  We don’t want any photos of our yard on Facebook…” then no problem.  Don’t include them in your Facebook updates.

But everybody else? Start tagging like crazy! Because this is what social media is all about: Healthy and interesting conversations about things that are important, interesting or meaningful to certain individuals.  If you want to be a part of those conversations, then make it EASY for people to include you.

To your success,
Brett Abbott

2013 Brett Lloyd Abbott / MYM Austin, Inc. May not be used without permission.

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