No, you DON’T have to TWEET!
(Or “YouTube” or “Linked-In” or FLICKR or Anything Else!)
By Brett Lloyd Abbott, MYM Austin Inc.
PLEASE don’t forward this message to any marketing people you know. It will just start an awkward fight between me and all those other marketing yokels out there who keep telling poor, innocent and unwitting business owners like you that ““Social Media Is Everything; Get Out There and Do It!””
For the 50th time, IT’S NOT.
Let me tell you in no uncertain terms that Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube (and at least two dozen other social media outlets) are mostly a dismal waste of time for you, your clients and your prospects. More importantly, I believe it’s a horribly misguided mantra and disservice on the part of the marketing industry to mindlessly cajole “everyone to do everything.”
This “do everything” advice is just flat out wrong. Social media is NOT everything. And it’s downright dangerous advice to try and convince pool builders otherwise.
Let’s be clear. There is a time and a place for all of the new social media. None of it is “WRONG.” But most of the STRATEGIES and TACTICS being pushed are wrong for YOU. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do ANY social media. But I will certainly implore you to first keep in mind these two very important points:
- You need to be very thoughtful and selective about which social media you’re going to use, and HOW you’re going to use them.
- It’s never going to replace REFERRALS and YOUR WEBSITE as your two best sources of new leads. (You should think of Social Media like a yard sign, a billboard or the Yellow Pages. YES, it can help you sell pools, but it’s only one of MANY different ways to get and persuade leads.)
Let me clarify now, line by line, what you the pool builder SHOULD and should NOT be doing with regards to social media:
TWITTER: Do you follow the tweets of your plumber? Or your car mechanic? How about your roofing contractor? Or your favorite car salesman? Probably not. So if you’re not interested in the idle ramblings of these “sometimes providers” in your life, what on earth makes you think anyone would be interested in yours?
BOTTOM LINE for Twitter: If you’re a famous celebrity, and/or a good and prolific writer, with many adoring fans, then Twitter might be good for you. Otherwise, FAHGETABOUTIT!
LINKED-IN: If you needed to hire a landscaping company, would you start searching through LinkedIn? Or would you more likely talk to your friends and/or go to the Internet?
BOTTOM LINE for LinkedIn: It’s a “B2B” (business-to-business) medium. It may be useful if you’re trying to sell your services to another business, or trying to find a job. But selling to Homeowners? FAHGETABOUTIT!
FACEBOOK: This is slightly more complicated, because there are really two “faces” to Facebook – your “business” page, and your “personal” page. So for starters, unless you’re a famous celebrity, you should NOT be using your PERSONAL page to try to grow your BUSINESS.
Secondly, if you’re planning to use your business page to make sales pitches, then I can assure you that absolutely no one (except possibly your business partner) is interested in any of your cheesy Facebook sales pitches. In fact, let me turn a phrase here: “It’s better to be silent, and thought to be a cheesy, pushy sales rep, then to speak up, and remove all doubt.”
Here’s a quick tip on how to not sound “salesy” on Facebook: “If it isn’t something you would say one-on-one to a friend, then you shouldn’t be saying it on Facebook.”
EXCEPTION: Facebook is a GREAT place to show your current clients the day-to-day progress of their project. Then (fortunately), the “selling” in Facebook (if any) will occur between the homeowner and THEIR many hundreds of friends (which is where it SHOULD be) instead of coming from you, aimed at all your so-called “friends.”
BOTTOM LINE for Facebook: It’s not wrong to have a Facebook page, and it’s not wrong to post things – especially photographs of beautiful pools. But if you’re thinking about “SELLING” on Facebook, FAHGETABOUTIT!
YOUTUBE: YouTube is a wonderful medium for sharing videos. And I’m a big fan of videos, especially in this industry. So if you want to create your own YouTube Channel, and promote your industry expertise and beautiful pool designs, I say go for it. Just remember that the purpose of YouTube is to drive people FROM the internet TO your website.
So whatever you do, DON’T put a YouTube link on your website, to send them AWAY from your website, and over to your YouTube Channel. (That’s like taking a prospect who just walked into your store, and saying “Hey, did you see our billboard down the street? Here, go outside and walk down the block, and take a look. You’ll love it!”)
BOTTOM LINE for YouTube: If you’ve got enough videos to create your own YouTube channel, then for goodness sake, PUT THOSE VIDEOS ON YOUR WEBSITE! It’s okay to also create and maintain a YouTube Channel. But if you think you’re going to sell more pools by driving people AWAY from your website, FAHGETABOUTIT!
PS – the above advice for YouTube is exactly the same for Flickr. It’s perfectly fine and beneficial to post a bunch of photos on Flickr. Just make sure all those photos are ALSO on your website. And whatever you do, don’t “push people out of the store” to go look at your photos somewhere else.
Yes, I guess you could call me the “Anti-Social-Media” marketing guy. But here’s the good news in all this – If you were feeling guilty because you haven’t done all the social media “stuff” that all the marketing “experts” have been telling you to do, then you just got a reprieve! FAHGETABOUTIT!!!
To your success,
2012 Brett Lloyd Abbott / MYM Austin, Inc. May not be used without permission.