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Monday, March 09, 2009

Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Craigslist, Google Local, and more . . . you need them all

Yes, I know it seems strange, but if you are serious about construction marketing, you should now have a Twitter account and be exploring the microblogging space.

And you should be learning art of blogging (full scale) and video, and have Facebook and Linkedin accounts.

And understand Craigslist, and Google Local, and search engine optimization, and more.
You also need a presentable, effective and prospect-friendly website.

Is any of this stuff going to bring you business the way of the old fashioned Yellow Pages, conventional direct mail, newspaper classifieds or the like? Probably not, at least initially.

But these resources will cost you little if any money, and will (if you do things right) allow you to find number one space within your niche, as you are likely to be the first or one of the very first construction industry people to use them. And once you are in first place, it is hard to be dislodged.

Oh yeah, this stuff also can powerfully and quickly extend your word of mouth referral and networking opportunities. Goes without saying that you should only use these resources if you do really great work which generates positive word-of-mouth publicity on its own.

Stay away from the Internet if your actual work is crappy or you are running anything that could be seen as borderline. It won't take too long for you to be exposed in ways you don't want to be seen, if you do.

5 comments:

Matt Handal said...

Mark,

I think the potential pitfall with Twitter and other social networking sites is time and attention. I stay away from them during the workday. I would give this advice unless you have made a decision that the most effective thing you could be doing is "twittering."

I don't use facebook because I view it as more of a network to share private information. And I think there are private photos and pieces of information about you and your personal friends/family that shouldn't be made available to the public.

So my advice is to keep your private life somewhat private and protect your time and attention.

Mark Buckshon said...

Matt, I largely agree with you though I believe that you can build credibility and respect in letting people 'see' at least some aspects of your private life (obviously you should not post anything on The Internet, anywhere, you would not mind the whole world seeing.)
Done right, Twitter allows you to use snippets of time (for example while you are commuting or between meetings) for brief communications -- fortunately, from a time management perspective, Twitter cannot provide updates directly to my cell phone so I (rationally) go to the Twitter site once a day to quickly review the day's contributions and observations of the people I'm following.
Finally, social networking sites are not the answer themselves -- they can, however, accelerate the development of real relationships and your own practical business network; but you need to connect offline as well as online to achieve these results.

The Stranger said...

Alright, so if you dig social networks you really have to check out iList.com. iList is a new social classifieds site that lets you link your account to your social networks and promote your listings there as well as craigslist. iList is going to be the next big thing. Seriously, iList, dig it.

Mark Buckshon said...

"The stranger" is playing with link management etc to draw more traffic and raise ilist.com's profile. Fair enough. But beware. Here are some recent comments I reviewed elsewhere:

Daniel - February 20, 2009 at 11:19am
Looked kinda good, gave it a try, a few hours later, the scum nigerians started writing with the stupidest possible questions, DON'T trust this shit it is what it is, shit.
John_hi_00 - February 13, 2009 at 2:02pm
iList loves to ask you for your username and password for craigslist, facebook, twitter . . . etc. Their logic is that they need this information to cross post to these websites. NEVER give out your username and passwords to anybody on the internet. Do I look that stupid? Craigslist has never asked me for any username or passwords. And it's listing is a lot more effective than "iList".

Mark Buckshon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.