We at the Pool Marketing Site are big proponents of social media for the pool industry. Let’s take a look at each social network and really break down why you should participate in some or all. The choice is yours, and we’d love to help you get started.
Facebook got its start in 2004 as a way for college students to connect online and share in each other’s school experience. After unprecedented success and crazy rapid growth, kids, grannies and everyone in between are now using Facebook™ to connect with family, friends and colleagues around the world. Facebook™ has over 800 million active users that visit the site regularly. 50 percent of those users visit every day, and 21 percent are located within the United States. The average user has 130 friends. It doesn’t take much calculation to see how quickly your business could gain serious exposure with a little Facebook™ marketing.
With more than 3 billion videos viewed each day, YouTube is the leading video sharing site. 17 million users have connected their YouTube account to at least one other social service, and more than 12 million have connected and are auto sharing to at least one other network. This presents potential for extremely rapid movement of your video testimonials, tutorials, and video commercials across the web- in short, instant exposure for your pool and spa business.
The YouTube community is widely interactive. You can even run special contests to help promote all of your social networking sites like this example from Carecraft:
There are many ways to market your business online these days. So why use a pool marketing blog you ask? Here are our top reasons:
Establish Yourself as an Expert in Your Market
Create a Buzz
Twitter boasts over 100 million active users worldwide, 50 percent of whom log on daily. Twitter users post more frequently, often communicating in short bursts throughout each day. While your business approach to Twitter will differ from personal users, it still must maintain the personal and natural element that Twitter users treasure. Our social media team know how to strike just the right balance with your brief and personalized business profile and pool specific topics. By helping you present promotional content in a natural and friendly voice, we’ll ensure your Twitter marketing efforts strike a chord within this more discriminating social community.
It’s a new year, and time for a fresh start! Get in touch with what’s going on right now in the marketing world, and get inspired.
Twitter is one of those social platforms that garners a lot of discussion on its importance in the pool and spa industry. Before we get into our take, let’s discuss some of Twitter’s value, especially for service companies.
Be the expert that you are.
Twitter allows you to offer tips and to address common maintenance issues in 140 characters or less (and more, but readers have to click to expand the message and may not always do that). When your potential customers are performing their research on which company to choose, your Twitter account can appear in the search results showing your informational and knowledgeable tweets. This can help establish your brand as the expert in your service area.
Build relationships with your customers.
Once you have solidified a customer, ask them to follow you on Twitter. By doing so, you can let your customer know that you will always be there for them. Also by following you on Twitter, they can learn some tips on how to take care of their pool. At first, you might think, “Well, then they won’t need me,” but that’s not the case. They hired you for a reason, didn’t they? Instead, most customers will appreciate that you care more about them having a clean, safe pool than money. That helps create a positive brand image for your company, helps to build a strong customer relationship and can create word of mouth marketing among your customer’s network.
Allow your customers to communicate with you how they want to communicate.
Not everyone who calls your service department or company has a 911 issue, do they? Sometimes they’re calling for more information, or a basic question that they need your help with. Make life easier on them by communicating with them where they’re already spending their time. Make them comfortable and make yourself easily accessible.
Respond to timely issues.
Some of the best parts about social media are its metrics and social listening tools. Through programs like TweetDeck and Hootsuite, you can learn what your customers are saying about you, and respond.
Twitter allows your service company to be human. When someone is upset, turn the situation around by resolving their issue. As Ben Parr, from Mashable, states, “Great customer service gets talked about, and this can lead to more sales and more attention.”
Use your voice.
With the eruption of social media and social consumption, customers have a voice. That also means that YOU have a voice. This can offer instant PR support in times of trouble.
For example, you most likely heard about the latest Alec Baldwin fiasco on board an American Airlines aircraft. As soon as he was scolded for playing “Words with Friends” on his mobile device after the seat belt sign was on and electronics were supposed to be turned off, he got upset and was removed from the plane. He then took the Twitter to complain and low blow American Airlines’ financial situation.
What did American Airlines do? Did they send out a press release? Did they make a statement at a press conference? No! They responded on the same medium Alec Baldwin used (and Facebook), and ultimately got the last line.
American Airlines won in this instance, but that’s not always the case. We recommend any time you have negativity to respond to, you cool down and perhaps check with your marketing agency on the proper way to handle your unique situation.
Is Twitter for everyone?
To be perfectly honest, we don’t think every company on the planet should have Twitter. You should strongly consider whether you have the resources to tend to an account and if it makes sense for your company to have one. For the pool industry, it’s a match made in heaven for service companies and builders with a service department to utilize Twitter for support.
Plus, with the introduction of Brand Pages on Twitter, you will be able to customize your customer’s experience even more!
Feel free to watch the video or read the article below. The choice is yours!
Everything in the web is now integrated to create a better consumer experience. You can access anything in the world through your home computer, laptop, mobile device and tablets. Today, your messaging needs to be rich and multi-platform in order to reach your customers.
Ultimately, any web traffic that brings people to your website will boost your search ranking results. If you think you can park your website on the internet, but not do any social sharing to bring people to it organically, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. Remember this: There is no front door anymore.
You may have heard the term, “SEO,” or search engine optimization, is the guaranteed way to drive traffic to your website. Companies may even promise to make your company number one on Google. Guess what? Google and Yahoo and all search engines have figured those companies out. The goal of a search engine is to bring up relevant search results for the consumer. When businesses began to plug in search terms just to get on page one, Google figured them out. When businesses starting building links just to make their website look important, or relevant, to get on page one, Google figured them out. At the end of the day, you can’t beat the system because the system will figure you out and change. The solution: actually produce relevant content on several networks to bring traffic to your website. It’s that simple!
In order to help explain the necessity of social media to achieve a total web presence optimization, let’s first tackle some frequent concerns among some of you. Please feel free to share with anyone questioning your innovation. Maybe they can take a few notes.
As a pool builder, you are not selling a hole in the ground. You are selling a lifestyle. Twitter is a tool to help you sell that lifestyle and push potential pool buyers to your website. It’s a soft-sell approach. Your tweets need not be all about you and your business, aka old school marketing that some still try to bully you into doing. People are sick of being talked AT. They have a voice now through social media, and you need to be in on the conversation.
Posting backyard entertaining ideas or DIY tips sells the complete backyard experience. It also gives your business a personable perception and credibility.
If you’re worried people won’t care about following you on Twitter, let’s put it this way. You’re not just a pool builder. You build experiences and create lifetime memories. That’s interesting, and perspective buyers will want to know what you have to say. Your potential buyers are essentially doing a $50k and up research project, and will need every level of comfort and knowledge you can provide. If you’re not putting yourself out there, you may give the impression that you don’t know what to say or what you’re talking about. Be the expert that you are.
Heard people talk about Twitter, but don’t know much about it? Watch and learn.
Your website is just the beginning. Consumers will then research everything about your company to make sure you are what you claim.
How does LinkedIn help? True, LinkedIn began as a business-to-business social network, but it has since evolved. You might even claim LinkedIn is the new Yellow Pages. If you’re not on LinkedIn, you’re not credible. As a consumer, I want to be able to read customer or sub-contractor recommendations. I want to see if you walk the walk and share interesting, relevant information. You can say all day long that you care about service after the sale, but I want to see it in your actions.
I don’t know if we even need to explain why Facebook is important, but we’ll humor those who feel it’s not.
Did you know Bing and Facebook are in a pretty serious relationship? Search on Bing, and all of your friends who have a relationship with a company will appear next to the search results. What link are you more likely to click on? The one a company paid a boat load of money for at the top, or the one your good friend suggested?
Facebook is your outlet to create your own network of local community members. You provide a service that creates an entire new chapter in their lives. By offering backyard tips, specials and promotions, contests and other engagement activity on your business page, you are fostering an environment of sharing and word of mouth marketing.
Turn your haters into fans by listening to them (usually the number 1 thing someone who bad mouths your brand actually wants) and responding to take care of their concerns. Turn your super fans into brand evangelists by incentivizing their support.
All Facebook activity ultimately boosts traffic to your website and buzz about your brand. We could go on and on with the importance of Facebook. In fact we do go on and on about weekly in our blog.
Just in case you don’t like reading a big, long article, watch our fun video instead.
Did you know Google owns YouTube? Talk about picking favorites! It’s also the world’s second largest search engine. Video that’s properly key-worded is one of THE BEST tools in your social regimen. Not only does video beautifully communicate your work, but it also exponentially boosts your website traffic and search engine presence. And if you’re worried about the pesky, relevant videos that pop up after your video is done, don’t worry. It’s a simple setting that you can turn off.
One of the amazing things about YouTube is that you can embed the videos you have posted right on your website without having to slow down your site’s speed. Your website essentially acts as a picture frame for the video content, and doesn’t have to house it anywhere on its back-end. How do you think we put the video above into this post?
We once had a builder who sold a pool from the “About Us” video on their YouTube channel. A couple was trying to narrow down their choices when their young adult son decided to do an internet search. The first thing that popped up in the search results was their YouTube video. After viewing this builder’s inspiring work, they did a little more research that took them to the builder’s website. The couple called the builder that same day.
Again, there is no front door anymore and people will find your business in a search that suits their personal preference, in this case YouTube. Are you there producing relevant and key-worded content, or did you miss out because you were afraid that having a YouTube channel would take people away from your site? If anything, having a YouTube channel will drive traffic to your site, and it enables you to embed your videos in a fast, shareable way.
Did you know Yahoo owns Flickr? Again with the favorites! Flickr is like the YouTube for photos. You can easily share a Flickr photo to your Facebook or email to a friend. You can keyword and tag, even geotag (your storefront – not your customer’s address) every photo on Flickr, which ends up on Google Places. It’s great to have your photos on Facebook, but also adding them to Flickr allows you to properly tag and get valuable SEO credit.
Flickr is cool because your customers who are “Flickr people” will post their backyard swimming photos to their personal Flickr. They can label who built their pool and share it with family and friends (or neighbors also looking for a pool). You can do Flickr photo contests to help your SEO tagging, to create awareness and to help build your customer community, so when those “Flickr people” are asked who they would recommend, your name comes up first.
Want to know something even cooler about Flickr? You can feed your Flickr photos into your website. Again, like YouTube, your website acts as a picture frame, so it won’t slow down the speed of your site. And, again if you’re worried about driving traffic away from your site, just make sure you find a web company capable of building out this integration for you.
It’s easier to shy away something you don’t understand than to think of ways to make it work for you. Watch and learn more about Flickr here.
Although blogs may not immediately come to mind when you think of social media, it should come to mind when you think of online social interaction. Pairing your blog with social media is probably the most important step in improving your search and social presence.
According to Social Media Today, 84 percent of consumers research products online as part of their purchase process. Another article from All Business, Your Small Business Advantage states, “You have to go where people are. If your customers or colleagues are on social networking sites, why would you not be there? It doesn’t make sense not to.”
Going back to the idea of you being a builder, not just a pool guy, let’s look at Lennar, the 2nd largest home builder in the US with $8 billion in assets. They are builders of lifestyles and memories too, just like you. These are the groups you need to look at, not the pool company down the street.
• Lennar has 31 local Facebook Pages with a total of 95,000 followers
• Lennar has over 30 local Twitter pages
• Lennar has over 300 YouTube Videos
• Lennar runs contests to drive excitement and sell homes
• Lennar has an online shop component for your home
Why would the 2nd largest home builder in America have all of this if it wasn’t important?
Don’t just take our word for it. We will never claim to be the be-all-end-all experts. We are savvy web marketers who make it our lives to stay on top of everything going on with the web. For us, it’s fun! Check out some of these articles and the ones below to see for yourself. We just started doing this every month by the way on our blog. Feel free to subscribe so you too can stay up-to-date on what’s really going on.
We at the Pool Marketing Site are big on education. As a pool professional, you should feel empowered after working with a marketing or website firm, not confused and jaded. Please always feel free to visit our blog and YouTube channel for regular educational posts geared specifically for the pool industry. Pool mom marketing is what we do and what we love. Get empowered today.
Stats and Proof
SEO and Social Media go hand in hand. Your site can be optimized at its best, but to get the best Search Engine results, you should actively post to your Social Media accounts, i.e., Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Flickr & YouTube. When your site has an optimized SEO plan as well as utilizing the social media tools to help define your brand, this is what we call Web Presence Optimization or WPO.
Now you know that Social Media is important, are you ready to start posting? Does the thought of posting on your blog or Facebook make you want to scream? Our Social Media team at Pool Marketing Site is here to help. We offer a 3 new Social Media services:
The Basic Format blog posting service is 4 blogs related to the pool industry that are keyword rich to help you with your SEO. The Custom Format blog posting service is written specifically about your business and catered directly to the subjects you want to promote. We also offer Social Media Posting service that has 20 Facebook and or Twitter posts per month that are geared specifically toward the Pool Moms. Contact us at Pool Marketing Site for more information.
Pool Marketing Site is a social media agency, not a traditional public relations agency, so we’ll let you in on a little PR secret: Social networks are free distribution channels for your news!
With a little bit of guidance and some nimble fingers, you can share important information with social networkers in real-time settings online. We suggest an organized social media plan that incorporates a blog on your website with RSS, Facebook, Twitter and timely e-newsletter campaigns, but let’s take a closer look at Twitter today to understand what makes “tweets” newsworthy!
The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) recently cited Twitter as an “increasingly powerful publishing tool that anyone, journalists and non-journalists alike, can use to broadcast news to hundreds or even thousands of people.” Celebrities, politicians, CEOs and organizations large and small are finding their voice on Twitter, while many traditional media outlets now using tweets as sources for feature stories.
Here are seven “newsworthy” tweet ideas to help you start promoting your brand, cause or event on Twitter:
Which tweet techniques work best for you?