In her book Loyalty is Love, internationally acclaimed speaker and business trainer Beverly Koehn explains that home builders are in the retail business and should ensure that every single contact with home buyers, from the very first interaction, is memorable.
With consumers being increasingly active on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, home builders should pay attention to the first contact and “user experience” that potential home buyers will have with their company. In this era, that first contact is usually online.
Compete.com conducts studies on online shoppers’ behavior. In their latest survey with data from May to July 2010, Compete found that 31 percent of those surveyed are checking out retailers’ Facebook fan pages or Twitter feeds. This number is up from 17 percent in the third-quarter 2009 study.
Facebook ranks as the #2 most trafficked Web site, according to Alexa and Compete, with close to 123.7 million unique visitors in the month of May 2010. Google ranks #1, with 149.6 million unique visitors during the same month.
iStrategy Labs finds that over 30% of Facebook users are 35 years of age and older. (Hmmm, aren’t there potential home buyers in this group?)
View more details in the article Facebook Stats That Can’t Be Ignored.
These numbers should cause any business owners, especially in the home industry, to raise their eyebrows and really pay attention to what’s going on in the social web.
You should start by making an honest assessment of your presence on the Web, and execute any necessary changes to boost your brand online and maximize your Internet presence.
During this difficult time in the housing industry, when social networks are so readily available, home builders, remodelers and other professionals in the home building industry can really increase their Web traffic, and that could produce more leads which potentially convert into sales.
As a home builder or remodeler, you should not miss this great opportunity to expose your content to the world.
So what should you be doing?
1. Have a Blog
Consumers love content, and so do search engines like Google. I’ve studied many builder Web sites and find that a huge number of them lack this very important social web element. Your blog is the central hub of information to share with your audience.
Use your presence in social networks like Facebook and Twitter to engage with your audience and also to drive traffic back to your site. Don’t make the mistake of just using a Facebook fan page (aka business page). Build your Web content on your own blog and refer your followers and fans to it.
2. Get on Facebook
With Facebook ranking #2 in the social media sphere, take advantage of this tool. Engage with your audience by asking questions. Don’t make it just about you. Share different things and links to other sites with information that could benefit them.
The neat thing about Facebook fan pages is that you can customize the tabs to really enrich your fan page. For example, you can add a “welcome” tab, a “videos” tab, and even a “specials” tab to announce any promotions.
Here are some great examples of how you can customize your Facebook fan page to make it easy for your visitors and potential clients to get information hassle-free and fast with the click of a button:
Can you grasp how powerful social media tools can be?
Go beyond just having the standard “Photos” tab. You’ll need an expert to help you customize your Facebook fan page but the effort will be well worth it.
The point is to bring all of your information and make it available to your visitors on a silver platter, right under their noses and at their fingertips.
Don’t forget to include links back to your Web site where they can find more information (that’s why having a blog is so critical!)
When linking back to your Web site use the direct URL to the page you’re referencing. Avoid sending your visitors to your home page as this will cause frustration and extra work for users to search your site for the content.
Wouldn’t it be extremely frustrating if I had sent you to the home page of some of the links I’ve shared on this post, leaving you the arduous task of digging through those sites to find the information I referenced?
Make it easy for your users to obtain information. They’ll love you for it!
3. Get on Twitter
Many business owners find Twitter a nuisance, but if your audience is using it or checking you out on it, you probably need to re-evaluate it. With automation applications available, you can do the following:
- Write your blog post
- Set an automation process to automatically do an entry on your Facebook fan page and Twitter profile
- Provide answers to comments or questions received as a result of your post.
Green Building Advisor’s Facebook fan page and its Twitter profile are great examples of how to take advantage of these automation tools such as Twitterfeed to auto-magically feed your news to both platforms.
You can drive more traffic to your Web site by really making it easy for people to find you and the helpful information you’re posting.
What social media tools are you using that have produced positive results?