The nation’s leading remodelers participated in a variety of sales-related seminars in the late summer and early fall of 2013.
World wide word-of-mouth
As the Internet evolves into the most powerful purchasing
tool ever created, so does its impact in facilitating the growth of online conversation to influence buying decisions
This is a test. Go to a search engine and type your company name; you should see your website at the top of the results.
Now type your company name and add the word ‘reviews’; you will likely see your company up there on the first page of the results, but ahead of you will be links to ratings and review sites including Yelp, Google Places, and Angie’s List.
Lastly, do a new search and put the word ‘best’ with your competitive set – ‘best Princeton, N.J. remodeler’ or ‘best siding contractor New England.’ Ratings and opinion sites, as well as coupons, images and demonstration videos will appear.
Here’s the question: are you happy with what you see when you run this test? Chances are you will not be happy with what you see. Chances are that those coupons, ratings, reviews, and videos will not be the kind of message that you’d like to see out there about your company. More likely, they will not include any reference to your company at all.
Social media applications like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and others have altered forever the way remodelers and contractors market their services. For years now, many top remodelers have successfully used social media tools to extend their online presence beyond their own websites via Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and other Web 2.0 venues. But today it is no longer sufficient to simply extend a small-business brand using social media.
New demands have arisen from the way consumers – your prospects and clients – increasingly rely upon online ratings, reviews and comments to select products and services. Think of it as a large online conversation, one that springs from emerging behaviors and new ways of searching the Web for buying information. As a result, more professional remodelers are joining the conversation. They are reaching deeper and more meaningfully into their target markets, providing information, offering expertise, and in some cases rooting out negative reviews and comments.
To some, joining the conversation presents a daunting challenge. To others, online conversation is a natural extension of the way they have communicated for years. Those who embrace this new reality see an opportunity to burnish their reputation, create awareness for their companies, and ultimately to drive leads for business. They will certainly benefit from the effort. Meanwhile, those who resist social media and online conversation may find it harder to compete in an already tough remodeling market.