How often have you heard the term ‘I’ll send you an email’? The answer is probably too many to count. Did you know that the first electronic message, or email, was sent in 1971? The launch of the internet revolutionised communication by allowing us to communicate online. If we fast forward to today, it’s seen as an everyday means of communication.
It can be easy to forget that there was a time where social media didn’t exist. The first social network emerged in 1997, introducing a new way to communicate with others. Attitudes towards social media have improved over time, however, some still feel it is to be used to communicate purely with friends and not as a business tool.
Is social media a good tool for contractors?
If you use social networking as a business tool, you must interact with your audience in a way that suits them. If you’re looking to make more people aware of your services or products, you can’t wait for them to find you, you need to find them. If your clients are on social networking sites, then that’s where you need to be.
Many business owners avoid social media because their understanding isn’t sufficient to run it successfully. On the other end of the scale, some sign up thinking it will add credibility to their business without knowing how to run it effectively.
If your nearest competitor is regularly interacting with their customers via Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn to gain feedback and promote their offering, then why aren’t you?
Using Twitter to your advantage
As of 2019, there are around 14 million Twitter users in the UK, and around 300 million users worldwide. It might not be your cup of tea, but with a capacity of millions and registration totally free, it’s worth getting involved.
Twitter is a site where members can post short updates, also known as tweets. These can be up to 140 characters long and can also include links to websites, which can be especially useful when sharing links to your website. You can also attach videos and images to your tweets.
If Twitter is something you would like to use as part of your marketing strategy, take a look at our useful contractor’s guide to Twitter.
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Using Facebook for business
One of the most successful social networks in history, Facebook was launched in 2004. As of April 2019, there were 37 million Facebook users in the UK. With an audience this large, it makes sense to use this social network to promote your business.
Historically, Facebook wasn’t created with the intention of promoting businesses as it was a personal networking site. This trend has fizzled out over time, as many businesses have set up their own profiles. Even if you have a personal Facebook profile, it’s best to set up a separate profile for your business. This draws a line between your personal and professional lives.
For more information on how you can use Facebook to promote your business, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide that talks through things step by step.
Using LinkedIn as a contractor
LinkedIn first appeared in 2003 and is seen as a social network for professionals. If you’re using a social network to promote your business, then LinkedIn should be near the top of your list.
It’s the fifth most popular social networking site but still has over 260 million monthly active users. Over 25 million of these are here in the UK, which gives you a large audience to talk to.
To discover how LinkedIn can help you generate more business, visit our handy contractor guide to LinkedIn.
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