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  #21  
Old 11-30-2012, 05:22 PM
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JHFMX JHFMX is offline
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Social networking, when used right can be a huge but more importantly FREE source of new clients. Even if you don't think anyone sees ( no replies ect) They do. The only downside is figuring out how to always maintain political correctness over the interweb. People can twist your words around ect. I also encourage you to NEVER post pricing on the internet. A people can use that against you even if material cost goes up or your labor cost changes. and B it gives people a reason to call you ( then you can offer a demo or your usual pitch to seal the deal) The most important reason to use social media is because any really great photo has the potential to go viral. How many of you have done a lighting job and taken an amazing photo afterward that could be in a magazine? Thought so. POST THEM ON FACEBOOK. People see your post. I promise. The trick is to capture the right audience. Even though most facebookers IMO are teenagers age 15-30 I would say there is still plenty of reason to invest time into advertising there. A great way to get business from facebook is offer discounts for people who reference something from your facebook page. Then if you do a job you can post the pictures with a quote " Sally saved 15% on her lighting job just by liking us on facebook" Your growth will happen exponentially. TAG YOUR CUSTOMERS. I can't explain how important this is. It all goes back to the quality of the picture you post, but the more people that see it the better. That same customer you offered a discount to for liking your page is now part of your expential growth and exposure. EVERY FRIEND THEY HAVE will see the pictures of their well lit home. Hopefully some live in the same neighborhood and drive by it. This tells potential customers you ae local , reasonable and you do a good job without you ever having to demo. The other important thing is to leave customers your card. When their friends ask who took care of the lighting they will be able to contact you! Sorry for the long post , but I am a firm believer.
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  #22  
Old 11-30-2012, 05:47 PM
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JimLewis JimLewis is offline
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Originally Posted by JHFMX View Post
Social networking, when used right can be a huge but more importantly FREE source of new clients. Even if you don't think anyone sees ( no replies ect) They do. The only downside is figuring out how to always maintain political correctness over the interweb. People can twist your words around ect. I also encourage you to NEVER post pricing on the internet. A people can use that against you even if material cost goes up or your labor cost changes. and B it gives people a reason to call you ( then you can offer a demo or your usual pitch to seal the deal) The most important reason to use social media is because any really great photo has the potential to go viral. How many of you have done a lighting job and taken an amazing photo afterward that could be in a magazine? Thought so. POST THEM ON FACEBOOK. People see your post. I promise. The trick is to capture the right audience. Even though most facebookers IMO are teenagers age 15-30 I would say there is still plenty of reason to invest time into advertising there. A great way to get business from facebook is offer discounts for people who reference something from your facebook page. Then if you do a job you can post the pictures with a quote " Sally saved 15% on her lighting job just by liking us on facebook" Your growth will happen exponentially. TAG YOUR CUSTOMERS. I can't explain how important this is. It all goes back to the quality of the picture you post, but the more people that see it the better. That same customer you offered a discount to for liking your page is now part of your expential growth and exposure. EVERY FRIEND THEY HAVE will see the pictures of their well lit home. Hopefully some live in the same neighborhood and drive by it. This tells potential customers you ae local , reasonable and you do a good job without you ever having to demo. The other important thing is to leave customers your card. When their friends ask who took care of the lighting they will be able to contact you! Sorry for the long post , but I am a firm believer.
Exponential growth just by offering discounts on Facebook? I beg to differ. That's a gross exaggeration. I'm sorry. But you're misleading people here. Nobody's going to see EXPONENTIAL growth from facebook. You might get a little business out of it. But the word "exponential" is a huge exaggeration. Compared to the calls we get from our website, Angie's List, word of mouth, referrals, previous customers, and our trucks, the amount we get from Facebook is a very small percentage. And we have a great facebook page, a pretty solid fan base and run a pretty good facebook campaign. We haven't seen anything that I would call exponential growth. I'd call it "minor" growth. The bigger benefit I've seen is just in keeping customers engaged.

Also, your comment about tagging customers is off as well. If you have a Facebook Business page, you cannot tag your clients. It does not allow you. Unless your facebook customers also happen to be your "friends" on your personal facebook page (which is a really bad idea, by the way). So the tagging, unfortunately, does not work on the business end of facebook. I've tried. Just tried it again just now to make sure. It doesn't allow me to tag photos unless I'm friends with that person. Just because they are FANS of your facebook company page, doesn't mean you can tag them.

Also, I take issue with offering 15% off. Are you freaking crazy? I'm going to give someone what would amount to being a $500 or $1000 discount just because they posted something on my facebook page? Hey, I'm all for promotions on Facebook. You want to offer a $100 off coupon or something sure. We do that. But I'm not knocking 15% off any job for any reason. That's just bad business.
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  #23  
Old 11-30-2012, 06:01 PM
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Exponential growth just by offering discounts on Facebook? I beg to differ. That's a gross exaggeration. I'm sorry. But you're misleading people here. Nobody's going to see EXPONENTIAL growth from facebook. You might get a little business out of it. But the word "exponential" is a huge exaggeration. Compared to the calls we get from our website, Angie's List, word of mouth, referrals, previous customers, and our trucks, the amount we get from Facebook is a very small percentage. And we have a great facebook page, a pretty solid fan base and run a pretty good facebook campaign. We haven't seen anything that I would call exponential growth. I'd call it "minor" growth. The bigger benefit I've seen is just in keeping customers engaged.

Also, your comment about tagging customers is off as well. If you have a Facebook Business page, you cannot tag your clients. It does not allow you. Unless your facebook customers also happen to be your "friends" on your personal facebook page (which is a really bad idea, by the way). So the tagging, unfortunately, does not work on the business end of facebook. I've tried. Just tried it again just now to make sure. It doesn't allow me to tag photos unless I'm friends with that person. Just because they are FANS of your facebook company page, doesn't mean you can tag them.

Also, I take issue with offering 15% off. Are you freaking crazy? I'm going to give someone what would amount to being a $500 or $1000 discount just because they posted something on my facebook page? Hey, I'm all for promotions on Facebook. You want to offer a $100 off coupon or something sure. We do that. But I'm not knocking 15% off any job for any reason. That's just bad business.


Trust me I am not trying trying to mislead anyone, but I do believe if used right you can gain a lot of business. I always have the friend page separately and a fan page. ( not with my personal account) never had an issue so far. As for the percentage it's just an example. ANY discount offered from free advertisement will help. Again. The main thing is MEDIA. Pictures sell the job IMO
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  #24  
Old 11-30-2012, 06:17 PM
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JimLewis JimLewis is offline
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Is all of this from personal experience? Do you mind sharing with us your Facebook page?
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  #25  
Old 11-30-2012, 06:27 PM
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JHFMX JHFMX is offline
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Originally Posted by JimLewis View Post
Is all of this from personal experience? Do you mind sharing with us your Facebook page?
Personal experience yes, but I no longer work for the business ( motosports industry) so I don't see how that's relevant. I am here for the same reason you are. To learn and grow in the landscape lighting industry. At least I hope that's why anyone is here. I am not trying to start a forum fight. Just give my 2 cents. Social media does work. Maybe it isn't for everyone, but the time you put into it isn't wasted.
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  #26  
Old 12-01-2012, 10:23 PM
irrig8r irrig8r is offline
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Couple of thinks about the clucnky interfac e with Linked In that bug me...

Seems like every time I log in it wants me to share my email contacts... and acts as though I've never provided them before.

I have it on my Android phone, my Nexus 7 and my laptop... when I change something on one, like responding to a message or writing one, it doesn't update the others for several hours.

It's just not very user-friendly.

My son-in-law is involved in a startup company called www.identified.com. They hope to provide a friendlier, more intuitive interface (they get users to voluntarily offer up Facebook profile info) but it seems like they're mostly focused on employers looking for qualified job seekers, and people looking for jobs.

Someone ought to come up with a better user experience for businesses trying to network with clients and prospects.
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  #27  
Old 12-01-2012, 10:58 PM
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JimLewis JimLewis is offline
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I don't know. I like LinkedIn. They've made some great changes in just the past few months. And EVERYONE in the business world uses it. It doesn't seem to be too bothersome to me. I haven't noticed it asking me for anything except to recommend skills for others, lately. And I am happy to do it. A lot of people have done it for me. So I'm happy to recommend them for things I know they're good at. Otherwise, it seems to be just a simple place to keep all your business networking contacts in one place. I like it. Very simple and professional.

I wish your son the best. But trying to get people away from LinkedIn will be an immense undertaking. People have been trying to invent a better eBay, Facebook, Google for years. Spent billions of dollars doing so. But once someone gets that much market share, it's hard to get people away from it. People seem to stick with what they are familiar with, whether or not there's something better available.
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  #28  
Old 12-02-2012, 02:57 AM
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headz77 headz77 is offline
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I think most all of the large social networks have at least some value. At the very least they provide a citation for your website- even if you are never active. My experiences-

Facebook- I am relatively new to it. I do very little except push my tweets here and the occasional photo. This probably explains the low "like" count...

Twitter- I use it a lot. I post my blog updates as well as any guest articles or interviews I do. I network mainly with other landscapers and green industry media here. I have also connected with a few local bloggers this way and am arranging promotions/reviews with them. I sprinkle a small amount of non business tweets in too. I think a big part of the value is being able to convey the personality of your company.

LinkedIn- I love the interface. The updated business pages are great. You will find very few places that let you post so much detail about your companies services- with links to pages on your site. I am actually connected with more clients here than anywhere else, and a number of green industry folks as well.

Google+ I actually like it. The interface is very SEO friendly. Mostly connect with SEO folks here. I mainly do this because Google likes it. There is some evidence that articles you link to on posts get indexed very quickly. So I post blog updates here, even though no one will ever read them- but spiders will!

Don't worry Jim, I have already forgotten everything you said. Plus, I have an aversion to paid advertising.

How much does 20K Facebook fans cost anyways? ;-)
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  #29  
Old 12-02-2012, 05:07 PM
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JimLewis JimLewis is offline
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Originally Posted by headz77 View Post
Don't worry Jim, I have already forgotten everything you said. Plus, I have an aversion to paid advertising.

How much does 20K Facebook fans cost anyways? ;-)
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LOL. Good. Yah, just ignore my posts. I don't need to be helping my competition.

20K fans? On fiverr.com you can buy up to 1000 fans for $5. So I guess you could get 20K fans for as little as $100, if you wanted. LOL. Just as long as you don't mind them being from foreign countries, half of them not even being real people, not most of them not living anywhere close to your target audience, and lots of them commenting in other languages. If you don't mind spinning your wheels and conversing with people who really aren't your customers and never will be....and if your main goal is to just look like a big shot, then 20K fans might be your thing..... LOL.

We need to have lunch again soon, now that things are a little less crazy. Email me with some dates that your free for lunch. I'd love to get together again.
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  #30  
Old 12-02-2012, 07:45 PM
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starry night starry night is offline
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Hey, how are you guys doing in the NW? Any problems with the storm?
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