Tips for Tradespeople and Plumbers in Particular on Twitter

If you didn’t catch Star Radio’s interview with Jez Langthorn, Managing Director of Energy at British Gas you can catch it here = Go to 37:30 if you don’t want to listen to the whole show and go to 41:00 where Jez talks about the team at British Gas “scanning twitter”.

Jez talks about improvements in customer service and billing but also talks about their intentions to use social media more to pick up on conversations with consumers indicating they have a problem with their boiler!

He says that the real time conversations on twitter are all part of their approach to listening to customers more. He says it creates a fantastic response!

I wholeheartedly agree – it is a powerful and friendly method of listening and responding.

I just tweeted my answer on Quora to the question “Are there any examples of tradespeople using a social media platform to gain referrals and contracts?” and immediately got a response saying “It’s hardly rocket science is it?”

I tend to agree with this also!

The worry for me is that the small firms will be squeezed out of the twittersphere by not embracing this new-fangled-technology and responding to their local customers who are on twitter.

If local plumbers don’t get with it, their customers will respond to British Gas instead!

So if you are a small plumbing or trades firm… take head!  Get your backside on twitter! :)  (If you really can’t be bothered then outsource to me and I’ll look after most of it for you.. notice how I say “most” and not “all”)

Quick tips for small trades on using twitter

  • Get yourself a smartphone such as iphone or blackberry so you can tweet on the go. It will give you something to do when you are stood in Been-and-Queued or at the Burger van!
  • If you don’t want an iphone/blackberry then use the internet connection on your phone
  • If your son/daughter/wife/brother-in-law or other family friend is more up on these things than you then use them.  Get them to give you a quick run through of twitter and how to find and chat with people on there.
  • Don’t worry about only talking to people who have plumbing problems… just chat with pretty much anyone (unless they are spammers ie; naked pictures or offering a wonderfully wealthy lifestyle for $5… ignore those tweets)
  • Use a website such as www.twitterfall.com to see tweets by keywords in your local area. It’s free and can be really useful but don’t make all your tweets offering to do work for people.
  • Post pictures of your work occasionally or links to places where they can read testimonials… Word of mouth recommendation has always been important for Trades and twitter can really follow the same approach.

If I get enough interest I may run a telephone conference giving some advice by phone and talking people through how to use twitter for trades. If you are interested in this please leave your name and number below and I’ll get back to you.

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