This interview series features twitter accounts in and around the construction industry, a growing population within the Twittersphere. My only disclaimer is that I do not always agree with the advice.
Stats:Twitter Name: @SanJosePlumbing Twitter Bio: IceAgeAir & NewPipesNow:The South Bay’s Premier Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Specialists. Facebook:http://on.fb.me/erkRHC CSLB #906447 Tweets by @Carol_Stephen Company Name: San Jose Plumbing/New Pipes, Inc. & Ice Age Air City/State: San Jose, CA Main Website: http://www.sanjoseplumbingco.com/ Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/SanJosePlumbing Admin Name: Carol Stephen (December 2010 – June 2011) LinkedIN Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/carolstephen Klout Score: 55 Followers: 1,237 Following:Follower Ratio: 1.20
1. When did you start your twitter account?
December 10, 2010
2. What was your biggest obstacle in twitter?
In the beginning, it was getting traction online. I spent a lot of time considering a good strategy for our potential followers. At first, you tweet into a vacuum. You write and no one writes back and progress is slow. That was the first month. Every month, tweeting becomes easier.
3. How often do you tweet? Do you have a schedule?
I tweet Monday-Friday and, occasionally, on Saturday. I’m always planning the next day’s tweets. I have a huge file of ideas and different strategies for each day. We tweet about furnaces, water heaters, air quality, do-it-yourself projects, and sometimes funny plumbing sites or ideas or pictures that I come across while researching tweets.
Ten to twenty of my tweets are automated through Tweetdeck and the rest are engagement where I write personal replies to our contacts, or “tribe.” I throw everything into a Word document and track our progress in an Excel spreadsheet. Each month, I choose five or six different areas of focus to track, such as number of followers on Twitter.
4. What is your recommendation to new people on twitter?
First, consider your strategy. Who is your audience? For example, if you’re a plumber, do you want to connect to other plumbers to get ideas? Do you only want to connect to people in your immediate vicinity? Do you plan to expand your business and, if so, why not follow people in those outlying areas? Second, don’t give up. It takes a while to gain followers and to be taken seriously. Once people know you’re going to be around, they’re more likely to follow you. Third, offer value. Give people interesting links, educational ideas, pictures, entertainment, or something that they want first. Always give first. It might sound corny, but be a friend and be friendly.
5. What is your favorite hashtag and why.
I love #FBLT (Facebook Liking Tuesdays) because it’s so focused on the construction industry and has created so many great connections for us. And of course, it’s really fun! If you can’t have a little fun at work, what’s the point?
6. Did you have a twitter mentor? How did that come about?
I heard Ann Evanston speak and signed up for her bootcamp, which is all online. Beyond that, I read a lot and make a TON of mistakes. LOL. Seriously, sometimes I learn more from the mistakes than from following the straight and narrow. It’s a fascinating journey and I’m learning every day.
7. Can you recommend a twitter account that we should be following?
Wow. There are so many! And it’s tough to separate the account from the person, but here are a few: @ToyotaEquipment’s Kyle Thill for his constant engagement; of course Bridget (she’s wonderful!) @RigginsConst for innovation & great tweets; @Sundt’s Wendy AKA @MrsPickle_ for her humor & vivaciousness; @RockportPlumber’s Kenda Morrison who is a package of bubbly fun; and @AzDuraWrap’s Cyndi Ricci who embodies a giving philosophy.
Don’t be afraid to connect with others in your same line of work—they can be your best connection for good links, ideas, and ways of looking at the same topic in different ways. Our connections to other plumbers are extremely valuable.
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