Is Twitter for Trades 9 Mar 2010

March 9, 2010 at 7:10 pm | Posted in Twitter | Leave a comment
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For some reason twitteranalyzer still doesn’t provide any stats for us (would appreciate if anyone has any advice to sort that out).  In the meantime since we started our twitter experiment

  • We now have 205 followers (all natural, no machines or automation involved and spam followers blocked)
  • We are following about 532 local people.
  • We have made some connections with other trades people on twitter so popularity seems to be catching on. 
  • We have found other trades people on twitter and referred work to them.
  • We are getting between 3-13 blog hits per day 

To data we still have not had any actual work from twitter but we have had a few “near misses” so am sure it is only a matter of time until enquiries start happening naturally.  We still maintain that we are doing this for fun in terms of getting our name known locally and are quite laid back about using twitter to generate business.  That’s not the main aim for us. It’s about making connections and getting a reputation known locally.  This is definitely starting to happen as followers have direct messaged us saying they have passed out details onto someone outside of the twitter-sphere. What more could we ask for? That is fine with us.  

The blog hits we get are all good. People are being referred by twitter and we can see searches being performed and other pages being visited so again, this is all good for us as a small local plumbing and plastering business.

We have found it difficult to commit to using twitter properly and we are going to be making an effort to tweet more and blog more.

 One thing that did work well for us was tweeting a link to a youtube video.  To date one of those has had over 300 hits.

 Thanks for following and reading and we will keep letting you all know how our twitter journey goes.  In the meantime, if you have any advice or comments then let’s hear it 🙂 

Regards

Max and Tim

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25% Off Plumbing & Tiling – Bank Hol Special

August 28, 2009 at 2:19 pm | Posted in Bank Holiday 31 Aug 09 Promotion, Twitter | Leave a comment
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Early launch of Bank Holiday Promotion on twitter – reply by DM to @floatltd to save 25% off our usual Plumbing and Tiling fees.  The promotion starts via other means on Sunday 30th Aug for the Bank Holiday weekend and ends 4th Sept.  Please refer to your friends and family not on twitter but we would like them to quote your twitter ID

250 x 250 basin with red and white tiles and chrome trimIf you want to come and see us, we will be handing out leaflets at Topps Tiles and Bathstore Huntingdon on St Peter’s Road on Sunday and Monday.

We will be promoting this great saving to coincide with the Bathstore sale and the Topps Tiles promotions and be on hand to offer advice for your projects. We are recommended fitters by both Bathstore and Topps Tiles.

Save money on the materials costs and the fitting costs for new bathroom projects and enjoy your bathroom!

“Exceptional, Professional Service. Would definately recommend”

 

Visit our website for more information on our services and other customer testimonials. www.float.ltd.uk

More pictures of our work can be found on this blog or Direct Message @floatltd for more information or to book in a quote. Alternatively call us on 01480 435609 or email us at office@float.ltd.uk

 

Offer applies to properties within a 15 mile radius of Huntingdon or mileage chargeable at 46p per mile.  A deposit is required up front for materials or you can supply these yourself. Offer is subject to availability and survey and ends on 4th Sept so you must be quick. If response via twitter is high we will reduce promotional activities elsewhere. All rooms must be completely clear of furniture and we require clear access to the area to be worked on. 25% off plumbing and tiling labour only. We have no control or influence over prices charged by Bathstore, Topps Tiles or other Suppliers. Fittings, Plastering and Other Trade work charged at usual rates. We reserve the right to withdraw the offer without reason.  Promotional code PT2808/twitter

Is Twitter for Trades? 21 Aug 09

August 22, 2009 at 6:17 pm | Posted in Twitter | 3 Comments
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As a summary for the week I would just start by saying that our blog has been viewed 103 times.

We have not had any enquiries as a direct result of using twitter and the time spent getting used to things and generally tweeting is time that we probably could have used more productively in terms of generating leads and enquiries.

following and followers

Twitter analyzer does not provide stats for us for followers growth rate so here is our own graphs.

 

 

 

 

 Spam followers have been blocked so that for tracking purposes the number of followers closely represents our target audience.  

 We do feel that now that we have invested time initially in getting some local followers, finding twitter applications to help us do what we want to do, and generally getting more organised with using twitter that it should be a lot easier for us to maintain.

tweets and blog hits

 We have put this graph together to track the relationship between number of tweets and blog hits.

Hits do come from other sources but the majority is via twitter.

 

 Due the nature of our plumbing work we do not expect there to be much of an immediate response to any of our tweets. This is in line with the rest of our marketing. People do not think “That blog article looks good, I think I shall have a leaking pipe and flood the bathroom!”

The aim of us using twitter is simply to help us get known locally with an image of professionalism so that we will be remembered for a future need or when a project is being planned for plastering, bathroom refits or garage conversions. 

103 blog hits is a very good achievement for us and we are happy with this and we are enjoying twitter more now that we have settled into using it.

As always, comments, suggestions, advice are all welcome 🙂

Regards

Max & Tim

20 Aug 2009 – Is Twitter for Trades?

August 19, 2009 at 11:53 pm | Posted in Twitter, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Stats: Following 184, Followers 65, Tweets=8, Mentions 12, Reach 672, Blog hits 20.

I am ashamed to say that we were a bit too busy to tweet today. Tim was shaking his head whilst tweeting today as he still does not get it at all!

It reminds me a bit of when rubik’s cubes came out. Everyone understood the principle that you had to go the long way round to get all the colours on the right sides but very few persevered with it. I was one of those people who had a go but could only get three sides done, Tim couldn’t do one side, and then there were the smart arses who not only did it, but did it in record time or one handed, and then wrote a book about it 🙂

But we have had 20 hits on our blog! That is less than yesterday but still more than we ever had in one day BT(Before Twitter).

Yesterday we tweeted 19 times and got 30 hits whereas today we tweeted 8 only times and got 20 hits so perhaps that is better use of time?

The fact remains that we are still getting known in the community which is our aim. It is a bonus that 4 people viewed our garage conversion pages as we just want to get people locally remembering that we do them if an opportunity for that sort of project comes up so they will either contact us or suggest us when otherwise it may have been an opportunity lost.

So Tim and I are having split views on twitter for trades at the moment. He thinks I could be spending my time more effectively and I have told him to get lost 🙂 (typical married-couple-business-discussion for us). I think we still have a way to go but are on the right track. However, we are probably at a stage at the moment where we need to find quicker ways of doing things so that is my aim for tomorrow. I know that I personally am not responding very well to all the scheduled/automated blurb with promotional links that are repeatedly churned out so I don’t want to go down that route. Maybe just automating a “Thanks for following and this is us” type message that I have seen others use would be OK along with an acceptable tweet about current offers just in case I forget to do either or don’t have the time when I could be spending that time having conversations instead.

I had a conversation with another plumber today who had a negative view on twitter and he shares Tim’s view that twitter is an advertising tool and compared with other methods such as putting an ad in the paper or doing a leaflet drop it has a low return on effort. I wonder if that is how a lot of tradespeople view this?

As always, comments and advice greatly appreciated 🙂

19 Aug – Is Twitter for Trades?

August 19, 2009 at 1:58 am | Posted in Twitter | 2 Comments
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Well, I am loving this experiment so far and what an interesting day!

Stats: Tweets=19, Following=184, Followers=49, Mentions=8, Reach 474 (Twitter Analyzer showed our Reach yesterday as 3112)  Blog Hits = 30 

Even though I feel like Briget Jones writing these stats every day and that the phone has not yet rung as a direct result of twitter, we are extremely happy with the levels of interaction and communication with our local community. 

Having a direct message today from someone up the road from us saying “Hi Tim and Max. Welcome to twitter. Great to see a trade firm using it.”  is very encouraging and supportive for us.  Thanks also to the people who have tweeted links to our blog.

Huge highlight today is that our blog has been viewed 30 times!  This might be teeny to some of you guys on twitter but for a tradesperson to get that many hits of people viewing info on our company, pictures of our work, services we offer, testimonials from customers,  is great!  Even the most boring page on our blog was viewed (FAQ)

We also had one referral to our blog from dailyrt.com which we didn’t recognise and had to look it up and apparently this is “The most popular tweets on the web”. 

Apart from tweeting a lot today in general chit chat terms, we also sent out a link to our Offer exclusive to Twitter, a link to work done yesterday with pictures, and a twitpic of us working last week on a ceiling.

We have continued to follow other peoples followers, used saved searches, viewed # tags and wefollow.

Thanks everyone and looking forward to tweeting tomorrow.  If you come across anyone in Huntingdon or Cambridgeshire then feel free to tell them our twitter id is @floatld 🙂

In the meantime if you have a leaking loo, or want your ceilings skimmed, or your bathroom refitted, you know where we are 🙂

Regards, Tim and Max

PS – Oh, and since you are reading our blog… you may aswell comment now that you are here 🙂 Any feedback and comments welcome.

18 Aug 2009 – Is Twitter for Trades?

August 18, 2009 at 9:30 am | Posted in Twitter | 2 Comments

Stats

Following = 112, Followers 33 (inc spam)  Tweets = 11, Reach = 2973  Blog Hits = 13

Thoughts & Lessons

Today was a busy day in the office and I struggled to find time to tweet but still managed to have 6 “chats” and “mentioned” 9 times.  I am not sure why but twitter analyser is not showing follower growth rate yet.

I sent out one “offer” tweet today but most of our hits on our blog were to the “Is Twitter for Trades?” Article for yesterday.

Two other plasterers are now following us (yeay!) which will hopefully get some plastering chat going and compare experiences of using twitter.

We have also downloaded a few more photos of work so these will be added to the blog tomorrow and I might even brave using twitpic and see what feedback we get.

Thank you to our faithful retweeters! And I say thank you as I know it is not RT for the sake of it but because the tweet was hopefully relevant and interesting to those tweeters followers, thanks again.

My thoughts so far are a) the phone hasn’t rung in response to our activity on twitter but b) that is not the main point at least not at this very early stage. Our main aim is to get ourselves known a bit more locally hopefully with a building image of trust, quality just being nice people and I feel that is being achieved.  

The impressive thing today is that our “reach” is 2973 (from 163 yesterday!) which may not be very meaningful, I don’t know, but consider how many small plastering and plumbing firms have that kind of audience to communicate with at the touch of a button? 

Thanks again to everyone for help and advice and looking forward to tweeting more 🙂

Max and Tim

Twitter intro … a bit about @Floatltd

August 17, 2009 at 12:33 am | Posted in Twitter | Leave a comment
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Thanks for following! I just read an article suggesting I link to a bit about me as a fellow Tweeter so here goes …

tim in van 126 x 86 for homepage

Most of my tweets are general chit chat or about plastering, plumbing, garage conversions and generally running a small business in the trades sector.   I am a bit of a newbie but have read info to pick up tips. Sorry if I get things wrong occasionally or don’t follow twitter etiquette.

Other info on me as a Tweeter:

  • A lot of my followers are either based in Huntingdon, and Cambridgeshire or are connected with trades or small businesses in some way (though there are spammers in my list that I haven’t got rid of yet)
  • I will try to RT and Mention as much as possible, when relevant & interesting to followers or when I think they could contribute or give advice or join in fun
  • If you want including on a #ff just DM me but don’t be offended if I don’t #ff you as it’s probably that I have #ff too many people that day and don’t want to irritate others.
  • My wife is my business partner who sometimes tweets for Float. To follow her directly  @maxinemaxxy or @creditmanageruk 

For more info on our services please visit http://www.float.ltd.uk

Thanks for following and looking forward to our tweets

Tim

17 Aug 2009 – Is Twitter for Trades?

August 16, 2009 at 11:48 pm | Posted in Twitter | Leave a comment
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A little update since yesterday ended seeing as it is early days

Summary

Following = 106  Followers = 20 (inc spam),

Tweets = 7, Reach = 163, RT= 1, Mentions 0

Blog Hits = 16

Thoughts & lessons from today:

  • Tweeted the 2 for 1 Offer which was retweeted once
  • Think that a lot of local people that I am following are either students/teenagers/people who have not tweeted for a long time so I don’t expect a high proportion of those to follow me back
  • Got caught out with someone who seemed to want a twitter debate on a specialist topic (not related to my trade) so will learn to keep mouth shut (or fingers away from the keyboard) as I couldn’t explain what I wanted to say properly in 140 characters or less, and avoid this type of scenario as not useful to image or best use of time 🙂  No hard feelings, just one less follower!
  • Made a mistake with using multiple accounts and one of my tweets was “echoed” meaning it came from both accounts to lesson learned to be careful when using tweetdeck to make sure I am only tweeting from one account at a time! 

That’s it for now.  Just general tweeting tomorrow with no goals or expectations, just going with the flow (flow.. plumber.. get it?) 🙂

Tomorrow we will be doing some work to a chimney breast, knocking parts of it down, then making good and skimming so will make an effort to get some pics to post with an up to date blog article and see if we can get our customer to add a comment to keep our content fresh and up to date.

16 Aug 2009 – Is Twitter for Trades?

August 16, 2009 at 12:13 am | Posted in Twitter | Leave a comment

I have started these posts as journal to plot our experiment of using twitter as part of our sales and marketing activity for our small plastering and plumbing business.

Feedback that I have personally gained so far points to the conclusion that Twitter is perceived as being more suitable for other types of business such as Marketing, Technology, Professional Services (the posh lot!) etc but not really for Trades!  This seems to be true as I can only find two other plastering tradespeople on twitter and only a handful of plumbers, most of whom are in the USA.  The plumber with the most number of followers is a user in the US “Itstheplumber” with a following of 1,500 approx.

Twitter appeals to us for a number of reasons but mostly because is seems like a good opportunity to build relationships and trust with local people which is very important for trades. 

Most of our work comes through word of mouth recommendation and in theory twitter should compliment that and work in the same way.

Trades people are often not trusted inially either through people’s previous bad experiences, stories they have heard or read in the press, or tv programmes they have watched etc. You only have to look at the amount of Trade Directories that attract work to advertise because of consumer distrust and fear of trades.  Similarly there are “rogue customers” and so trust in theory should be built up both ways with twitter. 

The consequences of a bad experience either for the consumer or for us could spread like wildfire on twitter with RT’s along the lines of “Don’t use XX tradesperson as they are rubbish/rip you off/are late again/etc” so we could be being very brave with a high risk strategy here but we are confident that our workmanship and customer service will shine through! If not, we could be posting a link to our insolvency notice in the London Gazette (eek!)

Our Twitter posts are all in the Twitter Category and will be posted with the date as the header so that you can follow our progress which may be interesting if you are social media bod looking to track the progress of a small trader, or if you are a trade company yourself thinking about using Twitter. If you can help us with a few pointers by leaving comments for us that would be great and feel free to use our case study with your clients and in your articles but please mention the author and our web address.

Actions so far since 11 Aug 2009

  • Created a nice smiley background pic of Tim in Van (advice from Ian McKendrick’s blog)
  • Set up twitterfeed from our blog
  • Found and followed local people from www.tweetmondo.com 
  • Found and followed local people from looking at other peoples followers
  • Searched for some of our existing customers (sadly none on twitter yet)
  • Added twitter name to our email signatures, web address, blog, and soon our business cards
  • Using search function for “plastering, uk” and “plumbing, uk”
  • Used  http://wefollow.com/ to see what # tags were relevant to us
  • Searching through other people’s followers
  • Downloaded Tweetdeck
  • Started tweeting with general conversation and chit chat and retweets
  • Launched a twitter exclusive offer for 2 for 1 on smooth ceilings deliberately picked for Sunday twittering
  • Used twitteranalyzer to track stats

Lessons and thoughts so far

Tweetmondo didn’t seem to be that great for us. There was only 10 twitter users found and most of them were in Huntingdon in USA (who we followed by accident… not good for a plumbing callout!)  We managed to find a lot more potential followers in our area by viewing other peoples followers.

So # tags seem a bit difficult for us too. At the moment there are 59 users for the #plumbing tag and only 1 (yes 1!) for #plastering.  There are significantly more for the terms goth, fart, and marjuana!!  Perhaps this approach won’t work just yet so I have changed these on wefollow to reflect the target audience and location ie; professional people in Huntingdon.  Our 3 tags now are #Business (600) #plumbing (4) and #cambridgeshireuk (2) not many people in those groups but more than plastering (1) and huntingdon(1) !!

Stats – 16 Aug 2009

Tweets = 10,  Following = 59, Followers = 10  Blog hits = 6

 tweets

 

 

 

 

 

reach

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have decided at this stage not to block spammers to see how that works with looking as if we have lots of followers later on which is the opposite to what we were originally considering doing but shall probably have a blocking exercise soon.

Next steps in our Twitter plan

  • Add a few more projects onto our blog and generally revise and improve the content that is on there so far so that this can be as up to date as possible and so that recent customers can be encouraged to go onto the blog to post their comment hopefully as a testimonial 🙂
  • See if there are any helpful hints and tips that we can pass on as we go in general conversation
  • Chit chat, retweeting, thanking, and just joining in on a social level
  • Looking at and commenting on other peoples blogs and looking at what other people are doing for a living just to get familiar and to seek out potentially good suppliers

Right that’s it for now, dinner is ready, back later.  Comments on this article and project are very welcome 🙂

Thanks,

Tim and Max

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