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


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














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 🙂


Tim and Max

Garage conversion for office space

May 18, 2009 at 12:42 am | Posted in Garage Conversions | 2 Comments
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1 200 x 250 brick wallThis garage conversion created space for 3 office workstations plus a reception room.








2 200 x 250 knocking through3 200 x 250 knocked through








4 200 x 250 insulation 15 200 x 250 insulation 2








6 200 x 250 insulation 37 300 x 250 insulation 4








8 300 x 250 plastering 19 300 x 250 skimmed other room








10 300 x 250 skimmed back door








11 300 x 250 skimmed back door 2








12 300 x 250 skimmed looking through 1








13 250 x 300 offices 1









14 250 x 300 offices 2









15 250 x 300 offices 3









16 250 x 300 offices 4

Bathroom refit with tile inserts

May 18, 2009 at 12:03 am | Posted in Bathrooms, plumbing, radiators, showers, Tiling | Leave a comment
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1 300 x 200 bath 1This bathroom was refitted to change the toilet, basin, radiator, bath and shower. 

The tiles used had different coloured inserts




2 300 x 200 bath 2







3 300 x 200 bath tiling before grout and inserts







4 300 x 200 toilet and basin







5 300 x 200 basin







6 200 x 250 bath and shower7 200 x 250








8 200 x 250 radiator9 200 x 250 shower








10 200 x 25011 200 x 250 green tile insert

Ceiling repair and plumbing leak fix

May 17, 2009 at 11:32 pm | Posted in plastering, plumbing, Skimmed ceilings | Leave a comment
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1 300 x 250 ceiling skimWe fixed a plumbing leak and repaired the ceiling and skimmed the ceiling smooth.







2 250 x 250 plumbing








3 250 x 300 plumbing









4 250 x 300 ceiling

Bathroom refit with basin unit

May 17, 2009 at 11:19 pm | Posted in Bathrooms, Ensuites, plumbing, radiators, showers, Skimmed ceilings, Tiling | Leave a comment
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1 250 x 200 bath controlsFor this bathroom refit the bath, basin, toilet, shower and radiator were replaced and the basin was mounted onto a vanity unit with marble top.





2 250 x 300 basin unit









3 250 x 300 shower 1









5 250 x 300 radiator 1









4 250 x 300 valve









6 250 x 300 radiator 2









7 250 x 300 basin unit

Bathroom refit cream tiles and border

May 17, 2009 at 10:55 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

1 250 x 300 basin and tilingThis bathroom refit near Peterborough replaced the toilet, basin, bath, radiator and shower.  The ceiling was skimmed smooth and the floor and walls were tiled.







2 250 x 300 tiled floor









3 250 x 300 basin and toilet









4 250 x 300 basin toilet and radiator









5 250 x 300 bath









6 250 x 300 shower

Bathroom refit with shower and bathroom furniture

May 17, 2009 at 10:42 pm | Posted in Bathrooms, Ensuites, plastering, plumbing, radiators, showers, Skimmed ceilings, Skimmed walls, Tiling | 1 Comment
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1 250 x 300 shower, cabinet and basinThis bathroom in Huntingdon was refitted to remove the bath and fit a large shower enclosure with a tall cabinet.  The basin and toilet were replaced, the floor was tiled, the ceiling was skimmed and the walls were painted.  Spotlights were fitted to the smooth ceiling.






2 250 x 300 basin










3 250 x 300 toilet









4 250 x 300 radiator









5 25 x 300 shower









6 250 x 300 valve

Garage Conversion in Cambridge

May 17, 2009 at 10:21 pm | Posted in Garage Conversions, Plasterboarding, plastering, Skimmed ceilings, Skimmed walls | Leave a comment
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These photos just show the skimming stages of a garage conversion in Cambridge

1 300 x 250 boarded








1 300 x 250 skimmed








3 300 x 250 skimmed








4 300 x 250 window








5 300 x 250 dorma 1








6 300 x 250 skimmed 2








7 300 x250 skimmed 3








8 300 x250 skimmed 4








9 300 x 250 dorma 2

Garage Conversion in Stukeley Meadows

May 17, 2009 at 9:46 pm | Posted in Garage Conversions, plastering, Skimmed walls | Leave a comment
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This garage conversion in Stukeley Meadows was to be used as a home office.

1 300 x 250 window2 300 x 250 door








3 300 x 250 window and door out








4 300 x 250 studwork







5 300 x 250 loft insulation








6 300 x 250 boarded ceiling








7 300 x 250 insulated pb








8 300 x 250 window insulated








9 300 x 250 door and plasterboard








10 300 x 250 skimmed








11 300 x 250 skimmed ceiling and spotlights








12 300 x 250 finished

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