When it comes to Twitter, call me a grumpy old man. If you see Twitter as a bunch of self-involved, hyper-self aware youngsters publicly broadcasting every meaningless thought that crosses their minds…then we have something in common.
But what you and I think isn’t the point here. The real question is: Can Twitter help you grow your home improvement business?
The answer is ‘perhaps’. And while it seems that I’m balancing delicately on the fence, let me explain.
To boost your Web site’s rankings with the search engines, you need hyperlinks from other Web sites to yours. Twitter’s real value to home improvement companies is as a source of hyperlinks. Here’s how it works: write interesting, “Tweet-worthy” content, and then publish that material on Tweeter. Your followers may in turn hyperlink to that content from their own Twitter pages or their Web sites. Google spots these hyperlinks that point to your Web site and moves you up the rankings. Higher rankings equal more visitors. And more visitors (again, theoretically) mean more homeowner calls and appointments.
Twitter’s other value is following events in your local area. Twitter is an easy way to stay up to date with consumer events in your territory, share your views of those events, and in turn build followers. It’s a more sophisticated approach, and best practices are still evolving. But building an online brand on Twitter with your local community is certainly distinctive, and will help you stand out from the crowd
Those are Twitter’s possible benefits for your lead generation efforts. Now let’s look at the downside.
To a home improvement company, Twitter’s benefits are soft at best. The link building opportunity is nice, but the results are not guaranteed. There may be branding benefits to “Tweeting locally” may be there, but they’re just not measurable. In short, it’s virtually impossible to attribute leads or homeowner appointments to Twitter.
Plus, Twittering properly demands significant on-going effort. You need to be acquiring followers, following others, commenting and posting your hyperlinks – if you have them. That takes time – a lot of time. As a home improvement executive, you’ve already got lots of tasks on your plate, many with measurable benefits for your bottom line. Accordingly, you should question whether the soft benefits you might gain from Twitter are worth your time and energy, particularly in this challenging economy.
If you’ve got the time, Twitter can be fun, and often amusing. But as a business-driver for a home improvement business? I’d look first to other channels.