I once read a book by a famous writer, Paulo Coelho in which he described something called the “Favour Bank.”
What is it? “I know that one day you will be influential, so I make an investment in you by introducing you to someone. I make several such deposits in your imaginary account, your influence grows and then one day you start to feel obliged to return that favour, by doing the same for me. Just like with any other investment, there is a risk that you may not return my favour, but you only hurt yourself by doing so. People like me start to turn away from you and the influence you gained, starts to decline.”
As I read this, sitting on my favourite couch near the window and sipping the worst coffee I had in a while (as my wife was away) I paused and thought about how it would apply in the social media context that depends so much on the influence a brand exerts. Especially so, how can Tradies, with whom I have had the pleasure of working for over a decade, benefit from this insight.
Imagine one random Like on your social media post leading you to reach entirely new audiences, several new connection requests and possibly new business.
Are you willing to give that favour back?
Every time you view a post from one of your connections on social media, you probably contemplate whether you should click the LIKE button or ignore it and move on to the next.
Is there really a benefit to LIKING any page or a post for that matter? Apart from satisfying one’s ego, does anybody really care?
Having spent a decade helping Tradies get social and bring on their A-game when it comes to engagement, what I have seen that many people would just ask: What the fuss is all about?
And then it hit me.
I realised that very few Tradies understand the psychology that works behind LIKES and how it can benefit their own identity and brand.
For trades businesses that really seek to digitally transform their online brand image and how others perceive them in the social space, these are a few questions worth asking!
To help you understand the hidden dynamics behind LIKES, I’ve provided a simple explanation which will help you get significant results with social selling your trades business and achieve incredible results in the long run.
Using my favourite acronym style, let’s have a look at what doing L-I-K-E-S and getting L-I-K-E-S mean for your Tradie business:
When you LIKE a post, you gain an introduction to a mate, supplier or customer, whoever made the post. Imagine going to a new bar for the first time. You see a group of mates on a table but you feel a little out of place. So you decide to introduce yourself and contribute to the conversation.
The more you contribute meaningfully, the more group members LIKE you and begin to show an interest in what you have to say. And chances are that more people will draw a chair on the same table and join in.
In a social media context, as you begin to LIKE and comment on others’ posts, you will notice complete strangers beginning to LIKE your posts in return. This happens because your profile gets linked to the conversations and people begin to take note of you. You get notified when others LIKE you. And as you begin to get more LIKES and shares, you are able to expand your network beyond your immediate connections. The leverage you gain in this way opens opportunities way beyond what you can get from your direct connections.
Nothing works better for Tradies than word of mouth, but how well you amplify it, can make all the difference.
Even today, when I attend trade networking events and workshops, I see some of the best Trades business owners making the same mistake. They focus solely on trying to see who among the group is a likely target for their services.
They then proceed to do a sales pitch, exchange business cards and hope they can convert at least one or two of the people they met to paying clients.
What’s wrong with that? What Tradies don’t realise is that everyone they meet is connected to at least five others who may need their services. Hence they miss the opportunity to gather intelligence about who else the members of the networking group know that could be potential clients.
When I log in to my Facebook or Twitter account every day I find out more about the people who LIKE my posts or whose posts I find interesting. Who among them could be my potential client? What are they talking about? Which business pages do they follow?
This way I know who I need to connect with and also keeps me from accepting every random invitation to connect.
Gathering this kind of intelligence prior to making a sales pitch can help you target the right prospects on social media channels instead of playing a guessing game by accepting every invitation to connect…hoping one of them can turn out to be your ideal client.
My team and I use LIKES and comments on posts to build a knowledge base of topics and ideas we can later use to prepare engaging content in the form of articles, videos and infographics.
For example if you are a plumber and you recently shared a news on the industry taking action on “lead leaching in drinking water taps” which also happened to garner a lot of likes and comments, you now know that people are interested in knowing more about this topic. Hence, you can create an article talking about why your customers need to replace their lead leaching taps.
This severs not only as an informative article bringing more traffic to your website but also increases the chances for you to get some good tap replacement jobs as a result of it.
So when I see a particular topic generate a lot of LIKES or comments, I keep track of not just the topic but the people who LIKE the topic. Also, do certain people post with a higher frequency on specific topics?
A lot of us on social media are like stalkers. We read valuable content and only think about how we can implement the knowledge gained for free in our business. What we fail to do is acknowledge the effort made in providing us with valuable information that would otherwise take us hours trawling through the internet to find.
Imagine how you would feel if you provided a great service to one of your customers at a discounted rate and do not even get so much as a “Thank You?” Would you like to quote another job to this person again?
I doubt so.
Being courteous can go a long way in the services business. It has been proven that social connectivity and networking is the number one driver for digital transformation.
Apply the same to the social media landscape, the least, we can do is acknowledge the person’s efforts by LIKING the post. To show greater appreciation, leave a positive comment and share the post with mates you think can benefit from it, just like you did.
As I have always emphasised, to win the social selling game use a strategic approach. Many Trades business owners fail to understand that strategy is key to digital transformation.
While technology is only an enabler, strategic approach to social selling is what drives change.
Now you know what LIKES are all about and why they are so important for you as a Trades business owner.
I hope the next time you’re on a social media site; you will take the time to acknowledge the valuable content others provide. As you all know, what goes around, comes around.
If you found this post valuable, why not make a start by clicking the LIKE button and sharing it with your connections. I’ll take the time to read all your comments and would love your feedback on this post.
Here at i4Tradies, we help tradies challenge their business status quo and make their operations more streamlined with changing customer demands with our cloud based customer experience management solution. Get a 2 Week Free Trial with i4Tradies and watch how you can enhance efficiency and transparency with your customer base on every aspect of your job service delivery.