Builders and social media: What’s all the buzz about?

Builders and social media

Mitch Levinson is managing partner of Marketing Relevance, which specializes in marketing and interactive communication. (Stacey Wescott, Chicago Tribune / July 16, 2012)

After joining her in-laws’ family construction business, Jean-Marie Freise quickly learned the importance of personal referrals to her livelihood.

Someone who hired the family-owned construction firm, Zigmil Inc., for a kitchen remodel or home addition might show off the results to a friend or neighbor, sparking another round of phone calls to keep business hopping. End of story. Her in-laws’ old-school business model did not include YouTube videos chronicling the construction process, breathless testimonials on Facebook or before-and-after photos posted to

But when Joel and Jean-Marie Freise started Freise Builders about a year ago, their own general contracting and home remodeling business, they decided to make some tweaks to help the company survive — and thrive — in a brutal environment for builders. First order of business: a top-notch, professionally created website linking to the company’s Facebook page, where fans can “like” the company and keep up to date on projects and industry news.

“I don’t want to be in people’s faces all the time, but when things are slow, I think of Facebook,” said Jean-Marie Freise, who has led the company’s social media efforts. Practically every time Freise has posted about decks, basement renovations or another remodeling topic, she’s gotten a phone call from a potential client, she said. And that is a welcome development in an industry where many builders are fighting to stay afloat from month to month.

“All of our business is still generated through referrals,” Freise said. “Facebook just helps us stay in people’s minds.”

Staying at the forefront of happy customers’ minds is key for a business in which personal relationships mean everything. Now, some builders are discovering that developing a presence on social networking hubs, posting to home decorating sites and providing blog and Twitter updates can help forge and sustain those all-important connections.  Read More


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Posted on July 19, 2012, in #social media and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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