3692407910 11fcb16a23 m The Social ContractorThis post isn’t about the contractor that likes to chat your ear off, although I’ve run into a few of those. Rather, this post is about how some contractors are embracing social media to the benefit of homeowners.

My wife and I were looking at replacing a few windows and getting some trim painted on our home so we called up the contractor we had used before to do some work as well as a few others to get estimates. The contractor we had previously worked with came to our house to do some measurements and sat down at our kitchen table to go over some estimates.

When he was done, he asked me, “Would you mind if I shot a video of you talking about your satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the work we previously did on your home?” He pulled out his Flip cam and said he’s building a Facebook page for his company and wanted to have video testimonials from customers as well as videos of the work that they’ve done. I said I’d be happy to and he asked me a few questions while he shot maybe a 60 second video. I asked what he would have done if I said something negative. His response, “I’d have taken your video right to my workers so they can see what a dissatisfied customer we have and talk about how we can improve on the next job.”

What a great concept. Instead of a blurb on a website about customer testimonials, why not videos of customers and the work that was done that can be easily commented on and shared right within Facebook!

I talked to a few others that are using YouTube in a similar way. Other contractors are using Foursquare so that people will know what jobs they are doing in and around town. Others have Twitter feeds that share information on do-it yourself projects and discounts on larger renovations.

I believe that the social contractor will see more business in a down economy than the one that simply relies on a yellow page ad or trucks with phone numbers on it because if they are participating correctly they are providing some true added value to their customer base.

For more help on finding the right contractor, check out this video below that highlights some key things to look for when hiring a contractor for your next home improvement project:

Picture: Flickr user Bludgeoner86