Facebook has launched its new Open Graph protocol and within less than a month, over 100,000 websites have integrated it into their site layout. Possibly threatening Google’s ranking system and moving the web towards what some call Web 3.0, Open Graph is a curious invention. It allows users to “Like” or recommend something outside of the actual Facebook program. Interesting to say the least, but what does it mean for the HVACR contractor?

Well, it depends on where the contractor stands on social media matters. If their business has a Facebook account and someone in the back is experimenting with Twitter, then you are on the right track. If the contractor is still operating on Al Gore’s version of the Internet with a monochrome monitor and a dot matrix printer, then you are about to get left behind.

The biggest problem contractors seem to have with social media is measuring ROI. It is tough and sometimes impossible to measure the monetary value of social media. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be involved in it. Sometimes it is cheaper, easier, and more beneficial to go to the masses rather than to lure the masses to you. There are a lot of participants in Facebook and Twitter alone. As you build a presence in these arenas, you build a following and you point traffic to your website.

I leave you with one warning as you forge ahead in social media. Privacy is not a luxury that online users have. Once the information is out there, it is out there. So speak wisely, but for goodness sake, please speak.