When it comes to a social media plan, in almost every industry the #1 Question seems to be “How can I possibly use Social Media to grow my revenues.” The first new client request is almost always “Please show me how to create a positive ROI (return on investment) using social media.”
Unfortunately small, independent, residential field service industry providers don’t have a lot of extra time or money to invest in creating a social media plan. this article should help.
In previous articles we addressed the Commercial Construction Industry specifically the B2B market. For this article we will focus our attention on Residential Field Service Providers. Service Professionals like plumbers, electricians, HVAC technicians, lawn maintenance & handyman services, maid services, window washers, etc..
Is Social Media Important to Electricians or Plumbers?
We recently attended a Home & Garden Trade Show where we polled the service providers present. The question we asked was “Do you use social media to promote your goods & services? & How are your Social Media Marketing efforts effecting your bottom-line?”
Admittedly most of the professionals we asked “Got It” they were on top of things and had no complaints or major problems. After all they were spending $1000’s to be there, they better have it together.
However, the remainder of smaller vendors (about 30%) had that deer in the headlights look. Here were some of their typical questions and objections;
- How does this social media stuff apply to my handyman business?
- I just mow lawns and install sprinklers, I don’t have time for that stuff.
- I get my customers come from word of mouth referrals, I don’t need that. (DUH!)
- Can social media help grow my service calls, and get more repeat business?
- How do I create a Social Media Plan that won’t break my bank?
- I don’t have an expensive camera, will cell phone videos be good enough?
As you can see, there is some confusion. We explained that the answer is almost always YES! We followed up with “We can show you how.” Here are some important items to consider.
Create a Social Media Plan
Whether you own a HVAC, electrical, plumbing, cleaning, janitorial or lawn care company your services are not required on a daily basis. It is important to keep your brand and company visible, so when services are needed, potential customers always think of you first.
Marketing Ideas Residential Field Service Industry Providers
Some social networks are better suited for specific industries, such as the relationship connection between Pinterest and retail. Retailers love social media, because it provides them with free word-of-mouth advertising as well as fostering better relationships with customers.
Showcase your Facebook and Twitter Content
Facebook and Twitter are great starting points to showcase project work.
Facebook prefers pictures and videos over other posts. A picture or video post has a higher likelihood of appearing on your fans’ news feeds.
Customers tend to respond more positively to pictures and videos, as it makes the connection feel more personal.
Having a dedicated business page on Facebook is a MUST. It will allow you access to hundreds of thousands of potential clients and customers in your geographic area.
You can talk about the services you provide, offer real-time quotes for projects that individuals may need, and most importantly show your personality.
Leverage YouTube Videos and your Company Blog
The easiest, and perhaps most obvious way to do this is to create videos or video blogs as part of your media campaign.
These videos can take the shape of almost anything that details stories of your company. They can tell the origin story of your company, video tours of a few completed projects and highlight the best features of your product.
Don’t forget to create content based on the products or services and testimonials by your customers.
If you are a residential field service provider you could take advantage of the popular DIY trend by providing “how to” Tip of the Week or Tutorial Project videos on your company YouTube channel and Home Improvement tips on your company blog.
Pinterest and Instagram Image Based Marketing
“A picture paints a thousand words.” Companies that work in a visual medium or in the business of design can profit from the emergence of image based social media applications like Pinterest, Instagram to build a profile and reputation and remain relevant.
“A picture paints a thousand words.” Pinterest, Instagram help build your profile, reputation and remain relevant.Click to tweet
Image based marketing offers lots of opportunities to residential field service providers. Here are a few things you can do about Creating Social Media Plan to improve your brand awareness and social media marketing on Pinterest and Instagram.
- Integrate the Pinterest Save button across your site. This way, people can easily save and share your projects for easy reference later.
- Use boards and collections to organize your projects to guide visitors and help them with their research.
- Add the Follow-On-Pinterest button to all newsletters and articles to encourage readers to become a part of your Pinterest community.
- Promote certain pins to increase your reach to a wider and targeted audience.
- Incorporate hashtags to categorize your projects and make it easier for non-followers to do research on your business.
- Test and learn by trying different caption lengths that offer enough information to tell the project story.
- Consider using a watermark for company photos. This will help with brand recognition and credit for your own images.
- Promote your business directly from Instagram.
To increase your overall audience reach you should build communities on each platform. Connect your Pinterest and Instagram accounts to your Facebook, this will show followers that you have a presence on those platforms. Promote your new YouTube videos using Twitter and cross post on your Google+ account.
Use Online Reviews to Select Residential Service Providers
For residential field service providers to succeed with tight margins they MUST get good reviews on the major review websites. Sites like Home Advisor, Angies List, Google+ Yelp all play a huge roll in your success.
In fact according to this recent survey, eighty-six percent of respondents would pay more for a residential service provider with higher ratings and reviews.
Key Findings from that survey;
- A majority of respondents (68 percent) say they find online reviews to be “extremely” or “very valuable” when evaluating residential service providers.
- Eighty-six percent of respondents would pay more for a residential service provider with higher ratings and reviews.
- The most important information respondents look for in online reviews is the quality of service provided (87 percent) and cost (78 percent).
- Fifty-six percent of respondents say they used online resources to find their most recent residential service provider.
- The majority (74 percent) of respondents in our sample consult Yelp when selecting a residential service provider.
By properly managing your social media accounts, you can capitalize on this trend and generate more business with positive word of mouth reviews.
Many contractors get referrals through word of mouth and other social communications. It makes sense then, to use social channels to find more business.
Relationship Marketing Creating Social Media Plan that Works
Creating Social Media Plan is not rocket science folks. It’s simply taking human interaction to another level and if you’re not engaging with your potential customers you’re missing out. They want to talk about the challenges they’re facing in their homes and you have solutions to these challenges!
It’s relationship marketing 101 – reaching out to and engaging them in a way that highlights your company values and commitment to excellence. It also helps enhance your credibility and builds trust, so people turn to you when they need service.
In addition to being a vehicle for talking with your target market, your Social Media Plan and level of social media engagement influences how your website ranks with the search engines. “Tweets” and “re-tweets” help to increase your ranking, along with Facebook, blogging, YouTube, etc.
BONUS – Top Professional Social Manager Tips
Monitor your competition to stay current with home service business trends. Knowing what your direct competitors are saying on social media is extremely important.
Manage your brand’s reputation online and on social media. Do you know what people are saying about your business on Yelp? Google? handle any issue before it becomes out of control.Review: In this article, we discussed what it takes to create b2B brand awareness plan. Here we explored what types of content will generate engagement and leads on your social network and ultimately make your construction industry social media marketing produce results. I suggest you read both of those.