How important is social media for contractors? In short: incredibly. Social media is the new word-of-mouth. You might label yourself as “old school” and believe that your reputation and referrals are enough to sustain your business … but did you know that Internet users spend more time on Facebook than they do on Google? Even if your website is appealing and easy to navigate – with all the bells and whistles you need to drive sales – you still need to engage consumers with social media posts.
Social Media Platforms: The Big Three
According to a study published by Media Bistro, Facebook has approximately one billion users and is a great way to attract customers in an unobstructed way. On Twitter, 5,700 million tweets happen every second; and LinkedIn has 240 million users with 79% of them being over the age of 35 – making it the business-oriented site that connects contractors with decision-makers.
Social Media for Contractors: Facebook
Of their pages, Facebook says, “Pages still matter — a lot. They offer a free, easy-to-maintain online presence for people to discover and learn about a business. They work across desktop, mobile and tablets without requiring any extra configuration, and contain complete information about a business. They also offer tools to create videos, photos and events that bring a business’ story to life.”
What many businesses may not realize is that Pages are an important destination for their current and potential customers. In October, for instance, nearly a billion people visited Facebook Pages. Of those visits, more than 750 million happened on mobile devices. Many businesses also use Pages as a customer service channel. Businesses should think about their Page as a cornerstone of their online identity, not simply as a publishing service. The businesses that are doing this well understand the discovery and communication that happens when people come to their Page.”
Fifty-two percent of Facebook business users say they’ve gained viable leads from regular posts.
Best practices tips:
- Make sure you upload a great profile image and a cover that reveals your business to viewers. An example for a plumber might be the business logo as the profile pic and a cover showing your business location with text that lists plumbing services you offer.
- The best times to post on Facebook are noon and 7:00 p.m. and it’s very easy to schedule posts on this site—even with images.
- Use Images – A post with just text isn’t engaging—use a relevant image!
- Follow the 80/20 rule – 80 Percent of your posts should be about your industry or tools that will help your customers. 20 Percent of your posts should be about your products and services. A good non-business post for a plumber would be to offer a sink-by-type comparison that would lead to a blog post or landing page.
Social Media for Contractors: Twitter
“By deeply integrating Twitter’s real-time content into Google search, we hope you find it easier than ever to explore your interests across both Twitter and Google,” said Jana Messerschmidt, vice president of global business development and platform for Twitter.
Best practices tips:
- With Twitter, you have to be innovative because you only have 140 characters to get your message across. You can find some examples of great tweets for businesses right from Twitter.
- With Twitter, you can also customize your profile image and background. Don’t choose a generic background, design your own or have someone design one for you.
- Don’t forget to attach images. Even if you’re using a social media sharing site like Hootsuite and see an image appear within Hootsuite, it doesn’t mean that image will appear in your tweets.
- If a trending topic is relevant to what you do as a contractor, join the conversation (being careful to never force it). Your tweets could potentially reach an even larger audience now, so make sure they’re good.
- Write questions into your tweets. If someone searches “why is there a water stain on my bedroom wall?” in Google, and that’s something you’ve tweeted along with a proper hashtag and link to content on your website, you might end up in someone’s Google search.
Social Media for Contractors: LinkedIn
This is the social media site where contractors can connect with decision-makers, especially in the commercial industry. Again, design your LinkedIn business page so it’s attractive and fill in your profile completely.
Best practices tips:
- Post pics of recent projects under the “products” section.
- List all of the services you offer and to what industry.
- Search for groups that would buy your contractor services and join them.
- Again, use that 80/20 rule when posting updates.
Join professional niche groups so that you can share ideas and converse with like-minded professionals