Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business
Esther on Alignable writes: “How do you use social media to get the word out about your contracting company?”
Hi Esther. You received a lot of answers on Alignable. I’d probably be safe in assuming you have more questions now than when you started.
Typically, when someone offers a “one thing can fix everything” solution, they have an agenda. The product they want to sell may or may not line up with your business needs.
I’ll be transparent right up front. We are a digital marketing company, but not all my suggestions involve our services.
Should I Be On Social Media?
Many small businesses jump on social media because of the false assumption that it’s free.
While there may not be a fee to put up a Facebook page or LinkedIn profile, it does take time, effort and expertise to get results. How much you’re able to do depends on whether you’ve got a ton of time to invest or the budget to hire an expert.
It’s important to understand that nothing happens in a vacuum. Social media works together with your website, online reviews, offline advertising and face-to-face networking.
That said, there are over 2 Billion people on Facebook right now. It’s a safe bet that 98% of your customer are there, too.
When working with local contractors and trades-people, we recommend a four-pronged approach.
1. Referral Networking
If you provide local services, get into a local referral networking group.
I recommend BNI as they’re hyper-focused on referrals, extremely loyal to their members and each chapter is exclusive to one person from each business category. Contact us if you’re in the local area and I’ll let you know about our group.
Other groups include the local Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, or volunteer groups. They key is build relationships with other members who can refer you to their own clients.
2. Reviews, reviews, reviews!
Whenever you get a referral, the first thing that person does is look up reviews. If yours are bad, or worse non-existent, you will not get that business.
Fresh reviews online are the third most important ranking factor on Google. And they’re the single most important factor for potential customers when deciding whether to call.
Need Reviews? Escape Plan’s Reputation Management Suite helps you automatically generate, monitor and respond to customer reviews online.
3. Get Your Website in Order
Make sure your website looks credible, showcases your work and functions on all device types.
Forget DIY website builders or that nerdy kid next door. Just like your own customers need a professional contractor, you need an experienced web developer to get professional results.
What Should I Expect from a Professional Web Designer?
- Your website will work great on any device
- The design will look professional and focus on customer needs
- It can be read by humans and search engines
- Under the hood, your site will be optimized for speed and performance
- The site will make it easy for customers to do business with you
4. Post and listen on social media.
Facebook isn’t email. And it’s not a billboard on the side of the road, either.
Social media channels should be treated as a tool for building customer relationships. If all you ever post is “buy my services,” people will completely tune you out. On the other hand, if you never mention your services, you’re just giving out free information.
What to Post
- Take good quality pictures* of finished jobs and encourage the customers on those jobs to share.
- Share articles from other sources relevant to your client base.
- Occasionally post special offers or other sales-related content.
How to Listen
You can set Facebook to buzz your phone whenever somebody asks a question or leaves feedback.
Answer quickly. Every time.
The same can be done with Twitter and other social channels.
*Pro Tip: Don’t forget to clean up before taking pictures. Nobody’s impressed by trash buckets and nail guns laying around.
Bonus: Team Up for Maximum Results
I know that seems like a lot, because it is.
Fortunately, Escape Plan Marketing can help. We can manage your online reviews, social media & blog content, and your overall web presence — including lightning fast hosting and keeping everything up to date.
Contact us today for a free website checkup.
Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time. -George Bernard Shaw
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