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Social media best practices for the home services industryJune 19th, 2019 by
Social media can be a wonderful tool for fostering connections, both personal and professional, but like any other digital resource, it isn’t perfect. A digital faux pas is far more public than a misstep made in a face-to-face conversation, and it’s hard to convey tone in microscopic pixels.
But don’t let me scare you away from using social media platforms to advance your business! Whether you love social media or hate it, the reality for the home services industry is that a consistent, well-planned presence on the major social media platforms can have a positive impact on your company.
Because the internet is a public space, however, there are some best practices you should follow to ensure that your company makes the best impression possible. Keep reading for five important social media guidelines, and stick around for four tips for ensuring that social media doesn’t take up too much of your time.
5 social media best practices
Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a master of all things social media, you probably have a good idea of the basic cautions:
- Don’t post offensive things
- Don’t air your personal grievances on your company’s page or feed
- Don’t bad-mouth competitors, former clients, or former employees
It’s impossible to please everyone all the time, but following those cardinal rules will help keep your company’s social media presence drama-free.
If, however, you want to build your social media presence into a tool that you can use to attract leads and establish your company as a leader in your industry, you’ll need to put in a little more work. Follow these social media best practices to make the most of your accounts.
1. Be consistent.
Develop a posting schedule, and stick to it as best you can. Also aim for a consistent tone and voice for your posts in the various channels—this will help customers see your company as a steady, reliable organization.
2. Add value.
While you should post consistently, don’t make the mistake of posting just for the sake of following a schedule. Everything you put on your social media accounts should bring something to the consumer: useful information, handy tips and tricks, or inspiration for their own remodeling or home improvement projects, for example.
Remember to add value when you engage with customers or other sites, too. If you respond to a customer question or comment, whether you do so on one of your own posts or on a different feed or website, make sure that your comment is helpful.
3. Measure, measure, measure.
Marketing and social media can feel like working with a moving target at times. The good news is that you don’t have to wonder whether or not your efforts are successful.
Check your engagement statistics on the social media platforms you participate in, and take note of the posts that do especially well. Be sure to pay attention to the time and day of the week that you post, too, since timing can have a significant impact on engagement. Decide on the metrics that matter most to you—number of views, shares, or likes, for example—and record them in a spreadsheet. Use this spreadsheet to view trends and to determine whether certain types of posts perform better than others.
4. Encourage user-generated content.
The good thing about being a remodeling and home services contractor in the digital marketing world is that you don’t have to bear the burden of creating original content all by yourself. When you receive positive feedback about your company or customers share pictures of your work on their social media accounts, share those wins with your online audience (with permission, of course)!
Today’s consumers are no strangers to slick marketing materials; authentic content that comes from real people is harder to find and far more valuable.
5. Be yourself.
Facebook is no longer the realm of college students, and a quick wit isn’t a prerequisite for posting to Twitter. Your goal is to resonate with your customers, not the entire social media universe.
Don’t bend over backward trying to fit the newest slang and pop culture references into your online content if those types of things don’t come naturally to you. Authenticity in tone and voice is far more important than trying to show that you’re up on the latest linguistic trends.
4 tips for managing social media accounts
Managing one social media account is plenty of work; handling more than one can be overwhelming without the right tools. Here are a few tips to help you manage your company’s social media presence without losing your sanity.
1. Use a platform management tool.
Juggling multiple apps can be overwhelming, especially if you have other items on your to-do list. A social media platform management tool such as Hootsuite or Buffer creates a central dashboard that allows you to monitor and post to all of your company’s social media accounts from one location.
2. Know your audience.
As social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have aged, their purposes and typical users have become easier to define. The average Facebook user, for example, is beginning to skew older, while the typical Twitter and Instagram user remains firmly in the 18 to 29 age bracket.
The purpose of each platform is largely guided by the site’s or app’s design and any text or image limitations.
- Facebook is typically used to share and post information. Make sure that your company’s location, business hours, and contact information is available on this platform.
- Twitter is popular for time-sensitive updates and customer service-related issues. Monitor your company’s Twitter feed closely, and be prepared to promptly respond to tweets and direct messages.
- Instagram and Pinterest are almost exclusively visual platforms. If you decide to participate in either of these channels, you’ll need to have plenty of really great photos of your work.
3. Plan ahead.
You’ll have an easier time maintaining a consistent social media presence if you’re not scrambling for content every time you log in. Sit down with a calendar at the end of every month, and sketch out a rough plan for what you’ll post over the course of the next month.
You don’t have to post every day, but make sure that what you do post is high quality and brings something to your audience.
4. Be realistic.
Social media is not a magic solution that will instantly boost your revenue through the roof. As Rich Harshaw, an expert in marketing for the remodeling and home services industry, writes in his book Unlocking Unlimited Lead Flow, “Social media is about nurturing people along…if you are consistent in your efforts, over time you will steer people in your direction.”
Prioritize consistency and quality in your social media efforts, and be willing to make adjustments if your performance data indicates that something isn’t working as well as you’d like. In time, Rich notes, your company will become the go-to recommendation when your followers’ friends and acquaintances ask for the name of a contractor.
The bottom line
If you haven’t yet taken advantage of social media for your remodeling or home services business, you’re missing out. Keep these few guidelines in mind to make the most of your time and ensure that your company’s social media presence has the impact you want.
- Bring something to the table. Your posts should be helpful and informative for your audience.
- Make a plan. Think carefully about what you want to post over the course of a few weeks or a month, and put together content ahead of time.
- Know what works. Social media isn’t the equivalent of blindly throwing darts at a board and hoping one hits the target. Pay attention to performance metrics and make adjustments accordingly.
- Be patient. You won’t see an overnight difference in the number of leads coming in, but as long as you’re consistent, the long game will pay off.