In today’s socially connected world, it’s important to use social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, YouTube, etc.) to promote your business, products, and services. Some of the most successful businesses use social media effectively as a marketing channel to build brand awareness, generate leads, build customer loyalty and provide added value to customers.
Per Statista, an online research/statistics site, the average American spends 137 minutes per day browsing social networks and 74% of people online consider social media before making a purchase. When you think about it, marketing your HVAC contracting business through social media is much like using “word of mouth” referrals, which has always been a staple of a successful HVAC business.
In this increasingly consumer-engaged business environment, If you want to reach new customers online, you quite simply must have a social media presence.
Here are a few tips on how you can use social media to grow your business in 2017 and beyond:
Setup social media profiles on the major social sites for your company:
- Google Plus
Delegate someone to manage your social media – Setting up your social media accounts is easy, but keeping them up to date can be a time-consuming task. Since you and your office staff are probably already quite busy, it may be a good idea to hire someone part-time or outsource the management of your social media program to a professional social marketing firm or consultant.
Send an email blast to your existing customer database – Ask them to connect with you on social media. Offer them a special incentive to “Like,” “Follow,” and/or “Subscribe” to your company’s pages, such as:
- Discount off next purchase
- Discount for their friends and family
- Something of value for FREE
Add social media to your day-to-day business practices -Systematically invite your customers to engage with you online.
- Add links to your business cards, brochures, marketing materials, website and email signature.
- Be sure to invite all of your customers to engage after their service with a follow-up email or as an insert on your invoice.
Focus on Facebook first – Statista estimates that 65% of online adults use Facebook, so you should focus on making sure your Facebook page is engaging and reflective of your business. Be sure to include:
- Informative posts (educational posts that link to articles about your industry)
- Direct links to your site (link to sales, blog posts, etc.)
- Funny or interesting posts (pictures, jokes, famous quotes)
- Call to action specials (Have you had your ducts cleaned lately? Call us today!)
Develop and post valuable content – This may be the most important component of your social media strategy. If you have thousands of fans and followers but don’t add anything of value, you will have accomplished nothing. Be sure to post relevant updates, tips, ideas, techniques, news and special promotions on a daily basis. Try to keep 90 percent of your posts informational and 10 percent (or less) promotional. In addition, consider developing a blog and posting it on your website. The blog should feature articles about products, services, trends, DIY tips, and other information that is relevant to the HVAC industry. An informational blog is one of the best resources you can use on social media. It can help stir up conversations about your products and services and drive traffic straight to your website. After you post a new blog, share it with your followers on social media. You can even pose questions afterward to get them to start talking about it online.
Engage with your customers – You will need to stay on top of your social media profiles and engage with your fans/followers if/when they post on your profile or reply to your posts. Always respond when customers ask questions or make comments that can benefit from a response. Don’t avoid dealing with negative comments from your followers by deleting them or arguing with them online. Always strike a positive tone and offer to take any controversial issues offline to ensure that you are showing a willingness to deal fairly with customer complaints.
Fan-only incentives – One of the best things you can do to entice your customers to follow you (and keep following you) on social media is to offer them fan-only incentives. Set the expectation that if they follow you on Facebook and Twitter, they’ll have specials and coupons delivered straight to their news feed just because they are your fans. Set aside a new coupon or special every month that you can offer specifically to your social media followers to make them feel like a member of your exclusive group.
Real-life photos- Your techs see a lot of interesting things while they’re on the job. Encourage your techs to snap photos they see while working or before and after photos of a project. Use that as a way to show off your work and show your followers how your products look and function. You can also post photos of a birthday celebration or a company-wide meeting or event. Use those photos as a chance for your followers to meet you and your staff and showcase your facilities.
Reach Out to New “Friends” – When someone follows you on Facebook, Twitter or Google+, acknowledge them in a post. They will like seeing that you noticed they started following you and it will encourage them to continue to engage with you.