Is Your Marketing Ready for the Busy Season?

It’s officially spring, and that means the beginning of the busy season for HVAC professionals. To ensure that your business will be poised to enjoy success, you should put a marketing plan in place to make sure your business is top of mind with customers who need your service. Here are some tips for developing your marketing plan:

  1. Establish Your Marketing Budget & Lead Tracking System
    Before you get started, it’s a good idea to establish a marketing budget to ensure that you know how much you can afford to spend on marketing initiatives. A good rule of thumb for establishing the budget is to dedicate 4-6% of your sales toward marketing. After you have the budget, you should establish a way to track the leads generated to make sure your plan is working. There are many automated marketing tracking platforms that you can use that will provide analytics and reports to make sure your channels are working, so that you can easily adjust if something is not providing the expected results.
  1. Determine Your Best Marketing Channels
    After you have determined your marketing budget, the next step is to evaluate the best marketing and advertising channels that would best suit your business and market. The most successful advertising channels in the HVAC industry include community newspaper ads, radio, cable TV, direct mail, online listings (Yelp, Angie’s List, HomeAdvisor, Houzz, etc.), social media, digital banner ads and your company website. As you shop around for different advertising opportunities, request information about the number of readers or viewers your ad could reach to determine the best options.
  1. Develop a Promotional Offer
    It’s always a good idea to consider offering a discounted offer, such as a “Get Ready for Summer” tune-up service so that potential customers are aware of your company and they can call before it gets busy. This type of promotional offer is a great way to establish brand name awareness in the market, perform a much-needed check up on their system, and prevent a more urgent call in the busy season. In addition, customers who take advantage of a discount offer are more likely to promote your service to their friends personally and on social media.
  1. Update Your Website – Optimize for Mobile
    Websites are a valuable channel for displaying your work, explaining the services you provide, highlighting financing options, showing your certifications and industry credentials, and showcasing the value of your business. Now’s the best time to make sure that your website is updated to showcase your best work and highlight promo offers, staff credentials and experience.

    Almost 70% of people use their mobile devices to search for products and services, which means that it is highly likely that your potential customers are doing the same. You should make sure that your website is optimized for mobile responsiveness – meaning that your website should adjust to fit the device being used to view it. Research shows that most users will abandon a website if it is not mobile-friendly.

  1. Enhance Your Social Media
    Pew Internet Research found that roughly 71% of people online use Facebook. Online word-of-mouth is now one of the best ways to promote your business. Setting up and regularly updating a local Facebook business page enables users to engage with your business. The social media outlets you use should depend on the kind of customer you want to target and the niche you serve. If you only work on large industrial systems (as opposed to home HVAC systems), consider using LinkedIn to target other business owners with HVAC needs.

Once you have your marketing plan in place, we look forward to providing your team with all the products and equipment you will need for the busy season. Visit www.source1hvacsupply.com to find your local store today!

ARE YOUR TRUCKS READY FOR THE BUSY SEASON?

With the busy season coming, it’s important to make sure that your company trucks are in good mechanical condition and well-stocked with all the parts, tools, and products to make sure your technicians can perform the necessary repairs as quickly as possible and maximize their time at each service appointment. This will reduce trips to suppliers, prevent callbacks, and increase productivity during the busy season.

For a service department to run smoothly and efficiently, trucks must be well stocked with the proper tools to diagnose problems, detect dangerous conditions, and make fast accurate repairs as well as a strategic list of parts that are likely to be needed. Technicians cannot sell parts they don’t have. Too often, a technician will see the opportunity to make additional repairs or upsell but won’t because they don’t have the parts. Rather than come back later, they just don’t mention the opportunity to the client. To ensure that your techs don’t miss these selling opportunities, here is an easy plan to make sure your trucks are ready for busy season:

1. Establish a Truck Stock List
You should create a truck stock list that includes parts and supplies that each technician will need based on the technician’s level of experience, expertise or truck configuration. Since trucks may differ in their capacity for storage, you should make sure that your truck stock list takes that into consideration. Ideally, you should keep enough inventory in your trucks that the tech should only need to restock once per week during the busy season.

2. Create a Tool Requirement List
Since the HVAC industry is very tool-intensive, it is important that you establish a clear written policy of what tools your technicians are expected to own and which ones the company will provide and how those tools are to be managed and replaced on your trucks. After you have determined the tool policy, you should create a list of tools that all technicians will be required to have in their possession. This list should be determined by job title or function to ensure that your technicians have the right tools based on their knowledge, expertise and experience level.

In addition, it is important to establish rules for who is financially responsible for tools that are lost or broken. Having the correct tools and diagnostic equipment on your trucks will increase the efficiency and overall profitability of your service calls.

3. Track Inventory by Warehouse and Bin
Since the truck inventory is a big part of your business expense, it is important to track truck inventory by vehicle, warehouse, and bin location so that you can have an accurate accounting, as well as by the cost of the inventory and the labor cost to determine your overall ROI. To keep it consistent and easy to track, each truck should be organized as similarly as possible based on the experience/job title of the technician. You may consider using one of the various HVAC business management software programs that makes tracking inventory by warehouse and truck quick and easy. Through the use of these types of programs, you can easily place orders with your local Source1™ HVAC Supply Center and can reduce trips to pick up supplies, increasing your productivity and profitability. In addition, by using online software programs, technicians will be able to see what parts (and equipment) are on which trucks to make sharing resources possible.

4. A Simple Reordering System
If you use mobile software, you will have some type of automatic reordering system or reports that will make the process easy. Since these platforms are online, technicians will have instant access to the inventory re-stocking information, which will allow them to better manage their service appointments – improving productivity, shortening service call times and increasing overall customer satisfaction.

If you are still using paper, you should come up with a simple, user-friendly system for your technicians to notify the purchasing manager to place an order for parts. A simple removable labeling system for all parts on the truck could be used. When the part is used, the technician would remove the label and place it on the service order. Your office can then use the service orders to create a re-stocking list and place an order over the phone. At the conclusion of your weekly meeting, each technician can pick up their box of restock items.

For restocking purposes, keep at least one full truck list of parts in your office or warehouse. You will draw on that list as necessary to avoid ordering from a supplier more often than necessary.

Source1™ HVAC Supply has all the parts, tools and products you need to keep your trucks fully stocked throughout the year. To prepare for the upcoming busy season, visit www.source1hvacsupply.com to find your local dealer and get started with your truck stocking plan today!

IS YOUR TEAM READY FOR THE BUSY SEASON?

cropped-cropped-source1-logo1.jpgThe summer season is upon us, and your customer service staff and technicians will soon be working long days and nights to keep your customers happy and their HVAC systems running smoothly. Being busy is a great thing, since it means that your business is having a successful and profitable year. However, when your staff gets overwhelmed, they can sometimes forget to follow basic customer service and safety guidelines that are important to the success of your business. Before your crew gets too busy, make sure to hold some training sessions to reinforce company policies around customer service and business operations. Following are some tips to share with your team:

Tips for Your HVAC Technicians

  1. Wear your gloves – To prevent refrigerant burns, cuts and potential electric shock, make sure you are wearing your gloves. Make wearing them a habit and you can minimize the possibility of cuts, burns or other issues that could seriously damage your hands.
  2. Safety glasses  They may not be attractive, but safety glasses are very important and can save you from flying debris, spewing refrigerant, oil or steam. Putting on your safety glasses before you do any work on an HVAC or refrigeration system is critical to preventing damage to your eyes.
  3. Proper placement of ladders Your extension ladder is an important part of your job. However, if it is improperly placed, it can be a real health hazard. Don’t be in a hurry to set up the ladder. Make sure it extends at least one foot for every three feet of height. This will prevent you from falling backwards. Also, make sure that the ladder extends at least three feet above the floor.
  4. Gas cylinders in trucks In the summer, your company truck can reach temperatures of 100 degrees and above. Combine that heat with a cylinder of R410A and you end up with a pressure of 366 psig. A large cylinder may be 1500 square inches, bringing the total pressure inside the cylinder to 549,000 psig. In these hot temperatures, if it falls and is damaged, the cylinder can take off like a rocket.
  5. Summer attire  If you wear cotton undershirts, you should try sweat-resistant athletic undershirts for the summer. They absorb the moisture in your skin and allow your pores to breathe.
  6. Hydrate to beat the heat The best way to keep yourself alert and stay safe this summer is to drink water or other electrolyte-rich drinks constantly throughout the day. You should avoid sugary, high caffeine drinks, as they will give you a temporary energy boost, but don’t provide the necessary electrolytes your body needs when working in the heat.

Tips for Your Customer Service Staff

The customer service person answering calls is the customer’s first impression of your company. Here are some tips to ensure that your customer service staff is ready for the busy season:

  1. Proper staffing Make sure you have assessed the call volume and have a staffing plan that will ensure you have a live person answering the telephone. When customers are dealing with a hot home or business and need their AC repaired, they want to speak to someone to make sure they will be getting their service call handled quickly.
  2. Always answer with a smile – The way you answer the phone forms the first indication of how you conduct your business. When it’s hectic and the phones are ringing off the hook and you’re dispatching lots of calls, it’s easy to carry that “negative tone” over to the next call. Make sure to stop for a few seconds and smile before answering the phone. The customer will feel the warmth and will become more relaxed too.
  3. Stay on script – When you’re busy, it’s easy to forget the training and cut corners on how to deal with customers. But, it’s more important than ever to keep the company procedures and policies nearby, so you can answer a customer’s questions quickly, efficiently and with confidence.
  4. Remain calm – but keep a sense of urgency It is critical that you remember that your customer’s home or business is very uncomfortable in the heat and they have a need for immediate relief. Even though that may not be a reality, you have to show the customer empathy about the situation and share their sense of urgency to respond to your customer’s needs.
  5. Prepare the customer for the service call Make sure the customer understands what to expect at the service call so that they have realistic expectations. If the customer is describing a situation where there could be a complete replacement, explain to them what that could entail. Rely on the marketing materials and company procedures for diagnosing a problem to assure the customer that their service call will be done as quickly and efficiently as possible.
  6. Use your authority to handle issues Always look at ways to provide customer satisfaction without “bending the rules,” but also try to avoid having to escalate issues if you can. If you feel that you don’t have the proper authority to satisfy a customer’s needs, make sure that your manager is aware of the issue so that new policies can be established to ensure that customers are given the best answer, as quickly as possible.

For more helpful hints on how to prepare your business for the busy season and stock up on all the parts and supplies your technicians will need to service your customers, please visit www.source1HVACsupply.com.

2018 AHR EXPO TRENDS

The trends that continue to doAHR Expominate the HVAC industry in 2018 include developing products designed to assist homeowners and commercial building owners/managers in managing their energy use, using smart-enabled energy management devices, improving indoor air quality, and providing more sustainable home and work environments.

The AHR Expo (International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition) is the world’s largest HVACR event, attracting more than 2,000 exhibitors and 65,000+ attendees every year. Since 1930, the show has provided a unique forum for the entire HVACR industry, including OEMs, engineers, contractors, manufacturers, distributors, educators, and commercial, industrial and institutional facility operators to come together and discover the latest products, learn about new technologies and develop mutually beneficial business relationships. This year’s show, co-sponsored by ASHRAE and AHRI, was held Jan. 22-24, 2018 at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL.

At the AHR Expo, manufacturers and vendors introduced thousands of new or upgraded products, systems and technologies that are intended to make it easier for HVAC contractors and technicians to provide excellent service, increase productivity and allow for residential and commercial building owners to maximize their HVAC system’s energy efficiency with ease.

The solutions presented at the show comprised a wide variety of categories, from indoor air quality to software, and addressed the interests of contractors, engineers, wholesalers/distributors, facility managers and owners/operators. With the wide variety of products and new technologies, these innovations are expected to touch every corner of the HVAC/R industry.

Manufacturers and vendors exhibited a wide range of products that contractors will want to learn more about, such as:

  • VFDs (variable frequency drives) for HVAC systems designed for building automation applications that will help minimize energy costs and maximize comfort and sustainability.
  • An oscilloscope for easier testing of motor shaft voltages to allow contractors to determine if motors are at risk of premature bearing failure.
  • A self-contained HVAC system designed to prevent an explosion by using only non-arcing components for use in hazardous locations.
  • New electrical test meter technology for reliable, true-RMS measurements for ease of use in crowded junction boxes or along conductors with inaccessible end points.
  • Enhanced software that allows engineers and designers to create complex hydronic, steam, plumbing and VRF (variable refrigerant flow) systems along with air handlers, rooftop units and control schematics.
  • An array of tools, including heavy-duty wire strippers, thermal imaging Wi-Fi-enabled technology with a slim infrared camera with an integrated touch-screen, a handheld air particle counter for indoor air quality inspections, and a copper-based cleaning tool that removes contaminants from refrigeration and HVAC lines.
  • An upgraded Wi-Fi-connected thermostat that uses iOS or Android apps, plus email notifications and advanced voice control.
  • A digitally controlled mixing valve that provides fast, accurate temperature control for residential hot water systems.
  • A new bionic impeller technology with a special blade design, modeled after the tubercles on a whale, to ensure optimized airflow and reduced flow separation.

As a leader in the HVAC/R industry, Source 1™ HVAC Supply prides itself on its ability to stay abreast of current trends. In addition to showcasing the YORK® line of equipment as part of the Johnson Controls family, our representatives attended the 2018 AHR Expo in Chicago with the intention of making sure that the procurement team visited the booths offering new products and technologies that can make our contractors’ businesses more profitable and their jobs easier. The management team at Source 1™ HVAC Supply is currently reviewing many innovative products for their relevance to their customers and will be looking to add new solutions to our line, as they see a demand.

New Year’s Resolutions to Ensure a Successful 2018 for HVAC Contractors

As 2017 winds down, it’s a great time to reflect on what worked and what didn’t in your HVAC conimage copytracting business this year. As we all know, running a successful business is more than a full-time job. It requires a commitment from ownership to stay fully engaged in all aspects of the business. To help ensure your success in the coming year, we’ve put together a list of New Year’s resolutions to help you and your management team stay on course to profits and productivity throughout 2018.

  1. Resolve to Ensure High Levels of Technical Competence — Working in the HVAC field requires extensive technical training to obtain appropriate licenses and certifications. It is also important that you support ongoing continuing education to ensure that your team is on the cutting edge of everything happening in the industry. Your local HVAC technical school can help you put together a training curriculum for your employees that will make it easy for them to stay abreast of industry regulations, technical changes and other career-enhancing classes they may need. In addition, manufacturers are happy to sponsor training sessions at your facility to assist your techs in learning how to install their new equipment. And of course, you can find lots of online classes for your techs at www.acca.org.
  2. Resolve to Set Goals — Every successful business owner understands the importance of goal setting. HVAC contractors should set short- and long-term goals for service revenue, maintenance revenue and product sales revenue that makes up the total revenue for the company. Based on these goals, you should set goals for gross profit and net profit. Make sure you share your goals with your entire team, not just management. Post them in the office for everyone to see and show progress toward the goals. By sharing the company’s goals and making everyone feel like a part of reaching them, you will be amazed how your entire team will rally around your success.
  3. Resolve to Create a Marketing Plan — It is critical to have a comprehensive marketing plan and budget to market your company to customers. Without a plan, most companies do ad hoc marketing to fill in sales gaps, which creates an uneven flow of leads into the sales funnel. Resolve in 2018 to create a comprehensive marketing plan and budget based on a percent of projected sales. Use 5% or less for low/no growth, 6% to 10% for growth, and more than 10% for aggressive growth. Plan your marketing tactics by month to create your monthly budget based on your goals for customer acquisition, customer retention and/or sales efficiency (i.e., boosting your average ticket). Your plan should contain your overall objectives, strategies, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and anticipated Return on Investment (ROI).
  4. Resolve to Develop a Staffing Plan — If you plan to aggressively grow your business in 2018, you will need the internal and external staff to achieve it. An easy way to look at this is to spread your sales from last year by month and look at the staff that was needed to produce your revenue. For 2018, you should spread your new revenue goals by month and consider how many additional staff members will be needed to produce the revenue projections. You will also need to estimate how long it will take you to recruit and train additional personnel and then develop a timeline for when they will be needed, so that you have a start date for recruiting.
  5. Resolve to Review Your Pricing — The new year is an ideal time to take a good look at your pricing and make sure that your company is offering competitive rates for your market. You will need to consider many factors, such as your raw costs for equipment, as well as personnel and other business expenses, such as overhead, sales and marketing operations, fleet/fuel costs, etc. Also take a look at competitor pricing and any value-add services they may be offering that factor into your customers’ buying decisions. Making sure that your products and services are appropriately priced will allow you to remain competitive yet profitable, and lay a firm foundation for growth in the coming year.
  6. Resolve to Get Involved with HVAC Trade Associations — As a professional HVAC contractor, you should take pride in participating with your local and national HVAC trade associations. These associations represent your interests before local and national government bodies and advocate on your behalf on issues that affect your business. Being active in a local and/or national association also gives you a chance to network with local industry peers and keep up with changes in the market and is a good source for finding new staff as you grow your business.
  7. Resolve to Attend National Industry Events — As part of your commitment to get more involved in the HVAC Trade Associations, you should consider making a resolution to attend national industry tradeshows and conferences. These are excellent ways to network with other contractors from across the country, identify potential products and services you can offer, discover what other contractors are doing, and to re-energize yourself. Select your events now and block them on your calendar. Buy your plane tickets and reserve your hotel room in advance to save money and lock in your commitment.
  8. Resolve to Add One New Product or Service — It’s important to make sure that you are offering the products and services your customers are looking for. Do some research and look at your top five competitors to see what they are promoting, how they are reaching their customers and what new products/services they are offering. Make it a goal to find at least one new product or service you can offer over the coming year and assign the task of developing a business plan for introducing it.
  9. Resolve to Become a Bigger Part of Your Community — All successful businesses understand the importance of being involved in their local communities. The best way to do that is by giving back in publicly visible ways. Some ideas to consider include the adopt-a-highway program, volunteer at food banks, donate to worthy causes when patrons of those causes use your company, join a local service club like the Rotary, Lion’s, Optimist or Kiwanis. These organizations are dedicated to helping the community whose members are community influencers. Participating in these types of clubs can be a way for you to give back to your community while also building your referral network.
  10. Resolve to Take a Real Vacation — One of the hardest things for HVAC contractors to do is to take the time to have a real vacation. But to keep yourself motivated and stay energized to meet all the challenges of running your business, you need to take time for yourself and your family. A vacation lets your mind change gears and allows your subconscious to work on problems creatively. By taking a vacation to somewhere outside of your daily routine, you will arrive at new solutions to old problems and you’ll find that the day-to-day routine will be a lot less daunting.

By making these resolutions, you are resolving to further the success of your business over the coming new year. From all of us at Source 1™ HVAC Supply, we wish you a happy and prosperous 2018!

Tips for Creating “Raving Fans” for your HVAC Business

If you’ve been in business for more than 20 years, you’ve probably heard about creating “raving fans.” This term was created by author Ken Blanchard in the mid-1990s to describe a customer who is so overwhelmed by the customer experience they’ve had that they can’t stop telling everyone about it. The benefits of creating “raving fans” are obvious, since they can be essential in making sure that your business is successful and continues to thrive. For this reason, creating these loyal customers is ultimately very important to your bottom line.Raving Fan graphic- Jpeg

In the HVAC business, ensuring that your customers would never consider using your competition is key. This is especially true in the winter months when business tends to slow down and customers can take more time to get multiple bids from HVAC companies before making a decision. Loyal customers are also a great source of new customers, as they will always refer your business when asked by friends, family, and colleagues. It’s not that difficult to create “raving fans” for your business. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Always keep your commitments. The old saying “your word is your bond” has never been more accurate in creating “raving fans.” If you tell a customer you are going to do something, you must deliver on your promise. Companies that make empty promises usually end up out of business. The best way to create customers who will become advocates for your business is simply to keep your commitments and promises. If a situation comes up that is out of your control making it impossible to honor your commitment, you must make sure to keep the customer informed and do everything you can to make it right.
  2. Educate your customers. You can create “raving fans” by providing them with information on what is happening with products and services on a regular basis. Let them know when new products or services are available, if a promotion is around the corner, or if there is an unexpected issue with a product so it can be repaired or replaced. Also, provide them with information about new trends in energy efficiency, smart home products and other ways they can manage their energy use and save money. Becoming a trusted energy and HVAC advisor will go a long way in ensuring that they turn to you when they need an HVAC company in the future.
  3. Always provide consistent service. Customers like to feel like they know what they are going to get when they deal with a business. It gives them a level of comfort and security and takes the guesswork out of the equation and creates loyalty. Create consistent policies, paperwork, procedures and even signage on your trucks and the way your tech staff uniforms look. This tells your customer that you are detail oriented about how you run your business, which gives them confidence in how their service will be performed.
  4. Acknowledge and fix problems. If you avoid customer complaints or issues they will start to avoid you. Honoring your commitment, educating the customer on what can be done, and making sure you are consistent will keep them coming back. Chances are they will tell their friends how well you handled the problem and generate more business for you.
  5. Go above and beyond. Always approach every customer interaction with a “let’s find the best solution” mentality. This means that you look at every angle of the customer’s situation and need and provide the highest quality solution that will benefit them, not just a “cookie-cutter” approach or one that provides you with more profit. Customers will appreciate that you are taking all the issues into consideration and listening to their needs and will return that with loyalty and referrals.
  6. Make your staff real believers. Some of your biggest critics can be your own employees. Work with your staff to make sure that they are completely on board with providing the highest customer service possible and ask for suggestions on how they can participate. A “top-down” strategy is sometimes not well received in the “trenches” when they are faced with a variety of issues. Engage your staff and solicit feedback on their “real world” experiences to ensure that every aspect of the operations is contributing to creating a positive customer experience
  7.  Internalize customer service processes. The best way to get your employees to embrace great customer service is through role-playing different situations. These exercises should only take a few minutes and should occur frequently. This allows employees to internalize the process and represent your business to the customer in a way that’s different from your competition — a way that the employees feel comfortable with.
  8. Empower employees to make customer service decisions.The answer to great customer service isn’t a locked-down process, but giving the right tools to employees so that they can make quick, intelligent decisions without permission is key. The secret of “raving fan” customer service is never letting a customer walk away with a problem unresolved. This means your employees need to solve a variety of problems, both large and small each day.

York Source 1™ HVAC Supply wants to help you create “raving fans” by providing you with all the support you need for your HVAC business as quickly and efficiently as possible. Visit www.source1hvacsupply.com to find your local store.

Using Social Media to Grow Your HVAC Business

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.

FB-f-Logo__blue_72Per 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:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Plus
  • Instagram

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.