Here’s a question:
Why do your competitors enjoy a large and active social media following?
And why do you struggle to attract followers and engagement?
After all, you’re:
- Posting about your contractor business as much as possible (the more, the better)
- Letting people know about specials or deals whenever you have them
- Adding relevant pictures to your updates
Just like the other guys are doing.
So what gives? Why are people flocking and talking on their social pages while ignoring yours?
It’s because they’re using social media for more than just promoting their home improvement business.
And that’s how they’re getting a tangible WEB ROI from it; which is the focus of this week’s Money-Making Monday blog.
They use social media to build relationships. Are you?
Think about your personal social media pages (oh, and if you are mixing your personal and business posts, here’s why you should stop immediately).
Do you (or your friends) post the same thing over and over again?
Of course not. You post, comment and share on a variety of topics.
In other words, you have a conversation and develop relationships based off those conversations.
A successful business social media presence works the same way:
- It isn’t about selling all the time. It’s about revealing your company’s personality.
- It isn’t about your business. It’s about the people interested in your retail business
- It isn’t about being authoritative. It’s about being humorous, kind, thoughtful and more.
As an individual, you have different aspects to your character.
Your business does too. And social media is the best place to share them.
When people get to know you – and trust you – they’ll want to talk with you.
The more conversations you have, the better and stronger relationships you’ll develop with your social followers.
Here’s another way of looking at it: On Facebook, you become “friends” with someone or “like” a post or comment.
You don’t become “customers or prospects” and you don’t “purchase” posts or comments.
Eventually, when it’s time for them to purchase, say, landscape supplies, who do you think they’ll go to?
They create credibility and leadership on social media. Do you?
Let’s say one of your friends asks on Facebook “where’s the fastest place to get your passport renewed?”
And let’s say this is your answer:
- “The passport office in Hamilton is where I go. They have lots of people working, so lines move quickly. It’s located in Jackson Square with plenty of underground parking. And if you get your passport renewed there, they’ll validate your parking too. It’s so worth the drive.”
Because of your experience, you’ve established yourself as an authority.
Now let’s say someone on your HVAC contractor website asks “how often should I clean or replace my filters?”
Don’t say something like “schedule a service call with our team and we’ll be out right away to do that for you.” That makes you appear more interested in the sale than the customer’s question.
Instead, say something like:
- “To get the best from your air filters, you should clean or replace them once a month. To know for sure if they need replacing, a quick test is to simply take out and hold the filter. If you immediately cough or feel a tickle in your throat, then it’s time for a new one.”
Just like the passport example above, you’ve provided a helpful, beneficial response that answers a question.
You’ve shown yourself to be a credible expert who wants to help people.
Keep doing that and you will be the go-to resource for whatever industry you’re in.
Eventually, when it’s time for people to get their HVAC needs serviced, who do you think they’ll go to?
Not sure which social channels are right for your business?
Find out for sure. Register to attend Instagram, Google+, Facebook. Where Do I Post and When and How?
They invite conversation. Do you?
Talk to us.
When possible, create posts which ask your audience for their ideas, opinions and even advice.
It could be as something simple as “It’s a beautiful day; what do you like to do when you’re outside?”
Or it could be more oriented to your B2B company; maybe something like “What do you think of the government’s new regulations limiting the use of Freon in commercial refrigeration units. Good idea or bad idea?”
People don’t talk back to constant advertising or marketing.
Rather, they talk back to interesting people and engaging, thought-provoking questions.
And the more cool questions and inviting posts you share, the more people will respond and interact with them.
The bottom line is that people love talking to a company or business that’s engaged with them in memorable discussion.
(Just think about how cool it is when you Tweet a big brand, like say Coca-Cola and they Tweet back at you).
And eventually, when it’s time for people to purchase a product or service, who do you think they’ll go to?
They share things which aren’t about them. Do you?
If you only post things about your business, which were written by your business and are designed to simply promote your business, guess what?
People will ignore you.
The most successful companies on social media share information that’s helpful; regardless of the source.
That doesn’t mean sharing content from your direct competition.
It does mean finding stuff that’s relevant to your industry and letting people know about it (that’s called curating content).
Here are some examples:
- If you are a snow removal landscaper, you can share an article about the best way to use salt
- If you’re an eCommerce website selling water filters, share a video on the importance of water conservation in Africa
- If you’re a niche retailer, post a blog you found on the zaniest things you can purchase online
And it doesn’t have to be limited to industry-related stuff.
If you’ve discovered a great recipe, share it (there may be a foodie amongst your followers).
If you heard a great new band, share it (there may be a music lover amongst your followers).
Your social media followers have interests outside of your company. When you find something that’s cool, don’t keep it to yourself.
Share it and give credit to whoever developed that piece of content in the first place.
It shows people you have outside interests too besides promoting your business.
Eventually, when it’s time for people to purchase a product or service, who do you think they’ll go to?
Their posts are action-oriented. Are yours?
Whether it’s implied or directly stated, the best social posts ask your audience to do something.
Simply reading the post is just the start.
From there, you want to tell people to:
- Like or comment on a post
- Share a Tweet
- Enter a contest
- Contact you for more information
- Download a FREE guide
- Register for a webinar
- Use a hashtag
Just like a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign, social media marketing is designed to increase engagement and ultimately get people to become customers.
Unlike PPC, it’s a long-term process which needs to be done subtly and tactfully.
Asking for someone to please buy from you over and over again is desperate and annoying.
But sharing a thoughtful post & encouraging people to do something to further that post is the gold standard.
Simply put, the better your content and the bigger benefit people get from acting on it, the more likely they’ll be to repeat the process.
And eventually, when it’s time to make a purchase decision on something they need themselves, guess who they’ll contact?
Effective social media marketing isn’t about the hard sell.
And it isn’t about posting random, off-the-cuff content either.
It’s about making a plan to share the right things with the right people (your current followers and prospective followers).
Over time, those followers will know you, trust you and do business with you.
Want to start right now?
Contact us for a FREE consultation or call 1-877-7WEBROI.
We’ll meet with you, discuss your needs and determine how social media can help your business.