Most people get into the home improvement or construction business because they like the work. There’s something satisfying about demoing a whole kitchen or bathroom and building a new one in its place. Ironically, though, as your contracting business grows, your work takes on a completely different form. Take marketing, for instance. You may have never imagined yourself writing newsletters or designing a website or posting to social media, but here you are.
And no matter how alien it might seem at first, you’re making the right move. It’s no longer possible for construction pros to operate without an online presence. Marketing researchers show that consumers are doing a lot more online research before they buy—and that includes home improvement purchases. Word-of-mouth recommendations are still important, of course, but they’re increasingly offset by online reviews and photos.
So where does social media fit into that equation? Its purpose is twofold. One, it expands your reach to generate new leads. And two, it helps you create a more authentic connection with clients. After all, when clients are able to see the beautiful spaces you create and hear from the customers you help, it’s a huge vote of confidence. It’s even better when they feel like there are real people behind your brand, fueling your decisions and driving your client relationships. Of course, that’s easier said than done. Here’s how it all breaks down.
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Generate Social Media Profiles on the Major Platforms
This may seem obvious, but it’s overlooked so frequently that it bears mentioning anyway. And if you already have them, make sure to fill them out—it takes more than one account to project a professional image. On your Facebook page, for instance, you need a profile picture and a banner photo as well as a website address, contact info, and your operating hours. On Twitter, you’ll need a profile photo, banner photo, company description, website, and location. Don’t forget about social reviewing sites like Google and Yelp! You’ll want to generate profiles here, too.
Follow the 40-40-20 Rule for Interactions
The tricky thing about social media is promoting yourself without being too overtly sales-y. Think about how you feel when a company is putting the hard sell on you. It’s uncomfortable, especially if you’re still examining your options. Most of us don’t like to be the subject of an ongoing sales pitch, and on social media, where customers get to tailor their experience, it’s easier than ever for potential customers to tune you out. That’s why marketing pros recommend you follow the 40-40-20 rule for offers. This golden ratio states that you spend 40% of your time posting helpful information, 40% directly interacting with customers, and 20% promoting your brand. That way, you’re offering customers some value in exchange for getting to bend their ear.
No Platform Is an Island
Social has its own unique quirks, to be sure. But it shouldn’t exist in a vacuum. Your reach is greatest when you market across platforms. That might mean you promote content from your monthly newsletter, with a link to join. Or perhaps you’re featured in an ad and ask your followers to look for it. One of social media’s greatest strengths is that it’s free to use, so you should use it to your advantage.
Share Your Expertise
One of the easiest ways to create seamless cross-platform integration is to use social media to promote content. To do that, you’ll first need content to promote. Luckily, you’re already an expert in your field, with lots of insider knowledge. For many construction professionals, a how-to video is the obvious answer. Thanks to autoplay features, video is gaining a lot of popularity across social media lately—a trend you can capitalize on. A lot could be written about video production, but the key points are to keep it short, punchy, and light-hearted.
Easier said than done, right? But seriously, one of the powerful aspects of social media is its informality. It’s a chance for you to showcase the lighter side of your business. So go ahead, post pictures of the “company dog” (hey, if it works for Amazon, it can work for you too!). Share that weird roundup of the best buildings with “faces.” Get your audience in on your company pranks, jokes, and parties. Who knows, you may even grow to like marketing.