For contractors, social media is a virtually cost-free way to spread the word and find new business—if you do it right. Having a strong social media presence means you’ll get more calls and more qualified leads, clients who are ready to schedule your next job.
To help, Spahn & Rose asked the internet marketing experts at Cedar Rapids, Iowa–based Informatics to share some of their top tips for securing more leads through social media. Here are seven:
Whether your social media presence is as simple as a Facebook page for your business or as complex as a website that coordinates multiple social media platforms, posting regularly increases your likelihood of generating qualified leads. “A good rule of thumb is three times a week, to drive web traffic and educate people about your services,” says Sara Kuennen, Informatics’ Digital Marketing Project Manager. You could post about a renovation or new building you’ve completed, or about a service or specialty you offer. A good way to stick to a regular schedule is to outline your content a month or quarter ahead of time. Also, before you hit the “post” button, proof your text to be sure it’s free of errors and conveys the correct message.
Pay (a Little) for Facebook Ads
A typical Facebook feed will reach only about 2 percent of those who already follow you. To reach new people, consider paid Facebook advertisements. You can specifically target certain demographics, such as recently married or new homeowners. Kuennen suggests allocating a budget of $100 to $200 a week, then monitor the results of different types of ads over the course of a month.
Respond to Good Reviews (and Bad Ones, Too)
Whether you’re on a social media platform such as Facebook or a site like Angie’s List, Kuennen recommends always responding to reviews, whether favorable or unfavorable. For a good review, thank the customer and mention that you enjoyed doing the job. Respond to negative comments by saying you’d like to solve the problem offline. Prompt replies show that you’re responsive to customer feedback of all kinds.
Create a Strong Profile
First, read the profile guidelines for whichever social-media platform you’re using. Every platform has different specifications for cover photos and profile requirements. Select a high-quality profile photo that’s sized to the dimensions of the platform. Be sure to clearly display your phone number, email and mailing address. Fill out the “About” section thoroughly, sharing information about your areas of expertise.
Avoid Insider Jargon
Keywords in your profile and posts matter. When someone is looking for a contractor, homebuilder or renovation expert, they may not use the same insider industry jargon to look for services. “Put yourself in a customer’s shoes,” Kuennen says. “Ask other customers, family and friends what they search for when looking for the kinds of contractor services you offer.” One example: A customer looking for someone to “mud the wall” might in fact be referring to spackling.
Respond Quickly When Contacted
Your Facebook post about a recent kitchen renovation you completed drew the attention of several homeowners looking for the same thing—great! But if you don’t answer their calls, emails or texts, those potential clients may move down to the next contractor on their list. Social media platforms offer businesses tools such as automatic chat responses, enabling you to respond automatically and immediately to someone seeking to hire you. In any event, mention in your social media profile how soon you’ll return calls—the sooner the better.
Ask for Shares
After you finish a job, ask your clients to post reviews or share their experience on social media. Ask as well if you can share photos of the project online—before-and-after photos, for example, or even shots of pleased customers with the completed project in the background. Another option: Offer clients a reward, such as a gift card or a percentage off future work, for referrals.