Engaging with your home improvement customers on social media can help build trust and credibility, and create sales in the long run.
Social media marketing is a necessary tool for any business today. People spend about two-and-a-half hours a day on social media, about the same amount of time they spend watching TV. So, if you don’t have the budget for TV ads, trying to reach people on social media makes sense, too.
However, tracking your return on investment with social media can take time and effort. Other businesses may boast that they’ve seen sales increase directly because of social media, which makes sense for e-commerce businesses or online shops. But your home improvement customers can’t click on a link in your post and make an immediate purchase, making the results you see from social media less direct.
But building a smart social strategy around relevant platforms can still be beneficial for your business.
CHOOSING RELEVANT PLATFORMS
Let’s tackle your first big decision regarding social media: Which platform(s) should you use?
You don’t need to be on every platform — and you probably shouldn’t be. That said, as an HVAC or home improvement contractor, you should at least invest in Facebook, even if you don’t use any other platform. Over half of Americans have a Facebook account, and it’s predicted that by 2027, 75% of internet users will be actively engaging on Facebook. Plus, many people check Facebook to see if a business is real, so keeping your profile up-to-date is essential.
As for other social media platforms? Depends on your audience. If you work in a college town, TikTok may be a good option to get your services in front of students. Or, if you work in a smaller community, NextDoor can be a great way to connect. Instagram provides opportunities to showcase before and after photos of projects, while offering broader reach — the platform is popular with Gen Z, millennials, and even a third of Gen X. Plus, Facebook and Instagram are owned by Meta, which allows you to post to both platforms at once, saving you time.
BUILDING TRUST WITH CUSTOMERS
Your services are likely a big-ticket purchase for your customers — and if you work in HVAC or plumbing, it’s likely an unplanned purchase, too.
There’s not much time between customers finding your business and you presenting them with a several-thousand-dollar estimate; they should feel confident they’re spending those dollars with the right business. Your social media presence can go a long way toward building up your credibility with potential customers.
Share Tips and Tricks
Building trust on social media can be as simple as sharing helpful tips and tricks here and there, especially as the seasons change. For example, HVAC contractors can remind followers to replace their air filters before allergy season, along with advice on how often they should replace them.
Home improvement contractors could share DIY tips for something simple or provide advice on something you notice people often do wrong or forget. Your customers likely don’t need professional services for something like, say, replacing a door, so it’s not like you’re hurting business.
Sure, sharing knowledge doesn’t lead to a direct sale. But customers can trust that you care about them and the health of their homes, not just about money. And while you should definitely promote your services on social media, posting educational tips and tricks can help balance out your feed and reinforce your credibility.
Share Customer Reviews
A social media strategy doesn’t involve just you posting on social media, either. Involve your customers. Ask customers who have been around for a while to write a review on your Facebook page or recommend your business in Facebook groups. Even if you’ve already commented on a post and recommended your business, customer recommendations hold more weight and can help you build trust.
You can also post customer reviews from your website or Google to social media. Between tips and tricks, company news, customer reviews, and sales posts, your feed will have a great variety of content.
Show Some Personality
Social media is a great way to highlight your personality and your business’s personality, especially since you don’t always have time to form relationships with every customer in person.
At FTL Finance, we know many of our contractors are involved with their families and local communities. So, get involved with them on social, too! Share exciting news with your online community, like employee anniversaries, birthdays, and certifications. Sponsoring a little league baseball team? Announce it on social. Your customers want to celebrate these things with you.
And be sure to also join community groups on Facebook and NextDoor. People are always looking for recommendations, and these can be an excellent place to plug your business while being involved with your community.
MEASURING SOCIAL MEDIA ENGAGEMENT
As we mentioned, it can be difficult for service businesses to attribute sales to their social media presence. But measuring social media engagement can give you a good idea of how visible your brand is to potential customers.
The number of likes, comments, shares, and followers on your social media profiles indicates how well each social media site benefits your business. For example, if you’re not getting as much engagement on NextDoor as you are on Facebook, you may consider focusing more attention and time on Facebook. Many platforms, like Facebook Insights and Instagram Insights, have resources to calculate your engagement rate for you.
You can also monitor your competitors’ social media engagement before investing time into a social media platform to see if that site is relevant to your business. For example, if ABC HVAC Company and XYZ Home Improvements have TikTok accounts but don’t get much engagement, TikTok likely isn’t the right choice for your business because your audience isn’t there. You can get a good idea of your competitors’ engagement rates by looking at recent posts on their profiles or inputting available information into Hootsuite’s engagement rate calculator.
Social media is a long-term strategy. But you can successfully build connections by choosing the right platforms, creating a variety of content, and being personable with others on social media. And if you eventually see direct sales from social media, that’s a great bonus.