Most of your leads will come from a search engine. However, you cannot overlook the power of social media. It’s the best way to connect with your local audience and establish a rapport and a reputation they can trust.
Social media can seem a little overwhelming. Basically, for your purposes, you’ll be engaging with customers in your area and building relationships that will pay off when they require your services. For a contracting business, it’s best to focus on two kinds of social media: organic and paid.
Organic Social - The Social Exposure You Don’t Buy
Your everyday posts are organic, and the number of interactions with your posts comprises your engagement. How do you boost those numbers so you can grow your follower base? There are four best practices you can follow:
- Be informative: Consider posting simple social graphics (we’ll provide you with easy graphic design solutions in the Resources section at the end of this eBook) with a startling or interesting fact about your industry. If you’re in pest control, for example, you could post information and statistics about pests in your community.
- Be fun: Occasionally post a “behind the scenes” photo from a job site, or an amusing perspective you might have about your industry. Just make sure that your more lighthearted posts are inoffensive and in good taste.
- Be a show-off: Regularly post before and after pics, with text explaining what some of the challenges you and your crew overcame to make it happen.
- Be a good neighbor: Deliver the kind of news your customers need to make informed decisions. Spread the word about events and resources in your community, or causes that directly affect your industry.
Adding a blog to your site is a quick win. With the most popular web design tools, implementing a blog is easy. Updating the content and writing new articles regularly gives you excellent social media fodder. Write articles on subjects that benefit your customers, like tips and tricks to protect your pipes in a hard freeze. Something useful and timely is always a good bet on social media.
Just remember that growing your organic social media is a marathon and not a sprint. Don’t give up. Being consistently valuable will increase your visibility.
Paid Social - The Pay to Play Model
Social media companies are in it for the advertising dollars, and that can negatively impact your “reach” (the number of people who see your posts). For example, if you have 500 followers on your Facebook page, only a small fraction of them will even see it.
That’s the playing field. If you want to get traction behind your posts, consider building your first Facebook advertising campaign. The good news is that you don’t have to break the bank on an ad, and the Facebook (Meta) Ad Manager is a good tool to help you target your ads and set up your campaign in under an hour. You can manage ads for Instagram in the same tool.
You set your spending limit. You decide to try a test campaign, and you decide you want to spend no more than $100. You tell Ad Manager that, and that’s all you’ll spend. No surprises. If you’re running your ad for five days, you’ll spend $20 per day.
How do you evaluate a social ad campaign? There are many ways. Facebook will show you simple metrics like the number of people who clicked on your ad. Beyond that, tracking your paid campaigns is another way to use a CRM. You can track which leads came from your ad, and how valuable they can be to your business.
Finally, be sure to respond professionally to all comments on your posts, good or bad. When dealing with negative comments, take the high road. Respond calmly and address their concerns.