TIPS FOR YOU
The Importance of Social Media for Contractors
Kiley Eaton, White Castle Roofing
15 August 2017
You just found their social media page. You flip through their pictures, smiling at the clever captions. You find yourself thinking, I think I want more. And with no real promise of anything, no offer, but just because you want to, you do it.
You take the plunge.
You click “Like.”
And now it’s Facebook official. You’ll be getting updates on a regular basis at work, at the bar, at home, wherever. Think about all the pages you like … they all offer you value with interesting facts, stories, visuals, and videos.
Businesses have long had social media presences, for sure. Restaurants with drool-worthy photos of food, sports teams giving you slice-of-life profiles of your favorite players, stores running flash sales and specials — have dominated the social media game. Bringing up the rear, with a few exceptions, are the small business and labor-focused contractors.
It’s completely understandable — you’re pressed for time, you don’t really like social media (why is it anyone’s business what you had for lunch?) and it doesn’t really matter as long as you do a good job with your customers. Right?
I respectfully disagree. Your business is no beautiful plate of spaghetti, but it’s drool-worthy, too. There are customers out there waiting to see how great your work is and pay you for it. You just have to show them.
Try this quick test: Open a new window and do a Google search for your company. Odds are your website will be the first listing (and if it’s not, find a developer to revamp your website — it should be at the top of the page!). But odds are also that, somewhere on that list of results on the first page, is your company’s Facebook profile. If you don’t have Facebook, try a search for a competitor who does.
Your website is, of course, the most valuable piece of digital real estate your company has. You need a good, functioning, mobile-friendly website. But your social media presence is just behind that in terms of necessary tools. Why?
Your website is all about information. You can have some voice on it, for sure, but its goal is primarily to give your customers, existing and potential, all the information they need to set up a time to meet you.
As a contractor, your position is a little different than many businesses, in that the work you do tends to be more of an interactive process with the customer, rather than a single impersonal transaction. Your customer will want to experience a different level of trust with you than they do with a supermarket.
It boils down a lot more to the customer buying YOU, not just the thing you sell or the service you perform. So how do they get to know YOU? Social media.
Your social presence is the perfect way to give people a taste of who you are in addition to what you do. You can have a lot more fun with a social media page than you can on a website. While some posts can and should be service-centered, you have a lot more flexibility in what you publish in social media.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t suggest a few ways CompanyCam has been a super helpful tool in our social media strategy at White Castle Roofing. These are just a few things that have worked well for us — but absolutely tailor your strategy to fit your business’s personality and needs.
#TransformationTuesday posts are the easiest thing in the world now, with CompanyCam’s Before and After photo function. As a contractor, this is the most ready-made trend you can tap into, especially since CompanyCam does all the hard work. All you need to do is snap the photos (which…you’re doing anyway, right?), choose the layout that you like best for that shot, download the composite image, and voila! You have a perfect #TransformationTuesday post.
Pairing a quote with a photo can be a super simple way to show your work and a little personality. Maybe add a quote about a meeting you had that day and make a great #MondayMotivation post. Or have some fun! Add a line with a photo of your team at a safety training, or a photo of something odd you find in the field.
You can show off some of the things you do, while at the same time showing off a little of who you are. Pro tip: Create a custom Social Media tag in CompanyCam, so you can easily organize photos for social media as well as internal organization.
Along those lines, using CompanyCam to take photos of the people in your company is always a great thing. Your business is made up of the amazing individuals you hire, and social media is your opportunity to turn your boring business into a group of people your customers can relate to.
When your customers can get to know the people they’re considering contracting, that hiring decision becomes a lot more personal. Letting your customers “behind the curtain” by showing your employees, especially having fun and enjoying their work, is a perfect use of social media — and again, you’re already taking those photos, so you might as well use them for another purpose!
These are just a few ideas — but find what works best for your business, chart it out on a calendar (there are lots of apps that make scheduling posts a breeze), and have some fun letting your personality shine!
While a lot of the contact we have with customers still takes place over the phone, more and more, people are turning to less personal ways to connect. Why take the time to call when you can just send a quick email at your own convenience, or submit an online request for a service you want?
In the same way, word-of-mouth referrals are turning more and more into online reviews (and we’ll cover that more in just a minute). When there’s a problem, people often don’t want to call and confront someone verbally — it’s much easier to do it online. Social media messaging functions are a perfect outlet for this.
You might be thinking, Why would I invite more complaints? Simple — so you can fix them. As Disney Institute instructor and comedian Chris Blackmore says, you have the opportunity to turn a “pow” moment into a “wow” moment.
When something doesn’t go right, or when your company hasn’t met the customer’s expectations — for whatever reason, real or simply perceived — the customer is going to talk about it. With an active social media profile, they have the chance to bring it to your attention, instead of just telling their friends or venting about it through online reviews.
This means you’ll need to actually maintain an active presence in social media, and be responsive when you do receive complaints.
On the flip side, people often tag businesses in social posts when they’ve had a good experience. Guess what that means? Free publicity! With an active social media page, when someone tags you in a post about the great service they received their entire network is also exposed to your page. Don’t waste that opportunity.
Oh My Stars!
For most businesses — and especially contractors — reviews are the gold standard. We’re all after them. Businesses have been established to help you get them. And social media offers an easy, highly visible place for you to be reviewed.
Reviews lend a lot of credibility to a business, and Facebook reviews are super easy to do. Most people have an account, and while it might not be a deal-breaker if you don’t have any Facebook reviews, it will sure add credibility to your business if you have some good ones.
But here’s the thing — no one is going to leave a Facebook review on a neglected page. Giving people a place to leave the review — and thanking them for it — is incredibly important. Maintaining your social media page regularly will prompt people to leave you a great review, and open the door for future interaction, too.
Regular visitors to your page are going to be more likely to leave you a review, so your first job is to give them a reason to click on your page. You can only do that if you’re posting new content regularly!
Hopefully, you are convinced now that your social media profile isn’t just an extra task to get to when you have time — it’s an important tool that is paramount to your success in an ever-digitizing world. Maintaining a presence online doesn’t have to be rocket science, especially if you’re using CompanyCam already.
So Here’s A Quick Wrap-up Checklist:
- Daily: Check your inbox, and make sure you’ve responded to anyone who contacts you.
- Weekly: Set aside an hour to create and schedule 2-3 social media posts. Use CompanyCam to help you. Aim for at least one post that shows your work (like a #TransformationTuesday post) and at least one that shows your people (#ManCrushMonday can be a fun one to incorporate here!). Use Facebook’s scheduling function or a third-party app, so you can get them ready all at once.
- Monthly: If you haven’t already, thank anyone who has reviewed you on social media.
Take the plunge. Make it Facebook official. Your business will thank you.