Culture and Leadership
Out of all the marketing channels you can use, social media might be one of the most effective.
While social media might not be as new as it was several years ago, it is still as important as ever. Out of all the marketing channels you can use, social media is one of the most effective. In fact, the average ROI is 95 percent — that’s almost double your investment! It does depend on your industry, but social media can be a very powerful tool for HVAC technicians, plumbers, and electricians who want to attract new customers.
Here are seven reasons why social media marketing is still important.
1. It Helps Build Brand Awareness
Social media is critical for building brand awareness. Did you know that 70 percent of Americans have a social media account? You can reach a lot of people on social media.
For HVAC technicians, electricians, and plumbers, I’d recommend getting started with Facebook and Twitter. Instagram and Pinterest are two other platforms you should consider signing up for.
The advantage of Facebook is that it allows you to set up a business page (which is separate from your personal profile) and target your paid ads to a specific audience.
Using Facebook’s targeting features, you can reach people in your area who fit a certain demographic, earn a certain amount of money, are married, and so on. As an HVAC technician, that will help you get a better ROI.
However, you don’t need to run paid ads to increase brand awareness on social media. Using organic methods, you can grow your follower count organically and help spread the word about your business for free.
For example, if you post a viral video that ends up getting shared over and over, you won’t even need to run paid ads to get seen by new people.
2. It Establishes Your Brand as an Authority In Your Field
Having social media profiles on all the major platforms is important because it allows you to position yourself as an authority in your field. Think about it. If someone needs a plumber, for example, and they come across your site, what will many of them do before hiring you?
A lot of consumers will run a quick Google search to see what other people are saying about your services. In addition, they’ll want to see what your social media profiles are like — they’ll be curious about your brand persona and the type of content you post. They will want to see if you are helpful and informative and have a professional profile.
If you don’t have a social media presence, or if your social media profiles rarely post content and have few followers, consumers just won’t regard you as an authority in your niche. On the other hand, if your profiles share helpful content regularly, look professional, get shared a lot, and have a lot of followers and engagementiEngagement in marketing isn't about a big diamond ring -- unless we are talking about the social media posts by a jeweler targeting purchases of said diamond ring. Engagement in marketing means any type of response generated on social media. A Facebook post generating a like or a tweet being re-tweeted, reposts on Instagram or even click-through to a web site are all forms... Read More, many will start respecting you more.
3. It Provides Social Proof For Your Products and Services
Social media provides a lot more social proof than any other medium. When you have a lot of followers, tons of likes and comments on your posts, and provide lots of helpful tips, that shows customers that people enjoy your content and that you have a lot to offer.
Online reviews have as much power as personal recommendations. Not only does social media allow you to show potential customers that other people engage with you and love what you have to offer, it allows you to showcase real reviews from customers (depending on the platform).
For example, you can allow customers to leave reviews on your Facebook page. While most other social media platforms, like Instagram, do not have a review section, you can still showcase real testimonials from customers. For example, you can post stories to your Instagram profile with a short video testimonial.
Alternatively, simply upload stories of the work you have completed on private houses or establishments. Highlight those stories on your Instagram profile so people who visit it can see them. That gives people a chance to see firsthand the quality of your work without committing to anything. It’s almost like offering a free trial!
4. It Improves Lead Generation and Conversion Rates
Social media can really improve your bottom line. It allows you to collect a lot more leadsiA lead is nothing more than a potential customer or prospect, but more importantly a lead has the potential to become a future customer of your brand or service. Whether this person is considered to be in one's pipeline or just a cold contact, anyone with potential to turn into business is considered a lead. Marketing to a lead is reaching them with your messaging in hopes... Read More and convert more customers.
In your social media profiles, link to your website or funneliThe marketing funnel shows your customer's journey with your business from discovery to purchase. Companies employ marketing funnels so they can understand their customers' needs and ultimately optimize marketing efforts to generate more sales. By paying attention to your marketing funnel, you can better gauge what your company needs to do to influence consumers at variou... Read More to drive leads and conversions. You may discover that your conversion rate is higher for traffic that comes from social media vs. traffic that comes from Google Ads. The difference is social proof.
When someone lands on your Google ad, they don’t know anything about you. You are starting from scratch, and you need to convince potential leads that you have something of value to offer.
On the other hand, when someone is coming from your social media profiles, they already know more about you. If your profile has a lot of engagement, and you are responding to comments, you will already have established trust and authority. You will then be able to build from that relationship as opposed to starting from scratch.
Of course, you also need local citations. However, social media remains a powerful method for driving traffic and exposure.
5. It Gives You Valuable Information About Your Audience
Understanding your customer is vital if you want to provide them with what they are looking for and keep them satisfied. You will want to know things like:
- The demographics of your audience, such as age and marital status
- The exact services your customers need the most
- Services you don’t offer but which your customers would like you to offer
- Ways you can improve your services
- Common questions potential customers have, as well as any doubts or hesitations holding them back from hiring you
You can learn a lot of that from social media. You can glean data such as demographics from data analytics services such as Google Analytics. However, social media is more effective for understanding customer sentiment, learning what they want to see from you as a business, understanding common questions they have, and what their needs and fears are.
6. It Allows You to Provide Excellent Customer Service
Social media allows you to both listen to your customers and make them feel listened to. More and more people are starting to contact businesses via social media. This may be via:
- A message on Facebook Messenger
- A DM on Twitter
- A private message on Instagram
- A comment left under a Facebook post, Instagram post, or Tweet
- Or even a snap on Snapchat
This phenomenon especially holds true with the younger generation, who tend not to like calling businesses on the phone.
When you respond quickly on social media, it gives customers a sense of reassurance that you will be there to answer their questions and provide support whenever they have problems. In addition to monitoring your private messages, you should be monitoring comments left on your post.
Social media allows you to provide quick answers even when you are not physically available. For example, you can set up a Facebook Messenger bot that communicates with your customers as soon as they message you.
For example, it can ask them which common electrical problem they are dealing with, or whether they have a plumbing emergency or simply want an HVAC check-up. You can also give them a list of services you offer and allow them to pick the one they need.
While you will want to offer human support as well, a bot can help customers get answers to common questions quickly, 24/7. If you don’t feel comfortable setting up a bot, you can simply set up an automated response via DM, so customers know you are working on getting back to them.
7. It Complements Your Other Marketing Efforts
Providing an omnichannel experience will help you reach more customers and improve communication with your existing customers.
Retargeting is a marketing strategy that can drastically increase conversions. It involves showing ads to people who already visited your site or a specific page.
For example, you can show ads on Facebook only to people who clicked on your Google ad. That’s possible with Facebook Pixel, which tracks visitors on your website. If someone clicks on an ad for a product and lands on the landing page specific to that ad, for example, showing them that same product on Facebook can increase sales.
The reality is that it takes a few exposures for people to make a purchase online. Unless someone has an urgent need for a product, they will probably want to do more research to make sure they are getting the best product at the best value. In the case of HVAC technicians, electricians, or plumbers, customers will likely want to check out competitors in your area or at least see if you have good reviews.
Many procrastinate, however, and don’t end up hiring anyone the first time around.
If you can retarget people who already know about you, you can increase your conversion rates the second or third time around.
Wrapping It Up
If you don’t yet have a solid social media marketing strategy, now is the time to start. The sooner you start, the better. By setting up your social media profiles now and creating a social media content plan, you can start building your following and drive traffic, leads, and sales.