Digital marketing

Tradies online: How to use social media to win clients

- May 14, 2019 5 MIN READ

Got a trade or service-based business? Here’s how to make social media work for you – bad reviews and all!

In the current digital age, having a strong social media presence is vital to the growth and success of most businesses. If you have not yet started taking advantage of social media, your business might be taking longer to grow.

We are currently living in a world where customers can be positively persuaded to choose your business if they like your social media.

For service-based businesses, it’s common for business owners to lack the time or resources it takes to build and maintain a strong social media presence. But being online can help your business’s discoverability and works well for all types of service businesses such as plumbing, painting, electrical, building and the list goes on.

Social media is now a global phenomenon. There are about 2.62 billion users of social media. Within the next two years, the number is expected to increase to approximately 3 billion people. This increasing use of social media has made it an excellent inbound marketing tool. If you want to expand your audience organically, you need to consider focusing on building an online presence on these channels.

Here, we’ll look at some top social media marketing practices for tradespeople.

Understand which network will work best for your business

The number of social media platforms is increasing, with Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and LinkedIn the most popular. One of the big mistakes you can make is assuming that all these social media networks will serve you the same way. These platforms have different features and capabilities so you should know how to use them to your benefit. Research the types of audiences on these channels and strategise how you will attract these people to your business.

Facebook is still the leading social media platform with the most advanced features for marketing your brand. You can create sponsored Facebook ads that are effective at reaching a specific target audience in your area.

Instagram is a great option for targeting a younger demographic, especially if you have a lot of great images for your business. Instagram allows you to build the reputation of your brand by posting high quality pictures that demonstrate why what you offer is the best. Twitter is one of the best platforms for customer service and LinkedIn is particularly useful for businesses in a B2B capacity.

Create valuable and engaging content

Whether you are using Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest among other social media platforms for your business, you have to be in-tune with the type of content you post. Most people are attracted to pages that produce high quality content that creates value for the customer. This can be in the form of past work images, helpful tips in regards to your niche or important information about you and your business.

Some of the best practices of social media is creating strong relationships with customers and connecting with them. Provide customers with useful information and let them know how your products can meet their unique needs. It is also important to make sure that the content displayed on your social media is relevant to your audience. Engage people by asking questions or promptly responding to their inquiries.

Build up your image heavy content

One of the best tips for tradespeople is to post quality photos that are relevant to the type of services you offer. The best thing about the photos is that they engage potential customers and can draw on the authenticity of your business. Images give your audience a clear idea of what to expect when dealing with you. As a tradesperson, it is a great idea to post short videos or pictures of your past projects. Video is one of the best ways to increase your visibility.

Customers gain trust in businesses that are actively posting pictures and videos. It is best to post content on your social media accounts on a regular basis and avoid neglecting your channels. Get into a routine, for example, posting a photo every Tuesday and Thursday evening. Posting frequently can also lead to higher search engine rankings.

Managing reviews

Tradespeople should encourage their customers to leave positive reviews, particularly on Facebook and Google. Online reviews are powerful because they tap into the concept of social proof. This brings in the idea that if other people have experienced proven satisfaction with a business, they too will be satisfied with the product or service. Reviews play a significant role in building the credibility of a business.

About 90 percent of online shoppers consult online reviews before making a decision to buy any product. Additionally, approximately 88 percent of customers tend to trust word-of-mouth as much as they trust online reviews. Reviews are a proven and trusted point of reference to consumers.

Service-based businesses should focus on accumulating as many positive reviews for their businesses as possible. Such reviews will inform customers that the products offered are legitimate. The simplest yet effective way of passing information to customers is by asking your customers to leave a review on your Facebook page or Google My Business listing.

Do not get discouraged if some customers leave negative reviews. While these are incredibly difficult to remove, the best thing to do is to respond publicly, in a calm manner. Assuring them that you understand their concern and encourage them to contact you by email is the best way to take the customer’s comments out of the public eye. Then, you can discuss a possible refund or assurance that you will address their concerns. View negative reviews as a way of helping you to understand the weaknesses of your business and improve them for a better experience.

Stay professional

This is an important element for all types of businesses involving social media platforms. Your account represents your brand so make sure that you are respectful to your audience and that the content you post is always professional. Proofread what you post whether short or long and make sure grammar and spelling errors are avoided at all costs.

Staying professional, however, does not mean that you need to act like a robot. Customers often like to feel that they are communicating with a human being. Try to find a balance between seriousness and being informal. Set boundaries and know how to respond to various comments appropriately.

Interacting with fellow tradespeople

Influencer marketing is an underrated way of using social media platforms to improve your business. This marketing strategy involves getting in touch with influential people in your industry. Stay on the lookout for other people or businesses related to your industry and consider how you can collaborate to expand your reach.

The best way to link up with other tradespeople is by firstly establishing a relationship. Guest posting content on related websites is one of the most effective ways of connecting with other businesses as well as providing information about your niche in forums or in your local community.

While it’s natural to be scared of competition, this isn’t necessary. See competition as a way of learning new business strategies. It is also a good opportunity for you to gather new customers. Most people who see you posting on other pages learn more about you and develop an interest in what you offer.

While social media can be seen as time consuming, utilising some of these best practices in an effective way can greatly improve your business’s perception in the industry. They are all cheap yet effective methods of marketing your brand. Don’t forget to focus on quality content, providing information and fostering positive experiences to ensure your business’s social media presence can grow quickly and effectively.

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  • Andrew Caska

    Caska IP Patent Attorneys

    'Flying Solo opened up so many doors for us - I honestly don't know where I'd be without it"