9 Social media ideas for trade businesses
Most small trade businesses have very few employees and typically the owner is on the tools with no time to market the business, either that they are working around the clock on projects/jobs and spend the evenings / weekends trying to keep new opportunities coming into the business.
Tradespeople spend most of their time making home improvements, which presents amazing opportunities for posting suitable content to social media for other homeowners to see. High quality images featuring work in progress or finished jobs can attract followers and showcase the quality of your work.
Platforms that focus on images like Instagram can really make a difference for this type of content or indeed Facebook where many homeowners are constantly asking for recommendations of who can fit or install this that or the other e.g., a new kitchen or heating system or build my new extension etc.
Generating new ideas to keep your social media presence fresh will continue to keep your audience engaged and interested. The downside who has the time to keep doing this, you have a few choices – employ someone, keep trying to do it yourself and not have any consistency as you don’t always have the time, so why not consider having your own virtual part-time marketing department to help maintain your digital presence and social media content updated with fresh and current content.
Going Beyond Referrals and Word of Mouth
Many tradespeople still heavily rely on doing a great job and getting that next customer passed on from a previous customer. Nothing wrong with that, it proves you have happy customers and are doing great work – well done!
What happens when referrals and word of mouth dries up? Yes, it is a bit eggs all in one basket and that’s why you need to reach a broader audience and attract customers through your digital presence on social media and via your website. Creating the right content, leveraging the various social media channels, will also benefit your SEO and showcase your business to a wider audience that requires your services. A good digital and social media presence will also help to build relations, loyalty and sell more services to your existing customers! Last year you might have installed a new garden deck for a customer, and they noticed on Facebook you have installed new flooring for a someone and they had no idea you did flooring and are in the market for new flooring… boom, you now have a repeat customer!
Social Media Channels and Strategy
Clearly if you have no time to post on social media, it’s unlikely you will have time to step back and reflect on what channels will work best for your small home improvement business or indeed what your overall strategy should be to make the best use of your time and get results for your business.
To cut to the chase, Facebook and Instagram are the best platforms for small home improvement businesses – sorry you probably knew that already. Clearly Instagram with its perspective on use of photos, imagery and video, is great for showcasing your projects, but here are some Instagram tactics we have for increasing your reach further. On the other hand, Facebook is great for family, friends and followers spreading the word and recommending your business as a result of seeing your content. Here’s 20 free tips on how to increase your followers on Facebook.
As previously mentioned, you can create visually appealing content by posting short videos or images of your recent projects. Here are some specific ideas to help you keep your social media channels up to date, engage your audience and build a better business presence online.
Make use of Photos at the start/during/completion of all jobs
The easiest pictures to share are those from your jobs that you work on. Don’t just concentrate on the money shot at the end when the job is complete, build up photos from the start, during and completed works. These can be turned into a series of shots, each showing different stages of completion. From start to finish and before and after photos can be great for displaying the kind of work you do and the results that customers can expect. Use complications or problems to highlight how your experienced team is qualified to overcome issues and share images of the fix and the final result.
Don’t post once in a blue moon, do keep engaged and professional
It’s vital to have accuracy, consistency, and an optimal frequency in posting content for your prospective customers, customers, followers and collaborators. There’s nothing worse than visiting someone’s page and the last post was 2 months ago… bang goes that future customer! Posting content on your social media every week is necessary to build and grow your business.
You might feel you’re one of the team and your social media behaviour keeps the laughs coming… think how your future customers might feel, so keep things professional, but do interact and engage with your connections and address all comments with careful and considered responses, as it is a representation of your business.
Images of unique Angles, Designs, Features and Materials
Some home improvement jobs will require unique design or materials and it can be a good idea to take photos from different angles in order to illustrate special features, finishes and show the complexity or other perspectives in your work and business capability.
Why not try to take photos from weird angles💡and keep your audience wondering what it could be and get them interacting and engaging on your social media channels. It could be a real close up, or a ground-up or top-down photo…either way, be creative and bring a difference to run of the mill home improvement job photos that your competition might always be posting.
Keep things Authentic, Humanistic and be Transparent
People like to understand more about the business they will buy from – business owners, their team, and inner operations. This helps them relate more personally and understand other aspects beyond the ‘completed jobs’ that get posted every week.
A good idea is to look inside and go behind the scenes of your business and share with your audience day to day business tasks and challenges… ordering and receiving materials, use of a specific system to get that quote or estimate organised, or other tasks that they will relate to.
It doesn’t need to be all work, you can share more about your staff, team photos, new apprentice introduction, team events, family, kids, pets, individual interests beyond the workplace – this will make things a bit more personal and relatable.
It’s no secret that video gets more engagement
Short videos are best for social media, try to keep your videos under 1 minute. You can easily show the dirty side of the industry and make your content more engaging…knocking down walls or old buildings, or accelerated build of that new home extension from the foundation up…in fact you can even go live with your videos and educate, entertain and inspire your followers.
Position your business leaders in your industry
Your customers like nothing better than a bit of DIY or learning about efficient ways of making those little improvements around the home… mind you some will tackle the bigger jobs and you can educate on what can go wrong and show example tips and tricks in general in your industry of expertise.
This strategy will help you share knowledge and show your business as the ‘go to guys’ for your area of expertise and keep your audience interested and engaged.
Generating a weekly/monthly blog, or video and then creating daily/weekly/monthly social media posts that references these specific tips and tricks can work well on social media…as mentioned previously it’s all about educating, entertaining and inspiring your audience. This will build the know, like and trust factors with your audience and ultimately grow your business further.
Home Improvement Trends
There are always new trends when it comes to home improvements. Whether it be a new type of flooring, or warm roof system for those old conservatories, or new trend with handless kitchens or new open plan home layouts, or composite decks or doors etc.
It’s good for your followers to see that you’re at the top of your game and understand what’s happening in your industry, so share the relevant trends and industry news with them in your social media channels. You can also share content from your suppliers and other industry leaders and add value for your audience.
Of course, it doesn’t need to be all good news stories, the home improvements industry like many are suffering from supply chain and cost pressures and this is another example of sharing transparent content with your customers and audience in general.
By now you realise social media is an essential part of your on-going marketing activities and will help your business attract, engage and retain more customers by showcasing your business in the best possible way.
It all sounds rather easy, and it is if you have the time to manage your social media strategy, content creation, posting schedule, know what / how to use the various tools and keep abreast of how the digital marketing and social media landscape is changing.
Ultimately, we hope our advice will help you maintain an accurate and regular social media presence with content that your customers, audience and followers continue to feel educated, entertained and inspired by.
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