Social media tips for busy tradies
Being a busy tradie, you probably have little time left during the week once you have finished jobs on site, and then caught up on invoicing and chasing unpaid bills.
As such, the last thing you probably want to do is worry about social media.
But, there are many reasons to dive into social media to give your business a boost.
Why you should embrace social media
Unless you’ve been running your business for decades and have a big client base built up, you’ll have to do some marketing to get new clients.
There are lots of ways to do this, but social media is one of the most cost-effective.
You can set up profiles and post free of charge, or choose to advertise on the sites for a very low cost (one that’s usually much cheaper than print ads or other digital marketing avenues).
This means you will save money, which you can put into your back pocket or invest into hiring an apprentice, or buying a new ute or equipment.
By using social media platforms, you can target a specific audience.
Follow and build relationships with people who are looking for the kinds of services you provide, such as busy office workers, stressed out parents, landlords, retirees, real estate agents etc.
Use hashtags, social media ads, and other strategies to get your posts directly in front of the right people.
This will save you from wasting time on ads which don’t even get looked at by your target market.
Use social media to help create and maintain your brand, and manage your reputation.
By interacting positively with people on these sites, you will connect and build trust. In turn, people are more likely to hire you in the future, and to use your business again.
Increasingly, consumers check social media sites before they decide on a contractor to use.
Many people (particularly younger people) won’t hire a tradie without having read online reviews and checking out their digital presence to get a feel for how they operate their business.
So you need to be online, showing yourself to be friendly, knowledgeable and an expert in your field.
You should be using social media to conduct market research, too.
On these sites you can learn about common problems or complaints customers have with tradies, and find ways to provide solutions to these.
You can also research the types of benefits people are hoping to find, and determine when and how they book a tradesperson, and what kinds of keywords they use to search for contractors.
How to use social media effectively
To get the most out of social media, choose the platform that is the best fit for your specific needs.
You don’t have to be on every site, but it is important to have a presence on at least one of the major ones, such as Facebook or Twitter.
Choose the site that your target market uses most.
If you use multiple sites, makes sure your photo and information is consistent across each platform.
Read up on what your key customers are talking about and liking/following on social media so you know what kinds of messages to put out.
This research will help you to create posts which gain traction and don’t waste time.
Always post about things which are relevant to your customers, and that showcase your point of difference.
For example, you might have an on-time guarantee, or use a specialised piece of equipment.
Automate and analyse
Automate everything you can.
For example, schedule a week’s worth of posts in advance using a tool such as Hootsuite when you have a spare ten minutes between jobs.
This software will allow you to write a single post that is published across numerous sites at once, too.
Also use this tool to measure and analyse the results of each post. Examine not just which topics or specials generate the most interest, but also which keywords, graphics, headlines and links work best.
Social media is a very visual format, so add graphics to each post you publish. This makes information more engaging, and likely to be noticed.
If you receive negative reviews or responses on social media, do not respond negatively in turn. Thank people for their feedback where appropriate, and simply ignore unwarranted or unfair comments.
Use the less-than-favourable messages to give you clues about what you can improve in your business, too.