Social Media Tips for Growing Your Contracting Business
By Jacquelyn Nause
One of the best ways to market yourself, engage customers and generate leads is free. Yes, free! These days, social media is king for digital marketing because it is easy, affordable and effective. But how do you get started? Here’s everything you need to know to build your online presence.
How to Get Started
Younger consumers prefer to use social media to engage with businesses and brands that they love. It’s also a marketplace for finding new companies, researching topics and checking reviews. A poor web presence reflects back on your business, so create a platform for your best messaging to reach your audience.
A great web presence can showcase your portfolio, engage your client base, increase brand and name recognition, and provide a place to get relevant information and tips. Think of it as a storefront for a digital business. This is where your brand community lives.
First things first, focus on two or three social media platforms. LinkedIn and Facebook are musts for any businessperson. Facebook’s Pages—their business page manager—is intuitive and easy to set up with the basics of your business and some quality photos. LinkedIn is great for networking with potential customers and industry professionals, and for conversations centered around business. LinkedIn is more professionally focused, and a great place to establish yourself as an expert in your field.
The benefit of a Facebook page is the ability to run ad campaigns with demographic targeting at a choose-your-own price. If you’re not ready to spend money, Twitter and Instagram have free analytics for business pages to check engagement and growth.
Once you have your accounts set up, follow people! More than just your sphere of influence, follow other brands and businesses, local companies outside your industry and experts in your field. Include your social media handles on business cards, on your website and via word-of-mouth.
Create Your Image
As you create your social media strategy, it is important to consider the look and feel of your content. Establish a style for your content—whether it is heavily focused on education or has a lighthearted tone, it’s important that your style reflects you authentically.
Also consider the quality of your content before you post. Check for spelling or grammar errors using a program like Grammarly that checks your work for you. Be sure photos are well-lit, never blurry or hard to see.
Consumers want to see more than educational posts about how great your company is. It’s key to offer your followers something they enjoy, like relevant tips and tutorials, and important industry information. Video content is increasingly popular with 66 percent of fans indicating they love seeing video content from brands.
Select a cadence for your content that keeps you top of consumers’ minds but is not overwhelming. A posting schedule of at least three times a week is a great place to start. Play around with the time of day or week to see how timing impacts engagement.
Creating an editorial calendar with a schedule is the easiest way to stay on track. Apps like Hootsuite can manage your calendar, as well as schedule posts for future publishing across multiple platforms. Limit about half of your content to be brand-specific, with the other half (or more) highlighting industry news and important people or trends in your field.
Engage with Influencers and Consumers
Part of being an effective salesperson and entrepreneur is staying on top of relevant news and watching trends. Research the latest news in your field so you can create quality content that establishes you as a thought leader and expert. Engage with influencers, branded accounts with large followings that have established themselves as leaders in their particular niche.
Twitter and Instagram are great platforms for robust conversation and engagement both with industry experts and consumers. Seek out what consumers want to know, and then become a resource for useful content. Consider writing blog posts to be shared on your website and pushed across your social platforms.
Go one step further than just creating a posting and create a call to action. Ask your followers a question, encourage them to like or share your post, or create surveys to engage consumers. Follow up with past clients for reviews and testimonials that you can share on your pages.
Stay on top of messages, replies and comments to consumers, even if they are negative. Don’t ignore a bad review; instead, respond with empathy and kindness, and try to rectify the situation if possible.
Check in with analytics and evaluate your strategy accordingly. Look for what types of content perform the best, or what times of day get the most consumer engagement.
Social media is more than just putting more information out into the internet. Bring real life to the web by checking in on Facebook at industry events, tagging yourself or others in event photos and sharing snippets of important news for your followers.
The hardest part of starting your digital marketing strategy is getting started. Once you choose your platforms and style, it won’t be hard to start putting together content and engaging with potential customers.
Jacquelyn Nause is a contributing writer with specialties in real estate, parenting and wellness. She enjoys traveling with her husband, being a doting mother to her two incredible kids and enjoying the beautiful Pacific Northwest playground.