Of all the things clamoring for your attention daily, your roofing company’s social media presence probably isn’t at the top. However, skipping social media could mean missing out on chances to boost your business. Social media usage has continued to grow in recent years with people in the U.S. averaging 80 minutes per day on social platforms, according to Insider Intelligence, a research firm. That’s why it’s important for roofing contractors to be active on social media—it’s one of the best ways to reach new customers.
Although you may be familiar with social media for personal use, using Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or TikTok for your business is a bit different. Following are some tips to improve your social media marketing skills.
Find the right platform
Even if you’re not new to using social media for your business, managing multiple social media accounts can feel like a full-time job. Each social media platform is a little different, so determine which ones will serve you best by considering each platform’s audience and function. Following is a look at how four of the most popular social media platforms differ.
Consider who you’re trying to reach with your message(s) and to which social media platforms they likely belong. If more than one platform sounds right for your business, start by setting up one social media account and add another after you feel more confident with your social media skills.
Update your profiles
Make sure your business’s social media pages include current information:
If any of this information changes, be sure to update it on your social media accounts so customers can easily find you.
Plan your posts
It’s important to have a plan for what content you’ll post to ensure you are consistently sharing information your followers will care about. First, determine what broader topics you’ll want to post. Some examples follow:
Once you have determined the content you want to feature, decide how frequently you want to post about each topic.
Create a calendar to plan when you will post—three to five times per week is good practice. Remember, you always can change your schedule in the future.
With everything on your to-do list, it can be difficult to remember to post to social media regularly. Fortunately, many tools, such as HootSuite and Sprout Social, allow you to create your posts and schedule them to publish on your accounts ahead of time. This makes it easy to set aside some time to create and schedule all your social media posts for next week or even a full month.
When you’re not posting to your account in the moment, it’s also easier to review posts before they go live. Someone else on your team can create the posts and give you time to review them before they are published.
Holidays and events
When there are holidays or major events many people are talking about, consider whether it’s appropriate to jump in on the conversation with a relevant post. Many of these posts can be planned ahead of time. For example, Thanksgiving can be used as an opportunity to express your gratitude for your customers’ support. Also, check out National Day Calendar at nationaldaycalendar.com for more specific holidays to celebrate on social media.
Be aware of industry events, as well. For example, you may want to post about National Roofing Week to connect with others in the industry on social media. For more information about National Roofing Week, go to nrca.net/nationalroofingweek.
Keep an eye on the news
Often, social media is where people read, share and talk about the news. It’s important to stay current with what’s happening in your local community and nationally. If a major news story breaks, consider whether it’s still appropriate to post on social media. When a major event occurs, consider whether your social media post will seem insensitive or whether any of your posts might take on a negative connotation relative to the context of a breaking news story.
For example, posting about your services while a tornado or hurricane is happening in your community may appear as if you’re trying to take advantage of a tragedy to turn a profit. In this case, it may be more appropriate to wait to post until the storm has passed and people are actively looking for roofing contractors’ services.
Gather photos and videos
Social media posts perform best when they include a clear, brightly lit photo or video. Videos are the most engaging type of social media content, generating more than 1,200% more shares than images and text.
If you’re not confident in your photography or videography skills, there are other ways to get photos and videos to use on your social media channels. Consider hiring a professional photographer to take photos of your job sites and finished projects or even photos of your team members to use in posts about job openings. Drones also can capture aerial photos and videos of your roofing jobs.
If a professional photographer isn’t an option, ask customers to share photos of their new or remodeled homes. For remodeling jobs, they may even have a “before” photo to share, so you can show a comparison on your social media. This is a great opportunity to ask your customers for a review you can include in the post, as well.
Another option is to use online editing tools such as Canva® or Pixlr. Sometimes, all a ho-hum photo needs is a little editing to create an eye-catching social media post.
When writing your social media post copy, keep the tone friendly and informative just like you would when speaking to a customer in person. According to review42.com, a group of tech enthusiasts, social media users go to social media when looking for information about businesses, so you want to make sure they are finding welcoming, helpful posts when they reach your page.
Boost your posts
Making sure prospective customers see your posts is crucial to the success of your business’s social media pages. Social media platforms use algorithms to populate their feeds with posts the platform believes each user will be interested in seeing. These algorithms make it difficult for posts from businesses to reach people’s feeds without paid promotion.
Many social media platforms offer low-cost ways to “boost” your posts so they reach potential customers who aren’t already following your page. You often can target your post to reach a specific audience based on demographics, location and interests. For example, you might target your posts to reach people ages 30 to 50 who are located within 50 miles of your business.
What makes social media a great marketing opportunity for small businesses is you can adjust your post promotion according to your budget. Posts can be boosted starting at $5. If you have more to spend, you can boost your posts for a higher amount and reach even more people.
Promptly respond to followers
It’s best to respond to reviews, questions and comments on your social media pages as quickly as possible to show customers their interactions matter. According to Oberlo, a technical review community, more than 70% of consumers who have had a positive experience with a business on social media are likely to recommend the business to their friends and family, so the way you respond to customers can affect your bottom line. If responding in real time isn’t possible, consider setting aside time throughout the week to check your social media pages.
Remember to respond not only to negative comments but also to positive ones. Provide thorough answers to questions and thank customers for their compliments—showing appreciation will help build loyalty to your business.
If you receive a negative comment or review, avoid responding defensively. If you show anger or are evasive, you will appear guilty and dismissive of the customer’s feelings. Instead, thank the person for their feedback and explain how you’ll address the issue. If a customer seems particularly upset, ask him or her to send you a private message or provide a phone number or email address so you can contact the person privately. By taking the conversation off your social media page where other customers can see it, you will avoid a heated public argument.
Whether you are responding to a positive or negative comment, use correct spelling, punctuation and grammar; they make you look more polished and professional.
If you have been in the construction business for a while, you probably have seen how customers’ needs and expectations have changed over the years. The social media sphere experiences similar changes. The information your followers are looking for might change over time, and the posts you believe will interest them most might change, too.
You can use analytics to keep tabs on how your posts are performing and make adjustments as needed to ensure your social media accounts are as effective as possible. Every social media platform offers some form of reporting. There are many metrics you can dig into, but impressions and engagement are good places to start.
Impressions refer to the number of people who saw your posts. This metric is particularly important if you’re aiming for an awareness message, such as when you’re sharing information about your services. Engagements are the number of interactions your posts receive. Depending on which social media platform you’re using, this could be clicks, likes, comments or shares. A high level of engagement means your posts are relevant and interesting to your followers.
Try to spot trends and patterns in your analytics to help inform future posting strategies. For example, if posts featuring metal roofing receive more engagement than posts with asphalt roofing, you may want to post about metal roofing jobs more often.
Boost your bottom line
By following these tips, you can maximize your efforts to build your brand and boost your bottom line.
RICH THOMPSON is director of marketing and national business development for ABC Supply Co. Inc., Beloit, Wis.
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