Social Media Marketing for General Contractors - Where to Begin

Social media can intimidate many small business owners - especially home improvement contractors. It can seem daunting when searching for where to begin marketing on social platforms. Congratulations on taking the first step - research. All social media marketing strategies should be planned and intentional.  

If your business is not currently utilizing social media - it should be. In fact, social media should be an essential part of your marketing strategy. Taking advantage of social media will establish brand awareness for your company, allow you to connect with customers, and increase sales. 

Local businesses such as roofers, painters, plumbers, and other types of home improvement contractors have an advantage on social media compared to larger corporations for several reasons, including the ability to connect intimately with your local community. With the right strategy in place, you could be dominating your competition on social media.

→ DIGITAL MARKETING FOR HOME IMPROVEMENT COMPANIES & CONTRACTORS

WHY IS SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING IMPORTANT?

BRAND AWARENESS

Brand awareness is the most common reason companies join the social media world. Social media boosts your company’s visibility and provides a wide reach of potential customers. It can bring customers to your storefront and inform customers of the services you offer. Users can share your profile, photos, and even webpage to their social network. If you have compelling content, your content has the potential to be shared to thousands of internet users. This is how some people “go viral” online.

If any of your competitors have a business profile on social media but you don’t, they are already reaching customers that you are not. Platforms such as Facebook allow the user to search for local businesses and reviews similar to a Google search. If you do not have a Facebook business profile set up, no one will be able to find your company using this feature.

With a business profile, you are able to control the image you set for your company. You get to determine how customers view your brand. Are you a quirky company, quick to engage with customers, or is your company more intentional and collected online? The choice is yours, but make sure to keep your company’s voice consistent. 

→ DIGITAL MARKETING FOR HOME IMPROVEMENT COMPANIES & CONTRACTORS

CREATE TARGET AUDIENCE

Building your company’s target audience is a critical step to a lucrative sales funnel. Social media is key in creating a target audience. You are able to select and capture the attention of local leads who are interested in services you offer. Just by choosing which social media platforms to market, you are narrowing your target audience. You are also more likely to only have interested leads visit your social page which is helpful in establishing warm, quality leads. Once you 

 

YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE ONLINE

Nearly 72% of Americans used social media in 2019, and if you believe that it is mainly the younger generations online, you are mistaken! Over 39% of people aged 65 and older are using a social media platform, 69% of people 50 to 64 years old, and 82% of people 30 to 49 years old. This means that your potential customers - of all ages - are using one or more social media platforms. Do these statistics surprise you?

Additionally, 90 percent of companies that actively utilize social media to connect to customers claim that these efforts helped increase online exposure to their business. Social media is also used as a leading traffic source to bring customers directly to your website. You can post your latest blog, recent customer installations, and new services directly to your customers. 

→ DIGITAL MARKETING FOR HOME IMPROVEMENT COMPANIES & CONTRACTORS

ADVANTAGES OF SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

AFFORDABLE

Did you know that claiming a business profile on most social media platforms is free? No matter what your budget is, there is room for social media in your business’s marketing plan. Engaging with your customers is inexpensive and a great way to connect and build relationships. If time is on your side, consistently posting organic content and blogs from your website is ideal. 

Even advertising on social media can be affordable. Most sites do not require any set up fees to advertise, but instead operate on a pay-per-click plan. This means that you only pay for results from your advertising campaigns. You can even set a spending budget and not pay a dime over what you plan.

 

INSTANTANEOUS

Social media provides the opportunity to connect with your audience instantaneously. If you have a new service or sale you want to inform your customers of, it takes only a moment to create a post. It is much simpler than shooting a commercial or designing a billboard, both of which are both costly and complicated compared to social media. You can instantly respond to messages sent via Facebook messenger, tweet responses as your company, and comment on LinkedIn posts.

 

WHERE TO BEGIN

CHOOSE A PLATFORM

You may be asking, with so many platforms to choose from, how can you be sure to pick the right one? The list starts with Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, but it doesn’t end there. All social sites have a unique set of features that could potentially benefit your business. However, that does not mean that each social platform would be a perfect fit for reaching your target customers. Conduct thorough research on each social media site to identify which platform will be worth your business’s time and money. 

 

PAID ADS OR ORGANIC?

Small businesses ask themselves this question all the time. My response is, take advantage of both! Engaging online demonstrates to your customers that you are involved and interested in them. It is a wonderful way to build relationships within your community. You can share photos of successful customer projects - think before and after photos. Businesses can highlight achievements and awards, showcase positive reviews, and even host a Q&A session. The possibilities are endless, get creative!

Paid advertising should not be overlooked; in fact, it is arguably more important than organic posts. Social media advertising can target your ideal customers and drive traffic directly to your website or even storefront. By targeting demographics, you are hand-selecting the type of customers you are wanting to reach and thus removing and not paying for unqualified leads. 

In addition to reaching the ideal customer, you are also able to take advantage of retargeting leads. For example, the Facebook pixel communicates with your website to track leads who visit your website from Facebook ads. Then, you can create campaigns that retarget the same leads and increase the number of times your ad is seen by an individual. This is valuable because the more your ad is seen, the more likely a lead is to think about your brand and choose your services the next time he needs them.

 

CREATE A CONTENT CALENDAR

Once you have chosen your platforms and decided your social media marketing strategy, you will want to create a content calendar. Staying organized and consistent with social media marketing is key. Carefully calculate a mix of promotional, educational, and engaging content to attract and maintain a large, invested audience. You should also plan to post at the most popular times.

 

In Summary

If social media marketing still seems intimidating, you aren’t alone. The social sites are constantly changing and it can be a challenge to stay on top of current trends. Without experience, you are likely wasting precious time with your efforts. Fortunately, I have over 15 years of experience working with social media advertising. Throughout the years, I have helped hundreds of Monterey Bay area businesses like yours succeed their digital marketing goals. Give me a call today to learn more about social media marketing for your business.

 

If you’re looking for more digital marketing ideas for home improvement contractors, we can help! Coastline Marketing Group can answer your questions about Google Ads, Website Design, Paid Advertising, Social Advertising and more. Please contact us today to learn more about how to grow your contracting business online.

 

Article by Phil Fisk
CEO, Coastline Marketing Group, Inc.
831-789-9320
Book A Consultation

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Online rating

How Online Reviews Affect Your Home Improvement Contractor Business

Online rating

If you manage a home improvement contractor business, one of the most successful approaches to attract new customers is managing your business’s online reviews. That’s right - you can actually take control of how customer reviews affect your home improvement business’s online reputation. In fact, you could be seriously hurting your business by ignoring online reviews.  

When conducting research for services online, 95 percent of users read online business reviews. The right digital marketing strategy can help you to cultivate more consistent and effective reviews that drive business your way. With over 12 years of providing digital marketing expertise to Monterey Bay Area businesses, I affirm that taking a proactive stance to managing your customer’s reviews online can have a positive impact on increasing sales. 

 

How Online Reviews Affect Your Home Improvement Contractor Business

1. Social Proof

Social proof is the driving factor behind potential customers choosing your business based on online reviews. An online review is similar to word-of-mouth marketing. People trust that these reviews are unbiased and truthful, as well as written by real people. 

Google and Yelp are examples of a user-friendly platforms that focus on the customer’s experience, making it easier for people to leave and read reviews. Both companies require user names and basic information before allowing users to provide feedback. These online reviews are also highly accessible to internet users - a potential customer does not even have to click a link when using Google to see reviews for general contractors in the Monterey Bay Area! 

It can be tough seeing negative reviews, and a business owner cannot alter or remove these reviews in anyway. This provides more validity in online feedback for home improvement businesses and creates a trusting environment for your customers. Customers are not only interested in positive reviews, they also want to know about customer experiences that were not up to par.

 

2. Wisdom of the Crowd 

The more online reviews, the better! Large corporations have been using this marketing strategy for years. With help, local contractor businesses can achieve this as well. The more reviews your company has online, the greater perceived legitimacy. For example, people are more likely to believe 2,000 Facebook reviews than the 3 reviews that could have been left by family members of a company owner. The belief is that 2,000 people can’t be wrong about a business. 

People are even more likely to base decisions off reviews and wisdom of the crowd when they are spending more money. For example, if a customer has a major pipe issue with their home, online reviews will be a greater factor when choosing a Monterey Bay Area plumber when compared to minor plumbing issues, such as a clogged toilet. 

 

3. Impact on Sales

Research has proven that higher online ratings have led to an increase in revenue. For example, a study conducted at Harvard Business School concluded that a one-star increase in Yelp rating led to a dramatic 5-9 percent increase in revenue for restaurant business. 

Displaying reviews on your website can increase conversion rates by 270%. If you choose to not display your customers’ feedback on your website you could be losing business to other home contractors who openly post their reviews online. Showing transparency builds trust with a potential buyer before they have even picked up the phone to ask about your home improvement services!

 

4. Boost Your SEO

If a customer is searching for a service online, having more positive ratings can boost your SEO ratings. SEO algorithms are configured to determine which websites deserve top-of-the page search results and positive sentiment is highly rewarded. The SEO algorithm establishes positive sentiment by looking into online reviews provided by customers. The more reviews and the higher the ranking, the better. 

 

5. Relationship Building with Customers

Online reviews provide a means to communicate with your past and future customers. If a customer writes a review describing the pleasant experience hiring your company to remodel their home, you have the chance to reply and thank them and invite them to use your services again. It’s an additional point of contact that is easy to take advantage of and can provide a high reward. When you reply to these reviews, you are also communicating that you care about what your customers think about your business. This message can highly impact a decision to choose your company over another.

The same applies to when you display reviews on your website. I have helped many local businesses publish client testimonials and reviews to their websites. This digital marketing strategy establishes trust and validity with potential clients requiring your home improvement service.

 

6. Your Customers are on the Internet

Consider this: three out of four people who search for a product or service online end up physically visiting a business within one day, and 28% of those online searches result in a sale. Buyers looking to spend money for more expensive goods and services spend an even greater time reading online reviews and conducting research before making a purchase. 

People are relying on web-based research more and more each year to make decisions on which businesses are trustworthy. This highlights the need for your online feedback to be actively managed and prominently displayed on your website in order for potential customers to understand why they should choose your business.

 

How to Manage Online Reviews

1. Respond to Negative Reviews

Unfortunately, not every online review is going to be five stars. Your company will occasionally receive a low rating from an unhappy customer. The good news is that a negative review can provide an opportunity for you to change that customer’s mind! 

Consider this: a customer is not happy with a recent roofing project and left a poor rating on your company’s Google profile. Once this happens, you should reply to the review online and try to clear the air, and you can even call the customer to rectify the situation. The negative review provided an opportunity to let your customer service skills shine and win back a customer as well as prove to potential customers that you are actively involved in taking care of a negative experience.

 

2. Stay Active

As I previously mentioned, staying active in managing your online reviews is key. By responding to both positive and negative reviews you are demonstrating that you care about your customers. In turn, this builds trust and fosters a positive relationship with your clients. Customers may not trust reviews or testimonials on your website that are more than three months old. Search engines are also looking for the most up-to-date reviews. It is important to consistently manage your online reputation or all the work you put in could be considered outdated. Ask customers to leave a review online at the completion of a service.

 

3. Hire a Professional

If you are like most general contractors, you probably have enough on your plate and adding digital marketing to your workload sounds overwhelming. It’s easier to reach your digital marketing goals with a successful marketing agency to guide you. I have over 12 years of  experience managing online reputation and improving search engine optimization for home improvement contractors and other Monterey Bay Area businesses. My agency, Coastline Marketing Group, quickly grew to be the dominant highest-rated digital marketing agency in the region, which it still maintains to this day.

Improve your online reputation and build towards higher SEO rankings today by starting a conversation with us. You can set an appointment for a consultation so that we can get to know your business a bit better. From there, you can be on your way to building trust with potential customers, driving more sales, and ranking higher online.

 

If you’re looking for more digital marketing ideas for home improvement contractors, we can help! Coastline Marketing Group can answer your questions about Google Ads, Website Design, Paid Advertising, Social Advertising and more. Please contact us today to learn more about how to grow your contracting business online.

 

Article by Phil Fisk
CEO, Coastline Marketing Group, Inc.
831-789-9320