Yes, you read that right. Social media is playing an increasingly important role in how people research and find things – especially when it comes to home service providers.
If you’re in that industry, you need to watch this. We’re going to share why social media work so well for this industry and give you some tips to help improve your own business.
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Sarah: It's been a really busy week, but we're happy to be here and talk about a really, really, really important topic, which is the importance of social media for the home service business. And you're probably thinking why home service in particular? And we're, we're going to tell you why, because obviously social media is great for all types of industries, but in particular, the home service business can do exceptionally well with social media tools that are available. So that's what we're going to talk about today. We're going to give you some tips and ways to help improve your social media game. So let's get going. Shall we?
Glyna: Yeah! Good morning, and welcome to Marketing Mix. Every week Sarah and I are here to talk about different segments that are going to highlight different types of digital marketing. Sometimes we talk about Q & A's, sometimes we talk about trends, tips, but it's all for us to be a resource to our customers and potential customers. So we're excited about that. Let's first look at our broadcasts.
Sarah: Every single Friday we go live on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, and you can catch the replay on Instagram and LinkedIn. And don't forget about our podcast, Marketing and A Mic. Again, it's just another really good resource for you to use. And as always subscribe to our YouTube channel, we are putting out new videos every single week. And as you said, Glyna, that's really what this is about. We are wanting to be a resource because digital marketing, it can be hard. We want to simplify it for everybody out there.
All righty. So social media as we talked about, it's a really valuable tool for any type of business, gosh, for so many reasons. But the biggest is that you have this ability to interact with customers, potential customers, and it's such a good platform to showcase your business. So that's what we want to talk about, is ways you can do that.
Yes, that's exactly right. So let's just talk a little bit more about how social media can work with home service businesses. And we might even want to back up just a little bit and talk about what a home service business is or what that means exactly. Any type of business that comes to your home to do something for you. So, we could be talking about pest control companies, heating and air companies, plumbers, septic tank companies, anybody that comes to your home. Now, home service businesses and social media. We all know that social media has become the platform where people go to voice their opinions, share their experiences, good or bad, and look for recommendations for these home-related services. I see it every day all over social media, in search of "who's the best heating and air company? Who's the best plumber?" That kind of thing. So, it makes so much sense for you to use social media because people can interact not only in their neighborhoods or close friends, but to a larger audience as a whole.
Sarah: Yeah. People are using social media like crazy for just talking. They go on these community pages and they're asking, and they're swapping information, they're looking for recommendations, they're talking about other businesses. And quite frankly, if they're talking about your business and you're not on social media and you have no way of knowing, really one thing that could happen is they could be saying stuff about your business and you have no idea. But in particular, it's really important as a business owner to use that opportunity to become part of the conversation. So you want to make sure that your business is accurately portrayed and promote your business and services. If they're like, hey, I'm looking for a recommendation, you can be right there to say, "call us!".
Glyna: I know a lot of the home service industry people that we work with, they wear a lot of hats. They're doing almost everything or have their hand in everything with their business. And they're like, social media is my last worry or thought a lot of times. Well, it shouldn't be because you definitely want to be engaging and making sure that if somebody is talking about your business, you want to know about it and you want to be able to respond. So, you do need to have a presence on social media or have someone that's able to watch that stuff for you. So, let's talk about how we're going to use social media for the home service industry. The first thing we want to do is increase brand recognition. And what do we mean by brand? Brand is what you think of when you think of a company. Like for Fusion One Marketing I think everybody thinks about our bright colors, and they can spot our logo a mile away. That's what you want for your company. You want people to establish familiarity. They want to be familiar with you in the area that you service. So, you want to stick with a consistent brand. Again, use your logo, use your color scheme, use what people know about you, or think about you over and over and over, to establish a clear brand.
Sarah: Yeah. That's so valuable because when you think about a brand, you're just naturally, you're going to think about the logo. You're going to think about the color. So when you put that out there over and over again, it kind of increases the likelihood that they're going to remember you, and that you're going to be top of mind when they're searching randomly for a business. And we can't stress this enough, put some photos out there of your work and what you're doing. Some before and afters. That is such a good advertisement. And it's the best way for potential customers to check you out and kind of get an idea of the quality of work that you're doing. So really, really a great platform to use, to just put your stuff out there.
Glyna: Yeah. And I know you may think, okay, I barely have enough time to get my work done during the day, but it's still important to have that dedicated person to do this for you, whether it's in your company or a company like ours. So, there are ways to do this where it's not always you doing all the work. So, let's talk about ways to increase that brand recognition. Having someone be able to scan those community pages and neighborhood pages, that's where people are asking all these questions. Who do you know? Who's the best person? And guess what? They're going to go right over to your social media page and check you out. They're going to see, how serious are you about your business? Do you have stuff going on there? So, the most important thing, please have it filled completely out, because these people may never go to your website. So, they're counting on your social media to give them all the info, contact info included.
Sarah: That's so true. When somebody makes a recommendation, I'm going to check them out. I'm going to do my research. So, you better believe we're going to go over to their social media. So, that's why it's so important to post regularly. And not only does that help with your branding, but it helps create a positive image for your business. It kind of gains that trustworthiness and establishes your credibility, and people are thinking, okay, so lights are on people are home. Things are going on here. You just don't want them to go over to your business page and it's just, it's not filled out, your information is not there, the last post that you did was 2019. We see it and it's not good.
Glyna: Yeah. And not only that, having it filled out completely, but make sure it looks good. Don't just slap something up there that looks, well, half- you know what I mean.
Sarah: Do we need to censor you this morning?
Glyna: I'm a little spicy this morning. So, that's brand. Alright? Establish it, make sure people recognize it when they're looking for what you do. Now, the second thing for social media, we want to cultivate customer loyalty. When it comes to social media, engagement is key. If you provide your customers with useful information and great customer service, they're more likely to come back again and again, there you go with your loyalty. They're not going to leave you for somebody else.
Sarah: Mm-hmm. Boy is that important, it's so important, so important. And also what social media has this ability to do, is to help build your reputation and likelihood that you're going to get recommendations passed on. Because another thing is that more and more customers are using Messenger to ask questions, to schedule appointments, to do all that sort of stuff. So when you think about a customer service aspect of it, being able to use Messenger, and be on it, and respond to things can help cultivate that customer loyalty.
Glyna: It doesn't just happen by itself. You have to work out a little bit and let's talk about reviews. Talk about customer loyalty. You want to do such good work, that your customers are so loyal to you, that they're going to go leave you reviews. Because if there's one thing I look at, and I know you and I talk about this all the time, is that we look at online reviews. Now, reviews can serve two major purposes. One, identify areas of improvement, which is not what we want because that's basically somebody giving you not a very good review. Positively, you can look at that as a positive way of, hey, I need to fix that. And then the next thing is to build confidence in potential customers and show the quality of your business. So, reviews, good reviews, let's go back on that, it's very important. So, it's very important to actively seek out that customer feedback.
Sarah: So, when you think about online reviews, I know it's so hard. You're just saying that everybody's trying, you're just trying to keep up with your business. You don't need like one more thing, but there is such an importance in it. So, really what will be helpful is to give them lots of options on how they can leave a review. Get your team, everyone out in the field to ask for them directly, find ways to do that and give it right in front of their customers. Just make it easy. And the other thing, when we talk about Messenger, because I see it so much, everybody's, they're sending a message and they're waiting, and they're waiting, and they're waiting. So you want to set up an auto-reply on Messenger. And this is so great because you can generate really specific instant replies and you can also add a FAQ section. So, if you're finding that there's a lot of general questions that they're asking, you can set up these automatic replies and it just kind of helps a lot with getting that fast customer service so that they're not sitting around waiting, and you're resolving any issues really quickly because let's face it. If you're not doing that and you're not getting back to them, they're like, I'm out.
Glyna: Because mostly in the home service industry, it is something that they need immediately. If something's wrong with our septic tank or their air conditioning's out, they need a response. Well, even if it's an automated response for Messenger to give you a little time, we just set up one, I think you just set up one with one of the heating and air companies that we're working with in Messenger, I think the other day. So, we're really starting to use that with our customers. So make sure you get a reply to these people, so they're not hanging out there. So, and the reviews, again, we are all about reviews and if you need some pointers of how to get reviews, one good tip that we started using is these little business cards that we've had printed. You design them, which is so awesome, and we're using QR codes. So you can have your people out in the field, have this card, show the customer how to just pull up your review, whether it's Google, Facebook, whatever. Anyway, it's just a great tip, and we would be glad to help you with that, too. But reviews are hard. Reviews are so hard, but there are ways to do it and we'd love to help you with that.
Sarah: There are ways. That QR card is so huge because everyone's got their phone right there. So you just give them the card, they scan the code, pull up the review and it's done in minutes.
Glyna: Yeah. And QR codes have come a long way or I would say that phones have come a long way, because you don't even have to have a scanner anymore. That was the old QR code reader. You had to have this specific scanner and it was kind of a pain, but now you just have to open up your phone, open up your camera, excuse me. And it'll zaps right in there. So, it's real easy to use. But anyway, we love our little review cards.
Sarah: We do.
Glyna: We just want to pass that tip on. Let's talk about number three. How do you broaden your customer base or use social media to broaden your customer base? Social media, for any type of company, but especially for home service is a great platform to get more business, if you know how to do it right. And you just can't rely on word of mouth anymore. I know that's how a lot of businesses, 20 years ago referred on word of mouth and referral, but you really can't use that as your sole advertising tool anymore.
Sarah: Social media, how it's so great for broadening your customer base, is that you can use, you can have followers help spread the word about your business. So, if they're happy, they're your word of mouth in an incredible way. They'll just keep sharing and spreading about your business. And it kind of gives you the ability to learn about your audience, which I think is really important. When you're posting regularly, when you're putting resources out there and content, and when you're doing it regularly, you have this power to go in and look at how they're responding to stuff that you're putting out there. And that's a good way to kind of collect that feedback so that you can target your customer better.
Glyna: Everything we're talking about can refer to any type of business. But again, we're talking about home service businesses that don't always think they need these kinds of things. So anyway, let's talk about ways to broaden that customer base using social media. Develop incentives for people to follow you or to share your content. That's a really cool way to spread the word, spread your brand. And you might even think about investing in some kind of social media ads. You can do ads on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and that's a great way to reach new people in new areas, because as Sarah and I always talk about, you better know your demographic. Who are you going after? And these ads allow you to pick those people out and expand into another area.
Sarah: And along with having that ability of getting your followers to kind of spread the word and share some of your content, a really good thing too, is to engage in an encouraged two way communication. So, what exactly does that mean? That's where you're asking customers to give you feedback, share your thoughts. So ask some questions, take some polls, give them a little inside look of what's going on within your own organization. When they feel like they're a part of it, and that it's a two-way street of where they can share their opinions, it really helps. And then again, they're more likely to sort of share, recommend, get your name out for you, which is increasing that customer base.
Glyna: The more engagement, the better. And again, I kind of mentioned that I may have skipped ahead a little bit. Target. You can use the social media to target your likely customers. So again, yeah. Number four, sorry, I didn't give the drum roll. Number four... your likely customers. Social media can help you get your brand again, in front of the right people, AKA the people that are most likely to convert into customers. And talked about it just a second ago, and we always harp on this, know your demographic, know where you want to have your products and services available, and target those people that are most likely to buy your product or service. Go find them. Don't just throw stuff up against the wall. The tools are available. So, you need to use them.
Sarah: Right. And that's the thing with social media that's so helpful, is they're giving you those analytics and insights. So you can go in there and get an idea and sort of look at the commonalities of the demographics. Who's responding the most to my stuff? How are they responding? What is getting the highest response? And when you look at that, you're sort of building that persona of who your target audience is. Because as you said, there's no point in spreading it to the masses when you could really find your bread and butter, just using some insights that social media provides. So, we say this all the time, pick the right platforms. First, you want to figure out who your customer is. Then you want to find the platforms where they're hanging out. So, you just don't want to invest any more time than in the places where your best customers are. Golly, did we say that a time or two?
Glyna: Yeah, just a couple, but I know it's overwhelming. Social media is overwhelming in general for somebody who that's not their everyday business. So you don't have to be on every platform. Again, that's a huge point. Be where your customers are. So create like advertisements and content again, targeting these people. What's your objective? Who are you after? Who's most likely to buy your stuff? So those ads then just zero in on those people, which again, helps build your brand again. And guess what? The more people think about you, then that gets you more potential sales. Easy.
Sarah: It's easy. It's so easy. A cave man do it. Not really. But as you said, at the end of the day, why we're picking the home service industry is because we have found and I'm sure you have found people are flocking there more and more to get suggestions and recommendations and talk about home service. Because they'll say, I need somebody to help with this. I've got this going on with my home. And so that's why it's so good for home services to be right there and insert themselves in that conversation.
Glyna: Yes. And again, those home service people, the people that need you, they're needing you right now. So you need to have your stuff together. You need to be posting. You need to do all this stuff that we mentioned. And if you need help, obviously you know where to go. But that's about it. Can you think of any last, you have any last minute words for us this week?
Sarah: We just always want to be a resource. So, if anybody needs a consultation, wants to talk it out for social media or any kind of digital marketing service, we'd love to have a conversation.
Glyna: That's exactly right. So, I guess we will see you all next Friday again, at eight o'clock. Have a great week!
Glyna: Good bye.