Social media seems to be everywhere you look in today’s culture: Waking up and looking at your Facebook, opening Instagram to browse through pictures, or perhaps tweeting to a celebrity. Checking out LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest. The list goes on and on. It’s become a ubiquitous part of our daily lives. Hopefully, you’ve seen how it can keep you connected in your personal life, but have you considered how it could influence your business and help you engage with existing and potential customers? Why should being social matter to you?
Let’s start with the obvious. When a potential customer of yours is looking for a contractor, where is the first place they may go? It’s usually a search engine such as Google or Bing.
If you’re already using social media, you are ahead of your competitors. Being on social media can yield higher SEO results. SEO stands for search engine optimization and it directly affects the visibility of your website or web page in a search engine’s results. SEO is the best way for potential customers to notice your company when they search for contractors on the Internet, but the requirements for success are ever changing. Jayson DeMers explains in the Forbes article, The Top 10 Benefits of Social Media Marketing, “It’s no longer enough to regularly update your blog, ensure optimized title tags and meta descriptions, and distribute links pointing back to your site. Google and other search engines may be calculating their rankings using social media presence as a significant factor, because of the fact that strong brands almost always use social media. As such, being active on social media could act as a “brand signal” to search engines that your brand is legitimate, credible, and trustworthy. That means, if you want to rank for a given set of keywords, having a strong social media presence could be almost mandatory.”
Social media also improves the customer experience. It is a real-time view into how your company can improve by allowing you to monitor customer comments on the issues they’re experiencing or the praise they’re giving you. Word of mouth can be one of the best influencers to win new work.
More social followers yields greater results. Consider this: Twitter has confirmed that, overall, tweets with photos see a 35% boost in retweets, while tweets with videos receive a 28% increase. Additionally, tweets with quotes, numbers, and hashtags generate a 19%, 17%, and 16% increase in retweets respectively, according to this Twitter blog. This means that as your audience grows, so does your customer reach. And if your competitors are already using social media, you’re losing. For small businesses especially, it helps you to get your name out there and create a buzz around the work you do.
Lastly, most social media sites are free and relatively easy to use.
Social media channels are a fantastic tool for reaching customers and the public. Whether you are launching a start-up or leading an established company, start by creating your social media presence if you haven’t done so already. An easy way to begin is to set up a “help line” on your social media channels, so that customers can ask questions about your product and/or service.
Have you asked yourself, “Am I being social?”
About the Author
Deb Carpenter-Beck is a writer and marketer with more than 25 years of experience in the construction and real estate industries. She often writes about technology and best practices and is passionate about helping contractors and real estate professionals achieve their business goals. You can follow her on Twitter @DebCBConstruct.