Originally posted on https://upcity.com/blog/how-to-make-social-media-work-for-your-business/
As long as there have been businesses, there has been a push to get people interested in those businesses. For a long time, passive marketing sought to capture the consumer’s attention but neglected to engage with them.
These days, consumer engagement excels and shows how social media work impacts the bottom line. Trends show an ever-increasing portion of dollars spent per visit as referrals from social media.
Getting more dollars per referral and more engagement per post is all about knowing where to apply resources. Service businesses that often play the role of unsung hero can get a lot of mileage out of social media.
This article will go over some of the biggest tips on how to use social media to increase engagements by customers with local service businesses.
Leveraging Social Media Work
The best way to work social media is to play with social media. Consumers seek out engagement on multiple platforms. They crave a sense of belonging and to increase their social circles.
You succeed in gaining attention by leveraging that desire. Making your business a part of the consumer’s everyday life keeps you in front of them. In many ways that is the purpose of social media marketing.
Especially for businesses that interact with everyday life but tend to be dismissed. Everybody wants to keep their property clear of debris, their roof in good condition, and their homes pest free. Nobody wants to spend a lot of time thinking about those things.
These social media marketing tips will give you the tools to up your engagement and lock in interest.
Create an Overall Plan
As social media interaction reflects your overall business, you want to put consistency first. No matter what you plan on doing with your social media, you need to do it with the same frequency and at the same time.
Having an overall plan helps guide your content and interaction across multiple platforms. It also helps you stay on message when dealing with multiple posts.
Create a rubric of ‘oughts’ for each post. These may include tips about your prospective service or information beneficial to the consumer.
What do you want posts to put forth? What work do you want them to do? Answering these questions and going back to your rubric keeps your message consistent.
Emote But Don’t Pander
Research shows that emotion hits harder than facts. Numbers and data reinforce a point but few engage with the numbers up front.
Business social media puts the humanity of the company up front. You engage with the consumer by showing the people the humanity that makes up the business.
You don’t want to push that feeling too far. Agreeing with everything your customer thinks will come across as pandering, not engagement.
People like to be talked to not talked down to. They have a finely tuned sense of which is happening. Once they decide they are being played, they will not only disengage but will loudly attempt to take everyone else with them.
Offering discounts, coupons, and freebies for subscribing or following are good ideas. You want to give something to the customer that feels like a bonus, not a bribe.
When talking about the quality of your service, you want to refrain from overpromising. It is better to talk about a concept like quality or loyalty than to state you have it.
A good example of this can be seen by Great Adventure RV’s post congratulating a customer on their purchase of a new camper. People like hearing their name and like being uplifted even more.
By including their customer’s purchase in their social media strategy, they increase the satisfaction of the customer’s experience as well as building a social proof and referral network that carries more weight than a paid ad.
Know Your Platforms
Not all platforms work the same or offer the same type of engagement. Many consumers use a platform for a specific purpose. Some use multiple platforms while others only use one.
Your message needs to work in many places while not being repetitive.
Types of Views
Some platforms specialize in interaction while some are meant to be reflective. Some use text and others visuals and other platforms are increasingly using both.
For example, Facebook works well for adding layers of detail. You can post about changing seasons and the importance of getting the HVAC prepped for warm/cold conditions. Since the timeline lets people quickly see several posts, a string of tips leading up to the changeover creates a pattern of interaction.
Trying that with Twitter would be a wash as older posts would quickly disappear and leave no history.
Newer platforms, by default, attract a younger audience. Established platforms bring in general audiences.
The platforms you chose to use can say something about your company. Keep your message authentic by posting in the right locations.
For example, an Instagram account is a risky choice for an exterminator. Pictures of ravaged homes and clumps of dead pests are not uncommon. Some of these get instantly ignored, others get shared for the wow and creep factor.
You want to process the effectiveness of engagement based on the criteria of the platform. In some places comments will be expected, in others, sharing and liking of posts equates high engagement.
Types of Content
Make your content fit the platform. You don’t want to post a string of text on YouTube and you don’t post stories on Twitter.
Part of this is leveraging the ability of the platform to carry the media you post. The other part is about meeting expectations.
When a customer comes to your Twitter account, they are looking for short and specific content. If they interact, they want specific, well-worded, responses.
Twitter is a great place to do Q&As and immediate response. Tweeting out a play by play of a plumbing job going awry spreads awareness and brings in the cringe viewers.
Another bonus here is in showing you know what you are doing. Using the platform to deliver the right content shows you know how things work. This creates trust in your products and services.
Facebook allows for posting of video, image or just text content that can then be linked to an URL showing the additional information of the post.
On Point Service Company, a local HVAC company, does a good job of this by posting an image that resonates with their audience on a subject that is relevant to almost 70% of the U.S. households. As of 2018, 68% of households report owning a pet with 95% of people considering their pets as family members.
On Point Service Company’s post about how to keep pets warm this winter resonates with their audience. This resonance can then translate to customers as they consider if their home is warming properly for their pets.
Quantity vs Quality
When you designed your plan, you made a commitment to consistency. Now, consistency needs to toe the line between the quantity of posts and quality.
You want to be posting often enough to keep people interested and give them enough interaction to feel appreciated. Too little and they won’t bother checking your once a week post.
Unless that post is worth waiting for.
Showing updates to a roof from week to week shows the quality of work and draws interest to the process. This is also a great way to see feedback on how consumers view work in progress over the beginning and end.
You can’t control a particular post striking a particular chord. Some of your posts will be better received than others. Your aim is to always be above a certain bar of quality.
This provides the necessary quality to your consistent quantity.
One final word here, too many posts will start getting ignored. Even material like ‘joke of the day’ wears on people over time. They will start skipping a few days because engaging becomes a chore.
Varying content helps with this. A little bit too much is still too much. Avoid burnout by being comfortable with silence.
The end goal of social media is to be social. Your strategies get attention and then you convert that attention to engagement. Then the engagement converts to customer.
People want to be heard and seen. They want to be understood. They want to feel like part of the group.
Use any engagement as a teaching moment. Posting a picture of a scar on a tree lets you talk about treatment and causes. This also opens the door to talk about things other viewers have seen and are concerned about.
Give back to your customers with your social media experience. Let them direct some conversations and build a community. The interaction gives you vital insight into your demographics and gives them a way to address issues.
Get Your Message Across
Making social media work requires a lot of planning with a delicate balance. Social media, as a tool, relies on how consumers react and engage. You need to be prepared to adjust, while meeting expectations.
Don’t put too much pressure on the tool or your customers. You won’t become an expert overnight, but you have the tools to get started.