Social media has changed the way people use the internet and transformed into a powerful tool for businesses looking to distinguish themselves from the competition. What is your home services business doing to engage with customers, highlight your brand and promote your services online?
Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. LinkedIn. Snapchat. Pinterest. Even if you’re not a member of these social media platforms, you’ve undoubtedly heard of them.
Did you know that one-in-three internet users will view a business’ social media presence when looking for information on their services? Or that 71% of users will recommend a business if they have a good social media experience with them? Or that 57% of consumers say they have been swayed by seeing positive comments and engagements with a business online?
These are just are just a few of many numbers that continue to tell business owners what they likely already know: social media presence matters. So whether your company is looking to revamp its social media efforts or you’re approaching this arena for the first time, we’ve collected five foundational tips for getting you started on the right foot.
Have a Plan One of the biggest mistakes businesses make when devising a social media plan is assuming that it will be quick and easy. Signing up may be quick and easy, but maintaining a robust, engaging social media presence is time consuming and requires thought and consideration. First, explore these platforms and decide which of them will be most beneficial to your business.
Questions to consider when choosing platforms include:
- Which platforms are my customers already using?
- Which platform gives me the best tools to promote my business?
- Which platforms allow me to post various kinds of content (text, images, video)?
- Will I be sharing a lot of visual content?
- Will I need to be responding to customers frequently?
Facebook is the most widely used platform, but beyond that, it’s important to choose the platforms where know you can best showcase your company. When making a plan, also keep in mind that consistency is key. Once you commit entering these platforms, it’s critical that you keep up with them, post frequently, and not let your profile pages fall dormant.
Stay Visual Visual content, such as photos and videos, are powerful to users and encourage engagements (likes and shares). It’s also recommended that you use visual content not just to show things like your building and before-after shots of your work, but content that features your team and office culture, as well. Users want to see the human beings behind the services they’re considering and get the impression that they’re approachable, professional, and maybe even fun.
Pro tip: Remember to optimize your image sizes for different platforms:
As of 12/15/17, the dimensions were as follows:
- Facebook profile photo: 180 x 180 pixels minimum (larger sizes recommended)
- Facebook cover photo: 820 x 312 pixels
- Facebook shared photo: 1,200 x 627 pixels
- Instagram profile photo: 110 x 110 pixels
- Google+ profiles photo: 250 x 250 pixels
- Google+ cover photo: 480 x 270 pixels minimum
- LinkedIn company logo photo: 300 x 300 pixels
- LinkedIn company cover photo: 1192 x 220 pixels minimum
- LinkedIn company banner photo: 646 x 220 pixels minimum
- Twitter profile photo: 800 x 800 pixels
- Twitter header photo: 1,500 x 500 pixels
(For easy image creation and resizing, check out the free web tool, Canva)
Curate Your Content (and Make It About You) Remember that you want to be choosy when it comes to what you post and share. Your business social media account shouldn’t be maintained like a personal account — so sharing irrelevant news items, opinions, or memes is frowned upon. Instead, focus on your business, your brand, and your community. Post about an upcoming local event you help sponsor, renovations to your office, or even the addition of a new team member. Even in seemingly chaotic platforms like Twitter, users want to see brands with both hands on the wheel.
Be Responsive You may be expecting customer inquiries and feedback on review sites like Yelp, but if you choose to establish your business on social media platforms, you’re going to get them there, too. The same rules still apply. Be timely. Be gracious. Be patient. Remember (especially when responding to complaints), when you respond to customers, you want to demonstrate what your customer service is like to the other users who may be viewing these interactions.
Use Tools to Track and Plan There are various digital tools that can help you plan and schedule social media posts across various platforms. These can be extremely useful in creating social media campaigns and even tracking your ROI. Popular platforms like Facebook and Twitter have analytics services and Facebook’s publishing tools even allow you to schedule posts in advance. If you’re using various platforms, it may be worth looking into a social media management product that gives you a bird’s eye view all in one place — and can even help you implement paid ad campaigns.