How To Use Social Media To Grow Your Field Service BusinessBy Mahrukh Karimi on Wednesday, January 31, 2018
The field service industry guide to understanding social media and using it to grow business.
It seems like everybody has been tweeting, chirping, and yelping these days. The internet suddenly seems like a zoo, crowded and imposing. It is easy to push aside these noises as something only the kids are doing, but social media is quickly becoming a vital part of every business strategy—yes, even for your field service business.
In today’s day and age, social media is vital to growing your field service business. Your field service business’ online presence should start with a website, but not be limited to it. Though social media can seem like it is unimportant, it is more important now than ever before. Social media, if used correctly, can be an excellent platform to lead people to your website which will, in turn, increase revenue for your field service business.
Social media should be viewed as an asset to propel your business into the modern age. The fastest growing demographic of homeowners is the millennial population. That’s right, the group known for living in their parents’ basements are purchasing basements of their own.
So if your potential customers are all on social media, shouldn’t you give them a chance to find your business there? Don’t give people a reason to choose the other guy. Even if they do manage to find your field service business amidst all the others, social media gives your competitors an edge. Social media, when used to brand a field service business, supplies voice, character, and a mode for communication. Social media builds your business’ trust.
Setting the Foundation
Before we go into how to use social media, we should probably explain more about what it is. Now, if you’re the social media wiz, have gone viral twice, and get retweets on the daily, you can skip over this section. But since you’re reading this article, you’ll probably need to know the ABC’s and 123’s before we combine the two in calculus.
Facebook: Treat Facebook like your second website. As one of the first things that appears when people search for your field service business (sometimes appearing even before your website), it should be treated as such. Make sure all your business contact information is listed.
On Facebook, you can post pictures, videos, and messages. It is a good platform to inform customers of specials or updates. It is generally recommended that businesses should always post with a form of media on Facebook, whether it be a photo or video.
Facebook holds reviews that you can view. Oftentimes people will also post on your “wall.” You can reply to and like these posts.
Twitter: Twitter allows your company to truly establish its voice. You communicate to your followers through tweets. Most of the time, tweets are sent out without added media, but you can add a picture or video if you would like. However, try to keep added media at a minimum because that is not the best use of the platform.
Your messages on Twitter must be limited to 280 characters, which is around 50 words.
Twitter users are primarily made up of both male and female millennials. This is important to take note of because you can limit particular specials to this platform that you think would resonate with this group more.
Twitter is often used as a place for people to speak directly to companies they know and use. They voice complaints, comments, and compliments directly to you, providing you an opportunity to issue a public reply. This works in the favor of your customer relations and your public brand.
Instagram: Instagram is used to share pictures. This photographic focus can be utilized in one of two ways: displaying your work or establishing company culture. If your field service business does work that would be visually pleasing, such as landscaping or cleaning, post pictures of your finished work to entice potential clients. Otherwise, you can use instagram to show people the integrity of your field service company. Whatever way you use it, you will make your business more real.
LinkedIn: Your LinkedIn is essentially a professional version of Facebook. It will be used less as a marketing platform and more as a tool to grow your network. However, growing your network is a good way to spread word of mouth about your field service business.
Pinterest: Pinterest’s primary demographic is women of all ages, so your content posted must be reflective of that. On Pinterest, people often post pictures leading to webpages. These posts consist of DIY’s, ideas, solutions, and more. Make sure to use quality and intriguing pictures so that people repin and view your content!
Reddit: Reddit often gets overlooked as a valuable space to grow your field service business. On Reddit, users take part in threads, or long chains of conversation regarding a certain topic. There are subreddit pages, where people with a common interest such as plumbing or HVAC can all talk about that particular topic. It is useful to communicate with other field service technicians, answer people’s problems, and gain new perspectives on the field. You can also share backlinks to your website if it applies!
Social Media Terminology
|Relationship||Friend or Follower||Follower||Follower||Connection||Follower|
|Post||Status or Post||Tweet||Post||Update||Pin|
|Popularity||# of Likes||# of likes or Retweets||# of Likes||# of Likes||# of Likes or re-Pins|
If you’re feeling overwhelmed at this point, take a deep breath. You’ll only get made fun of a little (mostly by your kids or grandkids) if you mix up a tweet for a post. The internet is a pretty welcoming place, so don’t sweat it too much.
Now, this is the fun part.
Developing a brand for your field service industry business is your opportunity to articulate the core nature of your business. What does it look like? What does it sound like? What does it believe in? Asking these questions is important in developing a consistent image, even if it means redefining that image. Consider it a mid-life crisis without the hefty credit card bill and angry spouse.
Whether you decide your business is trendy, classic, rugged, funny, or a combination of the above, it is important to remain consistent. Communicate brand to whoever will be in charge of your social media.
Brand is particularly important on Twitter and Instagram, with Twitter being the voice and Instagram being the image. While the other platforms should also remain consistent, brand voice and image are particularly clear on these two social media platforms. You can achieve this identity by maintaining tone through your tweets and retweets and through images on Instagram. Again, consistency is key!
Developing your field service industry brand will, in turn, increase your following and reach while establishing company culture.
Communicating With Your Customers
One of the best things about social media is your ability to develop relationships with your customers through direct communication. Customer relationships can be cultivated through interactions directly on the platforms and through reviews. These interactions can serve as another form to mend issues, exchange witty banter, or respond to positive experiences with your company.
Look at your notifications to see if anybody has tagged or mentioned you. If you find a positive remark, give it a like! Reply to comments to assure you’ve read your customer’s thoughts and appreciate them. Because this interaction is visible to others in their social circle, they will likely wish to do business with your field service company as well.
If you receive negative remarks, show that you care about the commenter’s experience and making it right. Tell them to message you so that you can repair what went wrong. This will show them that it is worth continuing their business relationship with your company and increase your customer retention.
Updates and Promotions
Sharing updates and promotions on your social media is a good way to encourage activity on your platforms. You can make certain promotions applicable only if people share a post and follow your account. This helps spread word-of-mouth! You can also restrict certain promotions to different platforms to see what gets the best results.
We’ve talked a lot about what social media can do for your field service business’ relationship with your customers. Now let’s talk about what social media can do for your relationship with other businesses. Groups on social media are great ways for you and other professionals in your industry to share information and experience.
Groups are essentially clubs. Thanks to the internet, people with common interests are able to connect and discuss what makes them excited. This exchange of ideas can inspire you, grow your network, and keep you up-with-the-times. You can find groups on Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as SubReddits (another type of interest group) on Reddit.
Keep Up With Industry
We spoke about how groups can help you keep up with the industry by talking to the industry. Now, let’s talk about how you can use social media to keep up with consumer trends. Hashtags tell you what is trending at a precise moment. Using relevant hashtag allows you to be visible to people who wouldn’t otherwise see your account.
By following other similar social media accounts, you can see what is trending within the industry. This can provide you ideas for how to appeal to your customers through promotion, content, and making sales. Keeping up with the industry is important when trying to grow your field service business.
Develop A Social Media Strategy
Now that you understand what social media is, it’s time to develop a plan for how to use it.
What voice do you want to be heard?
Start off with figuring out what your company’s brand is. Who do you want to identify with? It can be difficult to analyze your brand on the inside, so ask around. Family, friends, and even strangers can offer good insight as to how your brand is perceived by others. Then, write down how you want the world to perceive your brand. This can be used as a guideline or reference when creating social media content.
Who is in charge of your social media?
Assign a person, whether that be yourself, a family member, or an employee, to lead social media efforts. This person should be aware of expectations in regards to timing, content, and personality.
What social media platforms should you prioritize?
Decide on what platforms would be most beneficial to your company. All of them are free, so it doesn’t hurt to use them all. It is recommended to, at the very least, use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If you have finished projects to display and want to appeal to the female market, Pinterest is a good addition as well. LinkedIn can be utilized more for recruitment and professional connections.
How often will you be posting?
You should maintain a consistent schedule of posting multiple times a week. Having a regular presence online keeps you on the mind of your followers. Setting time aside every day to develop social media content and work on your following will prove to be very beneficial. A good way to gain a following is to follow accounts who would be interested in your content. Find similar accounts and follow their followers; that mutual interest could result in another lead for your field service business!
What is your budget?
Decide on whether you will be hiring a marketer. What would your ROI be? Social media is a great platform to advertise your field service business. You can sponsor your content on many platforms. This allows people who would not normally see your material (outside of your immediate following) to see it and possibly act on it. The nice thing is that you don’t have to spend anything on social media. Your social media budget can be zilch and you can still reap benefits from it!
Growing your field service business can be difficult. Social media provides an easy and free resource that you should take advantage of! Through platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Reddit, and Pinterest, you can grow your field service business by spreading word of mouth, sending backlinks to your website, running promotions, networking, communicating with customers, and keeping up with field service industry changes. And with this guide to growing your field service business, you will be #following and #liking in no time at all!