Home Hardware

Using Social Media to Drive Business, Part III

Last June, Home Hardware Pro News brought you a second helping of social media tips for contractors. Given how vital it is these days to maintain a respected social media presence, this topic deserves yet another chapter. Let's review some more social media channels that you should consider to help draw business.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the old man of social media, but it’s somewhat gotten lost in a sea of shiny new toys. However, LinkedIn has an advantage as a contractor marketing tool in that visitors use it strictly for business purposes – no one is going to LinkedIn to play games, post pictures of what they are eating for lunch, or to “poke” someone.

The fact that it’s mostly a content-based forum means that no one is going to be distracted by a plethora of photos or videos, giving you a better chance of being heard. A less-cluttered news feed means your messages are more likely to resonate when you share your content on LinkedIn.

Get started tips
  1. Join any groups that are relevant to your industry and make sure to post items targeted to people within that group (i.e., webinars you’re hosting, articles you’ve written, etc.).
  2. Demonstrate your thought leadership by responding to questions on LinkedIn.
  3. Tap into word of mouth referrals by asking satisfied customers to write recommendations for your profile page.


Facebook

Is anyone on the world not on Facebook? It’s interesting to note that of companies that use Facebook ads, 61 per cent say they do so for awareness reasons, while only 35 per cent are doing so for engagement reasons. Clearly, there are ways to engage your community and potential customers on Facebook without investing advertising dollars. Facebook’s Timeline feature presents a great platform to tell your brand story visually, which can help people more easily connect with you and forge a more meaningful relationship with your brand.

Get started tips
  1. Set up a page for your business – not a group or profile.
  2. Check if your vanity URL is available on Namevine.com.
  3. Make sure you fill out your page profile entirely – allowing your customers to know you completely will foster trust.


Twitter

It’s Facebook without all the clutter and has huge value from a spheres of influence standpoint. Get the right influencer to retweet one your posts and watch how quickly your brand awareness can grow. Track clicks and retweets to get a sense of what type of content the community is most likely to respond to and adjust your tweeting as necessary. It’s fine to flog your brand and products periodically, but if that’s all you do, you will be on the receiving end of a lot of unfollows. This is a very effective channel for delivering 24/7 customer service.

Get started tips
  1. Start by listening – search for your company name, your competitors, industry terms – and see what’s being said about you and your sector.
  2. Use hashtags (#) with common industry terms to help people discover you.
  3. Add relevant keywords to your tweets to improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO).


YouTube

Video makes for extremely engaging and SEO-friendly content. It’s also the type of content that is far more likely to go viral, so if your business hasn’t set up a YouTube channel, it’s definitely something that needs to be considered. The business applications are wide-ranging, from how-to content to training videos, from customer care videos to event coverage. Purely from a traffic standpoint, the advantage your brand can receive from YouTube is staggering.

Get started tips
  1. When setting up your channel, include your logos and customize the colours to match your brand’s look and feel.
  2. Tag your videos with the appropriate keywords to ensure they appear in search results.
  3. Focus on adding value for your audience as opposed to simply entertaining them. If you can do both, kudos to you!