We had a lively membership meeting in December with speaker Richie DeMarco, VP of Eveready Hardware, who spoke to our group about social media. Now that we’ve had some time to implement everything we’ve learned…wait…you DID implement some of the tips he suggested didn’t you? Well, if you didn’t, here are some of the highlights that can help you grow your business using social media.
1) Facebook: it pays to “Boost Post.” Facebook admits that only 16% of posts are actually seen by your “fans” – the people who have “Liked” your page. 16%! In other words, it doesn’t matter how many times a week you post - only a few people will ever actually see them.
Facebook knows we’re using these business pages as free marketing. Fortunately, they’ve at least made it fairly inexpensive to get more eyes on your posts. A client, and fellow EM NARI member, who is a remodeling contractor used the Boost Post feature. The graphic below shows the difference between a post that wasn’t boosted beyond “organic” reach and the ones he spent a little money on. We went from 160/195 views to 817 and 1.4k and only spent $5-$10 per post. It’s definitely worth it to spend a little money and pick a target audience (you can choose a geographic area or “People who like your page and their friends” for examples).
2) Houzz. The key to a great Houzz profile is having stunning, professional images. There are no two ways about it. Once you have those, be sure you’ve included project descriptions and include “keywords” when you post photos to a project (which basically means that you list every single interesting thing in the picture that a homeowner may do a search for – be sure and include brand names of appliances).
I agree with Richie that there’s no point in advertising on Houzz until you have a solid profile, with several great projects, as well as a few reviews. Don’t spend money on advertising unless you have a great profile to show potential customers. Other ways to boost your profile on Houzz without spending on advertising is to engage in “discussions” and to answer any questions that people ask about your photos (even if they are from Alaska and will never be a client, it’s best to be responsive).
3) Post to social media at least 2-3 times per week to be effective. This may seem like a lot of time, but it doesn’t need to be. Schedule posts in advance using web sites like bufferapp.com or hootsuite.com. If your business only uses Facebook, you can schedule posts directly within the app. Struggling with what to post or need more content? Try news360.com to find interesting articles to share. Be sure and “Follow” or “Like” your competitors’ pages/feeds to see what they’re posting about and spark ideas.
4) Why blog? This wasn’t covered in Richie’s talk, but I suggest that businesses add a blog post to their web sites at least once a month. Why? You’ll boost your Google rankings by adding fresh content to your web site.
Blogs should be informative and helpful to your customers and don’t need to be particularly long (less than 600 words). Be sure to include images in your blog as well as links to outside sources that are mentioned in the text. Once you’ve added a blog to your web site, REUSE THE CONTENT. Add a teaser of the blog as well as the image to Facebook to drive people back to your web site. Depending on the blog, turn it into an article that you can post to your business or professional LinkedIn page. Have an e-newsletter going out soon? Again, tease the blog in the newsletter and drive people to your site. Tweet it! Great image? Send it through Instagram!
5) Reviews. It would be fantastic if we could ask for a review and then post it to Houzz, Facebook, Yelp etc., but there’s no way to consolidate like that. By the end of a project everyone is ready to move on, but not asking for a review soon after completion is a lost opportunity. Be sure and send links to your social media pages and ask for reviews. From within your Houzz profile, you can email clients directly and ask for a review.Article by: Amy Cafazzo, Studio A Marketing.At Studio A Marketing, I specialize in helping contractors, architects, and designers grow their business through smarter marketing, communications, and PR efforts.