So you read part one of our social media blog series, and you know you need to get on Facebook but you’re worried you’ll make a mistake? Don’t let social media intimidate you! With a little planning and our expert tips you can maintain an engaging online presence, without committing any serious faux pas.
1. Plan, plan, plan
The key to success on social media is having a plan. Trying to come up with fresh, dynamic, engaging content from week to week is a pretty tall order. We totally understand that some weeks you just might be too busy to spend time coming up with Facebook posts. That’s where a content calendar comes in. A content calendar is just a planning tool to let you do your brainstorming in big chunks when you have the time to make it easier to post when you don’t. Even on your busiest weeks you have time to open an Excel document and copy & paste into Facebook, don’t you?
You can use Enertech’s sample content calendar (attached to this blog post), or do something else that works for you. You could even try adding social media post ideas to your Outlook calendar or your desk planner.
2. Don’t be afraid to call an audible
Having a plan of what you are going to post is important, but truly successful social marketers know that sometimes the plan should be abandoned. You may be featured in a local paper, or you could get an excellent customer review. These things can’t be planned for, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t post about them! Just postpone your planned post for the next week. You should also change your plans in the unlikely case of a disaster or local tragedy. If something devastating happens in your local community, your upbeat planned post may seem insensitive. Always have a plan, but don’t be afraid to make a change at the last minute if it will make your social efforts more successful.
3. Don’t stop posting!
Having a social media profile that doesn’t get updated is worse than not having a presence at all. A Facebook page that hasn’t had any activity in several months can make you look unprofessional, or worse: could make homeowners think you’ve gone out of business! You don’t have to post on a set schedule, but a good rule of thumb is about one post a week. Some weeks you might not have anything to post and others you might have two or three things to post, and that’s okay! Just make sure you post often enough to keep your page looking fresh and active.
Because it takes time to build an active following online, and because social media engagement can fluctuate from week to week, the best way to see if it’s working is to post consistently for several months before making any judgments. Don’t give up after two months because you haven’t gotten any leads yet. Keep posting for at least six months, then measure your results and adjust your strategy accordingly.
4. Respond to comments quickly and professionally
When you are on social media, homeowners will find you. Some will have questions, and some will be less than satisfied customers with an ax to grind. To be a successful social marketer, you need to respond to comments from both groups quickly and kindly. Remember that everything you post on your Facebook page is public and can be seen by other potential customers—don’t respond to rudeness with more rudeness. That doesn’t mean you have to give away the store every time you get an angry comment. Just take a minute to calm down, and then respond to the comment using common sense and courtesy.
A good place to start is something along the lines of, “We’re sorry that you weren’t satisfied with your service. If you give us a call we would be happy to work on finding a solution to your issue.” Directing unsatisfied customers to a phone number lets other homeowners know you are easy to work with and keeps the situation with the angry customer from escalating to an online war of words.
5. If it doesn’t make you look good, don’t post it
In the end, it all comes down to content. When a customer comes into your shop, you don’t show them pictures of your worst jobs and scathing customer reviews, do you? No! You put your best face forward. So do the same thing on social media. Don’t just post a picture of a messy utility room during an installation. Instead, post a before and after side-by-side photo of the in-progress installation and the final product. Keep politics and religion off of your page. You don’t to post something that other people could take offense at—not because it’s politically correct, but because it’s good business. For more suggestions on content for social media, check back for part three of our Social Media blog series.
Facebook can seem a little overwhelming at first, but if you treat it as an extension of your other marketing efforts, it’s easier than you’d think. Post regularly, have a plan, treat people online the same way you would in person, and your social marketing efforts will be a success. If you are still feeling stuck, check out the Enertech social media pages for inspiration, and don’t forget to check back for part three of our Social Media blog series. What are you waiting for? Hop on the Facebook bandwagon today!