For some of your potential customers, your social media presence is the deciding factor when choosing between hiring you or one of your competitors. Get started with social media marketing for your business by reading 9 expert tips from our Social Media Manager, Sarah, below.
1. Start with a social media marketing plan
Consistency is key to growth. So, it’s important to create a realistic social media plan that you’ll be able to stick to. The first thing to think about is your resources.
How often will you post on social media? Think about how much time you have to spend posting on social media. Remember to factor in time to respond to comments and messages.
What money can you invest into your social media marketing? Sharing updates, links to your website, photos and videos is free, but you may want to consider paid advertising too. That way, you can target the people who are most relevant to your business with your ads to familiarise them with your company and potentially win work from them.
2. Choose your social media platforms
The platform that’s best for you depends on your trade and business goals. If your work is very visual – maybe you build impressive extensions or transform gardens with beautiful landscaping – then an image-based platform like Instagram is a good choice. On the other hand, if your work is less visual but you’ve got lots of technical expertise, such as in electrics or plumbing, try a video-based platform like YouTube or TikTok where you can explain some of the crux of the job and position yourself as an expert.
3. Know your audience
To get the most out of your social media marketing, it’s important to make sure you’re using the platforms that:
- Are used by your target audience.
- Fit with the type of content you’d like to create.
- Allow you to achieve your goals for social media.
|Social media platform||Average age of users||Suggested content||Your goal|
|25-34||Updates on your business||Building loyalty|
|25-34||Visual content such as before and afters||Inspire potential customers|
|YouTube||15-25||How-to videos, day in the life videos, advice||Inform and entertain your audience|
|30-49||Sharing positive reviews, company updates and trending news||Connecting with similar businesses in your industry|
|TikTok||18-24||Fun and creative videos of your work||Show off your creativity and the fun side to your business|
|30-49||Pictures of your work||Give your audience interior inspiration|
|46-55||Sharing trade news and company updates||Networking|
However, don’t dismiss certain channels straight away based on factors like age. For example, TikTok may be known for being a platform for a younger crowd, but our research has found that it’s very popular for home transformations, #BrickTok and general trades work.
4. Research your competitors’ social media marketing activity
Take a look at what similar businesses to yours are doing on your chosen social media platform(s) to get an idea of the types of content that your potential customers are interested in. If you’re not sure who your competitors are, start with a Google search along the lines of ‘*your trade* in *your area*’ (e.g. Carpenter in Birmingham).
Keep an eye out for how often they post, the type of content they’re posting and which posts get the most interactions. Once your research is done, think about what you could do better on your own social media profiles.
5. Nail your profile
Your social media profile looks and performs at its best when it’s fully completed and optimised. When you’re creating a social media profile, you’ll need to have the following things to hand:
- A clear photo of yourself (if you’re a sole trader), your team (if you’re a small business) or your logo. You’ll need one of these for your profile picture.
- A photo that’s relevant to your industry. It’s good practice to upload an eye-catching cover photo – this could be a picture of your tools/equipment, you or your team in action or of some work you’ve done.
- Photos of your work. Potential customers love to see your handiwork.
- Keywords. Optimise your bio with keywords that you think people would search on Google to find you. An example is ‘London plumber’.
6. Grow your audience and build a rapport with your followers
A great way to entice new followers and get your business in front of new eyes is to:
- Run a competition where you ask your followers to tag their friends, like your post and follow your page. This will create a domino effect and spread the word about your business.
- Tag other brands in your posts – for example, if you’re posting a picture of your work, you could tag the companies you bought the materials from. Then, they might share your post too!
- Use relevant hashtags to get your business in front of others who are searching for those hashtags, or similar ones. For example, if you share a before and after photo of a bathroom transformation you’ve worked on, tag #bathroominspo. If you need help finding relevant hashtags, you can use display purposes or another free hashtag sourcing tool.
- Use geotargeting and add your location so others can see the areas you work in and find your posts more easily.
- Create engaging posts. Some social media platforms have features that allow your followers to engage with you easily. Instagram Stories has lots of options for interactive stickers such as polls, ask a question and quiz features, for example.
- Put links to your social media profiles onto your business card, in your email signature, on your posters, on your van branding and on your other social media profiles.
- Asking your customers to share photos of your work on their own social media profiles and to tag you.
How to keep your followers once you’ve got them
To keep your followers once you’ve got them, you should continue to engage with them. At a minimum, you need to like and respond to comments on your posts and answer any questions professionally. You should also like and comment on relevant posts from your audience, to build up a relationship with your followers.
Other ways to decrease the likelihood of people unfollowing you include:
- Asking for their opinions. Some platforms have poll features that let you pick the brains of your audience.
- Offering a loyalty scheme or referral programme through social media.
- Offering your followers a discount for jobs booked within a certain time frame.
7. Work out the best time to post
When you first start your social media marketing, post your content at different times of the day. Once you’ve built up an audience, some social media platforms have analytics features that allow you to see what time of day your audience is active. Then, you’ll know what times are best to post at moving forwards.
You can also see the age, gender and location of your followers in Creator Studio Insights for Instagram and Facebook, and on Analytics for Twitter, LinkedIn and TikTok.
8. Schedule posts for when you’re busy
Social media marketing doesn’t need to be extremely time-consuming. By scheduling your posts in advance, you won’t have to worry about your next social media post when you’re on the go.
It’s a good idea to block out some time at the start of the week to scheduling your posts for the rest of the week. Just make sure to respond to any engagements that you get on those posts as soon as you can!
9. Share your posts with us, too
Get your content in front of thousands of more people by sharing your work with us. Simply tag us using @RatedPeople and use the hashtag #RatedPeople and we’ll share your work on our social media platforms, like we did for Lockhart Roofing on TikTok (check it out below).
Social media plays an important part in your marketing. For advice on how to integrate it into your wider marketing plan, visit our Trade Advice Centre:
- Top 10 marketing tips for small businesses.
- Coronavirus: Digital marketing tips to make your small business stand out.