In a stagnant housing market more people are spending money on improving the home they have got rather than attempting to sell and buy. This is good for home improvement businesses and especially those who are working to harnass the power of social media.
As with all articles in our ‘Social media for X’ series lets consider how the basic social media mix of Twitter, a blog, Facebook and Youtube might be used.
See every project as a source of social media that sells your good service
Happy customers are the best champions of a building company’s good service and tradesman skills. There are two different types of happy customer
Noisy champion: If she likes the extension you built her, or the roof work you did or the rewiring then her friends and friends’ friends will probably get to hear about it and new business will result.
Quiet champion: Equally impressed by your work and service, but somewhat less chatty he may do nothing or very little for your company’s fame and future business
Social media can help boost business by exploiting the positive experience of both the noisy and quiet champions. Social media provides
- The evidence to back up what the noisy champion says
- The platform where quiet champion’s opinion is permanently published and available for all to see
- Announce every new contract won
- Announce the end of every project, especially those that finish ahead of schedule
- Alert followers to new blog posts/Facebook updates
- Alert followers to Youtube testimonies
For further ideas on what to tweet take a look at my list of appropriate business tweets and suggest additions if you have any.
Write posts / post updates on each project including
- Project plans
- Choices available and choices made
- The progress of the project
- Before and after photographs
- Youtube testimonies including interviews with clients
(You might offer discount incentives to clients who agree to providing testimonies and allowing publication of photographs and film on their property. Whatever you do you should always secure agreement.)
Build your brand and become a recognised source of advice and expertise
Social media is not just sell, sell, sell! No one is going to follow your tweets or your blog if all you do is fill them with adverts.
Every year new styles evolve and there are developments in building and decorating materials. Providing information through your social media your company can become synonymous with useful up-to-date design ideas, building practice and information.
- Produce your own social media content covering your own activities.
- Link to the content of other companies you trust who provide home improvement/building services that you don’t provide and make sure they return the favour with links back to you.
Here are some ideas on the kind of information you might produce or link to
- Planning conservatories, loft conversions, building extensions
- Retro-fitting to save the environment and fuel bills
- New materials
- New planning law relevant to homeowners looking to expand, renovate or convert
- Dos and don’ts of DIY decorating
- Checklists for homeowners planning conversions, extensions and other work
- How-to guides on little jobs – putting up a shelf, silicon sealing the edge of the bath, replacing a window pane etc
- Links to trades-people you recommend
Remember that social media is networking, so talk!
An important aspect of successful social media is joining in and creating conversations. In addition to answering any direct responses to tweets or blog posts your company should get involved in online industry forums, including the blogs of other companies or agencies.
- If you feel you have something to contribute to an article you have read, perhaps relating to the topic from your own local perspective, then comment
- Respond to question tweets and retweet tweets you feel say something pertinent.
Integrate social media with all your marketing
There’s little point in writing blog posts, filming interviews with happy clients or tweeting on new government initiatives to boost building if there is no audience for your social media.
Your Twitter name and the address to your Facebook and blog should be detailed on every
- Contract (Every contract should include a clause on social media with a space for clients to give or withhold their assent to being included in any online publication)
- Business card
- Press ad
- Trade fair stand
- Showroom window
- Car and van signage
I have also found some good articles on social media for builders and architects. One company’s strategy described here, and some excellent research on how the top builders use social media in the UK, including how to and how not to do it here
One company Martell Homes in Canada certainly knows its stuff in Social media and would be worth emulating. Note the use of Youtube on the website frontpage. Excellent.