4 Reasons Why Facebook Ads Results Can Look Different For Home Service Businesses

4 Reasons Why Facebook Ads Results Can Look Different For Home Service Businesses

Adding Facebook Ads to your marketing strategy can be a great way to grow your business, increase brand awareness, and engage with potential and existing customers. But one thing that can make business owners uneasy is how different results can be.

One industry — say ecommerce, for example —could see really high conversion rates and easily identify return on ad spend (ROAS), while another industry — say home services — could see lower numbers and have a challenging time figuring out ROAS.

What’s going on here? Do Facebook Ads just not work as well for some industries as they do for others?

If you’re running Facebook Ads for your home services business and you’re wondering why your results always look different from the results you’re hearing about from business owners in other industries, you’re not alone.

Facebook Ads are definitely worth it for home service businesses — but there are four reasons why your Facebook Ads results will always look different from industries like retail and ecommerce…

#1 Selling a Home Service Business Just Takes Longer

Think about it: the sales cycle for a home services business is not the same as the sales cycle for an ecommerce business or a retail shop. You don’t have to have a relationship with a brand to click the “buy now” button for a pair of shoes you’re drooling over. You just have to know how and where to buy.

So think about that in terms of Facebook Ads….a retail or ecommerce store may only have to get an ad in front of a potential customer one time before that potential customer becomes a paying customer. As a result, it can *seem* like Facebook Ads are really cheap for ecommerce and retail businesses.

It’s easy for customers to open up their wallets for low ticket items, but home service businesses are not typically selling low ticket items.You’re not typically selling products that provide immediate gratification or any of the other tangible pleasures that retail provides.

Buyers typically want to know more than just how and where to hire you before they make the jump from potential customer to paying customer. They want to have a relationship with the brand first, because…

#2 Hiring the Wrong Home Service Business Carries More Risk

It doesn’t take much convincing to get a potential customer to click the “buy now” button for a pair of shoes they can’t wait to slip their feet into — especially when there are things in place to reduce risk, like fast shipping and easy returns. Even if they haven’t purchased from the brand before, risk is minimal. They can always get their money back and life will be no worse than it was before they bought the shoes.

But as a home services business, you’re selling something less tactile and far riskier — a service.

When you hire a plumber you’ve never worked with before to come into your home and install a costly new tankless water heater, there’s a lot that could go wrong if you hire the wrong company.

The plumber could show up late, or not at all. They could damage the water heater or install it wrong. They could leave you with a massive bill that far exceeds the number you were quoted at the start. They could stop in the middle of the job and leave your home a total mess.

In other words, there are a lot of what ifs that you have to contend with when you hire someone to perform a service, that you don’t have with the shoe purchase. And that’s true for your customers, too.

They’re what if-ing their little hearts out, and they want to minimize risk as much as possible.

They want to know they’re going to be charged a fair price, that the work will be done right, and that their property will be taken care of. They want to know that the contractor will be clean, professional, and trustworthy. After all, they’re going to be in their home around their pets and kids.

And here’s another reason hiring the wrong home services company feels riskier than making an ecommerce purchase: Chances are, the work being done is out of the homeowner’s area of expertise.

They can look at a pair of shoes and judge their quality, but they wonder: Will I able to tell if a plumber does the job wrong, cuts corners, or tells me I need something I don’t?

This increased risk and lack of confidence is exactly why people will ask their friends and family for contractor referrals, but aren’t likely to ask where their friends or family buy their shoes. It’s why people check reviews before they pick up the phone.

The truth is: when we make a purchase — especially a high ticket purchase — we all want to know we’re making the right choice and that it’s going to be okay. And when it comes to a purchase that could affect the value, comfort, and integrity of our homes, we want to be extra sure.

For that reason, more ads are typically needed for a home services business to see a conversion on Facebook.

You have to get your name and business out in front of a potential customer multiple times to build trust and authority with your audience. They have to become familiar with your brand — because familiarity minimizes risk and increases confidence.

So, it’s not that you’re paying more for Facebook Ads as a home service business — it’s that you will likely need to run more ads over more time to turn a prospect into a paying customer.

#3 Home Services Are Not an Impulse Buy

One of my closets is filled with shoes, bags, and jewelry. That’s it. Do I really need another pair of black boots or another bag? Absolutely not. But will I justify spending money on both if I see an ad that catches my eye? Of course.

I don’t care who you are, getting new things that you absolutely love feels good. Spending thousands of dollars on a new plumbing fixture install for your home does not.

It doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy the benefits of the plumbing fixture — it just means the urgency, cost, and benefits are perceived differently than they are with an ecommerce product.

The service you provide is not something your customers expect to squeal with delight over. And it’s definitely not an impulse buy. So ad conversion requires more context and more frequency.

Let me explain…

If I see a new bag I love on sale for under $100, I’ll start doing the math. I’ll think, Well, I recently stopped drinking, so I’m saving X amount of money on wine each week, which adds up to $100 in X amount of time.

What’s that mental calculation come out to? I deserve that new bag and I should get it.

All the ecommerce company has to do is show me an ad once, maybe twice — then they’re done selling. I do the rest of the selling in my head.

As a home service business, you’ve got to work a lot harder and so do your ads. You have to convince them that they need your services as urgently as they need that thing they really, really want — the thing saved in their Amazon wish list.

You’ve got to convince them that you’re the right company for the job, and that risk is so low and the experience so stress-free that they have no reason to defer the decision to a later time.

You’ve got to convince them that the gain is greater than the loss — that they’ll be glad they called. And it’s not going to take one ad — it’s typically going to take many.

#4 ROAS Isn’t as Straightforward for Home Services Businesses

For an ecommerce business, ROAS can be easily calculated if the Facebook pixel is set up properly, because the pixel will trace the user’s ad view or click through to the point of purchase. When your sale happens on the website and you have a purchase event that is triggered, tracking is super simple.

But for service businesses, the return is a little harder to see — not because you’re not seeing a return, but because the end goal (a purchase) doesn’t typically happen on your website.

You’re asking the person who sees your ad to take the next step in the sales process, which is typically to visit your website or give you a call. But there’s no product to buy online, no purchase event to trigger, so that’s the end of easy ROAS tracking.

To figure out the ROAS of your Facebook Ads, you’ll have to:

  1. Look at attribution — If your customers have Facebook IDs and your Facebook pixel is set up properly, you should be able to tell if a customer saw one of your ads at any point in the customer journey. Attribution reveals what online and offline actions can be attributed to your ads, so you know if your ads are effectively getting people to take specific actions and become paying customers.
  2. Look at your call tracking — While call tracking won’t give you a complete or 100% accurate picture, it’s a key tool for evaluating the effectiveness of Google Ads and Facebook Ads. Just remember, you probably won’t see the same high numbers with Facebook that you might see with Google, because Facebook Ads are more focused on nurturing and getting customers earlier in the buying stage — not on those hot leads who need your services ASAP. But you should see calls coming from your Facebook Ads! Also, keep in mind that someone may have seen your ad on Facebook, but ended up researching and clicking to call on Google. It may look like the lead came from Google, when in reality, the ad played a pivotal role in getting the call.
  3. Look at this year vs. last year — Another great way to tell if your Facebook Ads are working is to compare the number of calls and booked jobs you’re getting this year vs. last year (assuming you weren’t running Facebook Ads last year). You should see an increase in calls and booked jobs if you’re using Facebook Ads, so if you don’t, there’s a problem. But when considering the numbers, take into account any and all marketing changes that you made in that time frame.
  4. Ask your customers —It also never hurts to ask your customers what made them call you. Ask if they remember seeing any ads on Facebook. It’s simple, but it can help you track ROAS!

Hopefully this blog post has been informative and cleared up some of the confusion you may have had around Facebook and ROAS for service businesses.

If you have any questions or would like to talk more about what kinds of returns you can expect to see for your service business, shoot me a quick email at amber@sparkmarketer.com. I’m one of Spark’s digital marketing specialists and I’d be more than happy to talk with you!

7 Questions To Ask If Your Facebook & Instagram Ads Performance Is Sub Par

7 Questions To Ask If Your Facebook & Instagram Ads Performance Is Sub Par

Facebook and Instagram ads not performing as you expected? Not to worry. I talked with Amber and got her tips for troubleshooting and fixing poor ad performance. 

If you want your ads performance to improve or you’ve noticed that your ads performance has changed drastically, these are the things you want to check:

  1. Are you using the right type of campaign for your goals?
  2. Is your targeting correct?
  3. Is there a problem with your budget?
  4. Has Facebook flagged any of your campaigns?
  5. Is your frequency too high?
  6. What’s your relevancy score?
  7. Has the competition ramped up?

#1 Are you using the right type of campaign for your goals?

If your ads aren’t doing well, the very first thing you need to look at is whether or not you’re using the right campaign. Does your objective match your goals?

Facebook has three different marketing objectives that each of their campaign types fall into: Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion. 

Awareness includes brand awareness and reach campaigns. 

This is the marketing objective you would choose if you were trying to get your company out in front of as many people as possible or in front of people that are best suited to what you’re offering.

Think: spreading the word.

Consideration includes traffic, engagement, video views, and any type of campaign that is designed to get the viewer to think about purchasing from you.

Conversion covers any type of campaign that’s designed to get those who see your ads to purchase from your brand, sign up for a webinar, or take whatever action it is that you consider your “end goal.”

Screenshot-of-awareness-consideration-and-conversion-campaigns-on-Facebook

Why does it matter if your campaign objective matches your goals? 

Let’s say you want to drive store visits with your ads, but you’re using a traffic campaign. Well, you won’t see the end results you’re looking for. 

Here’s why: A traffic campaign drives more traffic to your website, not your store. 

In this case, you’d be better off with a conversion campaign that features ads with offers or incentives for visiting your store. 

Make sense?

#2 Is your targeting correct?

The second thing you’d want to look at is your targeting. 

When we talk about targeting with ads, we mean your audience. Who is in the audience you’re targeting with your ads? Is your audience large enough?

Facebook will show warnings like, “Your audience is too small,” or “Your audience is too broad,” and those things do affect performance. 

So if you’re running the right type of campaign but you’re still not seeing the results you’d like to see, take a look at your audience and make sure you’re targeting the right people.

#3 Is there a problem with your budget?

The next thing to check is: is your budget feeding out?

While it’s not the only option, most people will be using a daily spend for their ads (for example: $5/day). 

Now, let’s say you’re spending $20 a day and you’re thinking, “Wow, my campaigns are just not working.” If it’s budget-related you’re either:

  1. Not spending enough.
  2. Miscalculating your reach.  

Let’s address spend first.

Let’s say your cost per result for a lead gen campaign is $25 and you’re spending a daily budget of $20… 

Well, Facebook cannot get you a lead in one day with that budget. It needs two days worth of budget to get you a lead with that lead cost and that daily spend. 

To see if this is the problem with your ads performance, you need to look at what your cost per result is and what you’re spending daily. 

You might want to only spend $5/day, but if a lead in your industry costs more than that and you’re not willing to spend it, you’re wasting your money. 

Facebook has to match industry standards and they can’t give you a lead for $5/day just because that’s what you want. 

So if the average plumbing lead costs about $80, you need to be willing to spend at least $80/day or accept that you’re only going to get one lead every several days.

Now, let’s talk about your reach. 

You may think that your reach is really wide and your budget will go a long way — but you could be wrong. 

For example, you may think it’ll be $0.50 to $1.50 per lead, but Facebook may be saying something different, depending on the day. 

So you need to look at the estimated daily reach. If that’s not lining up with what you’re getting in your results, then it’s time to switch campaigns, adjust your budget, and switch up some copy and headlines. 

If it is matching, then Facebook is doing the best it can with what you’re giving it.

#4 Has Facebook flagged any of your campaigns?

Still not sure what’s affecting your ads performance? Then it’s time to look for any red flags (pun absolutely intended). 

When you look at your dashboard, do you see any yellow or red triangles next to your ad sets, your ads, or your campaigns? 

If you have a red triangle, you either need to fix that ad/ad set/campaign, or delete it. 

Why delete? Even though that ad might be turned off, Facebook Ads Manager sees in there and can hold that against you in the long-run. So if you can’t fix it, get rid of it!

If you have a yellow triangle, read it and take action! 

The nice thing about Facebook Ads Manager is that it tells you why it’s flagging something, so you can fix it. 

And if you don’t understand what it’s saying, you can always go in and submit a request that says, “Hey, I don’t really know what this means,” or “Hey, I don’t agree with this.” 

Flags can get overturned, but you can’t just ignore them.

#5 Is your frequency too high?

Let’s say your ads were running just fine for a couple of weeks or a month or two, and then all of the sudden, performance plummeted. 

Chances are, your frequency is too high. Frequency means how many times a person has seen that specific ad in the time that it’s been running. 

Why is too high of a frequency bad? It means people aren’t engaging with your ad anymore because they’ve seen it so many times. 

What’s a good rule of thumb for frequency?

If your frequency is at or over four and your ads have started to decrease in results or increase in costs, it’s time to switch those ads out or update them. 

You can keep the same campaign, you can even keep the same ad set, but you need to keep fresh ads coming in there. 

#6 What’s your relevancy score?

If frequency is down and cost doesn’t seem too ridiculously high, but you’re just not seeing the results you hoped for, look at your relevancy scores. 

Relevancy scores are broken down into three parts:

  1. Quality ranking — This is determined by the feedback on your ad in comparison to other ads going to the same audience. Are people liking it? 
  2. Engagement ranking — This is determined by looking at how people are engaging with your ads. Are they getting a lot of likes, comments, clicks, shares, etc.?
  3. Conversion ranking — This is determined by looking at whether or not your ads are achieving the goals you’ve set for them. For example, if you’re running a traffic campaign, is this ad bringing more people to your site? If you’re running a conversion campaign, is the ad getting conversions and purchases?

If quality, engagement, and conversion rankings are low, and Facebook is saying your ads are in the bottom 25% of ads, chances are your ads just aren’t being shown, and people aren’t liking or engaging with the message you’re putting out there.

If this is the case, you need to completely overhaul your headlines, your copy, your videos, and your images, and get something out there that people really care about and want to engage with.

#7 Has the competition ramped up?

If you’re freaking out because your Facebook or Instagram ad costs just skyrocketed and you don’t know why, look at CPM. CPM = cost per thousand impressions.

If this number is high, it typically means that your competition has increased on Facebook or Instagram, and indicates that more people are targeting the same audience you’re targeting. 

A good average CPM is between $5 and $15. 

That said, during the holidays, you can expect a normal CPM to be $25+ because more people are typically vying for your audience’s attention during the holidays.

If it’s not holiday season and you have a really high CPM, that means you have a super competitive audience and it’s time to go back into your audience and see if you can adjust your targeting. 

See if you can target people who are a good fit for your business in a different way, so that you can get those costs lower. 

For example, you may use a lookalike audience instead of interest targeting, or you may focus on retargeting instead of cold audiences.

You’re still getting to the same people, you’re just going about it in a different, more cost-effective way.

Hope this post helps! 

 

If you have any questions or you still can’t seem to get your ads to perform well, feel free to reach out to Amber at amber@sparkmarketer.com. She’s a Facebook + Instagram ads beast!

 

10 Live Video Ideas For Facebook & Instagram (+ A Killer Formula For Doing Live Video)

10 Live Video Ideas For Facebook & Instagram (+ A Killer Formula For Doing Live Video)

You may think live video is something best left to influencers, musicians, and people who are supremely interesting. But no matter who you are or what you do, you should be leveraging live videos for your business. 

Why?

  1. Live videos get a lot more engagement than pre-shot videos on Facebook and Instagram. The more engagement you get, the more Facebook and Instagram will want to show those videos to other people, and the more trust those videos will build. 
  2. Live videos allow you to respond to questions in real time. People watching your videos can comment their questions and you can respond directly and get people to engage even more. Facebook live videos are the absolute best way to answer customer questions.

Ready for some ideas to help you get started with Facebook & Instagram live videos? We asked Amber and Megan, our Digital Marketing Strategists and Facebook Ads Specialists to share their top 10…

#1 Talk about what you do, where you do it, how long you’ve been doing it, and who you do it for

The purpose of this type of video is to answer some of the common questions potential customers will have and want answered before they pick up the phone and call you. 

What you do & where you do it:

Give those watching a good idea of what types of problems you solve and how you can help them. Let them know some of your top services and what areas you provide those services in. 

How long you’ve been doing it:

Talk about how long you’ve been doing it and how your experience translates to value for your customers. The more you can talk about why you’re passionate about what you do, the more trust you’ll build with your potential customers. 

Who you do it for: 

Share what your dream customer looks like. Do you service apartments, homes, and commercial properties? Give details about who could and should hire you. If people see themselves in that persona, they’ll feel like you’re a good fit for them. 

#2 Talk about price

Literally every business owner hates this one, but the ones that do it have found good success with it. What do we mean by success? Increased trust and less customer calls from people who don’t fit their demographic, can’t afford them, or are looking for a ‘cheap’ fix. 

Now, do you need to go on live video and list every single service and every single price? No. What we recommend is that you talk about price for your top five most popular services or the top five services you’re wanting to do more of. Talk about:

  • What is involved in that service
  • Why it’s important
  • An industry standard price

You do not need to tell them exactly what you charge for that service, but let your potential customers know what they might expect to pay when they call a company to schedule that service. That said, if you can go into specifics about what your company charges, DO IT.

We have a client who does share specifics. They say things like, “You know, we are higher priced than these other companies. Here’s why.” People are willing to pay a premium for a better service and a better experience — especially when the business is upfront about it.

#3 Give a safety list, to-do list, or some other step-by-step or numbered info 

When you do a live video that quickly walks your customers through things like: “#1: do this. #2: do this,” people eat that up. Here are some example topics:

  • How to find properly seasoned firewood
  • How to properly store seasoned firewood
  • How to unclog your drain — DIY

Anything that gives the customer value and makes something complicated or unclear a little bit simpler, do it. Sharing information and providing value for free builds trust with customers so that when they are in need of your services, you’re the one they think of. 

#4 Talk about how you got started in the business

What did you do before you started the business, if you’re the business owner? Bring a little bit of your story into it and a little emotion into it, because, you guessed it: people love stories. 

Where did you start? How did you get into the industry? It doesn’t have to be some magical story — just make it yours. Let it be raw. Let it be emotional. If it’s a story that’s worth crying over, cry. It’s okay. 

Live videos are where you get to show the most emotion and be real with your customers. 

#5 Interview one of your technicians or office staff about their favorite parts of their job or what their average day looks like

This is a fun, super short and simple live video that can really build trust and confidence in your company. It lets your customers see the faces of those working in your business, which is important because people don’t do business with businesses they like — they do business with people they like. 

#6 Show them how something unique to your business works

People want to feel knowledgeable — like they know something their neighbors don’t know — and your live videos can help. 

Most homeowners or customers don’t know about all the tools you use in your specific trade. So give them that information in case chimney sweeping or plumbing comes up during table talk. 

Are you a plumber? Outside of a wrench and a plunger, many people have no idea what you use to get the job done. Plumbing relies on some pretty technologically advanced (and expensive) equipment. Equipment your customers don’t have sitting around in the garage. Let them know!

Are you a chimney sweep? People are imagining Dick Van Dyke with his filthy crew of singing and dancing sweeps. You’re not just showing up to the job with a broom. You’re not just using a Shop-Vac — it’s much more advanced than that right? Show them what you really use to get the job done and how you keep their homes from looking like London during the Industrial Revolution. 

#7 Highlight how your team starts the day or a fun activity you guys like to do together

The goal of social media is to get people to know, like, and trust you. This is the like part of that. Show them that you have similar interests. Show them your morning routine or what everyone does when they get to the office. 

Does everyone drink coffee together before heading out for the day? Great — highlight that. People love coffee!

If you get comments like, “Ew, you drink Dunkin Donuts coffee?” GREAT. Engagement is the goal, and your DD loving customers will like you even more because of that shared connection. 

#8 Get a live video testimonial from a customer

We would love, love, love to see more of this. If you have a customer who’s been a customer for years and would feel comfortable providing a testimonial on camera, ask them to do it live! All you have to do is introduce them. For example:

“Hi, my name is Amber and I’m here with my client, Jessica. She just got Facebook Ad services and wanted to tell you a little bit about her experience so far.”

Then, just let your customer share.

These videos are easy and effective — you just have to make sure your customer’s comfortable sharing their experience. And here’s the best thing about these videos: If you tag the customer in the video, it’s not just going to be shared on your page — they’re going to want to share it with their family and friends on their own page as well. And their friends and family will say, “Oh, that’s my friend,” and want to share the video to their pages.  

That’s going to broaden your post reach and increase your post engagement by so much. And funny enough, this is the #1 live video (after price) business owners don’t want to do. 

#9 Interview someone prominent in the community that would have information that your audience might find helpful

This live video is designed to provide value, but doesn’t need to be tied directly to your business. For example, if I was a chimney sweep, I might interview a plumber. If I was a plumber, I might interview an HVAC company. If you know the mayor, reach out to the mayor if he’s well-liked. Ask to do a live video to go over some info that would be beneficial or helpful to your audience.

Let’s say you reach out to a local plumber and say, 

“Hey, I’d like to do a quick interview with you. We’ll tag your business and you can share it on your page as well. What I’m hoping is that we can cover your top five plumbing tips for homeowners.”

Those tips will provide additional value to your customers and build trust. Plus, the plumber you interview will probably want to provide his or her audience with the same kind of value, and may ask you to do a video on their page (for example: providing your top five chimney maintenance tips). 

It’s free, helpful content for your customers that makes both you and the company or individual you’re interviewing look more trustworthy.

#10 Tell them what to expect when they call to book with you

There are a lot of new homeowners out there who have no idea what to expect when they hire a plumber, chimney sweep, HVAC company, or other home service provider. So get rid of their uncertainty and help them call and book with confidence by enlightening them a little bit.

Tell them things like:

  • What questions they may be asked on the phone and how they can figure out the answers to those questions ahead of time
  • What to expect when you show up at their home to do the work

The best customer experiences are those when homeowners don’t have any questions because you’ve already answered them all. So, detail as much for them as you can and answer their questions before they have them. 

P.S. Want to print a cheatsheet of ideas to jumpstart your brain when you’re planning your live videos? Just download and print the infographic below. 🙂

10-live-video-ideas-for-instagram-and-facebook-checklist

The killer formula for a good live video

Okay, so you’ve got some ideas for live video, but what about format? How the heck do you know how to start or wrap up your live video? Don’t worry, we won’t leave ya hanging. Here are the 7 components that pretty much every live video should have…

  1. Attention grabber – Grab you audience’s attention with a question or fact that will surprise them and draw them into the video.
  2. Intro – Next, introduce who you are and what you do. If you’re interviewing someone, introduce your guest here as well.
  3. State the problem – Get specific about the problem your customer is facing.
  4. Solve the problem – Tell them how your company can solve that problem.
  5. Show expertise – Explain your qualifications and how they make you an expert on this subject.
  6. Overcome objections – Help customers overcome objections with thorough explanations.
  7. Call to action – Close with an if/then call to action (CTA) that will urge them to contact you.

Now, grab your smartphone and go live!

Have questions about Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, or how you can use these two platforms to grow your business and build trust? Reach out to Amber at amber@sparkmarketer.com. She’s got a wealth of knowledge!

 

Why Social Media Is So Important For Growing Your Business

Why Social Media Is So Important For Growing Your Business

Do you have a personal Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account? Well, so do most of your current customers and future customers. What better way to grow your business than by connecting with those customers through social media? Social media also allows your business to connect with other local businesses, which is always a plus.

A wise group of people, The Spark Marketer Crew, enlightened me on the important role social media has in branding your business, increasing web traffic to your company website, and making your online presence stronger. It just makes sense.  Social media plays a major role in businesses today because most customers do their research on a business via their computers and smartphones before they make that call. 

Our company has been using social media for years and it has been a great tool for us for building relationships with other businesses and customers.  We started off using Facebook, then added Twitter and Instagram. These social media platforms allow us and our customers to engage with each other on a regular basis, not only when our services are needed.

Don’t be afraid to try social media for your business, but remember, it takes time and commitment for it to grow — but it’s all worth it.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Don’t use your personal account — have a separate social media account for your business.
  • There are many social media platforms to choose from, so choose the one you feel the most comfortable with. In my opinion, Facebook is the easiest.
  • You need to post daily on each of the platforms you choose and always have an image with your post.
  • Keep it professional, but fun. Share repair work photos, employee work anniversaries or birthdays, helpful tips that you or your customers would enjoy, etc. Mix it up!
  • Like and share the posts of others.
  • Don’t always try to sell something — it’s social media. You need to find a balance between business and popularity and use the platform to be social.

Social Media for business is necessary if you want to stay in front and grow your company, but it takes time and commitment. Stick with it! Your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram followers will be people who know your company and have most likely done business with you in the past. Use social media to show them who you are and what you’re about and to build relationships, turning one-time customers into long-term fans. These are the customers who are going to tell their friends about you! 

Linda-RoydhouseLinda Roydhouse is co-owner of Clean Sweep of Anne Arundel County and offers social media management tools, tips, and consulting services to other business owners through Roydhouse Effect. Check her out!

Life’s Just A Cocktail Party

Life’s Just A Cocktail Party

Mick Jagger sings the above sentiment in the Rolling Stones’ song ‘Shattered,’ written back in the 1970’s. It is just as relevant now when teaching social media to others, not just the ‘how’ but the ‘why.’ (Once you grasp the ‘why,’ the ‘how’ gets a lot easier.)

What is a cocktail party but social gathering, with the goal to meet other people and get to know them better? In terms a business owner can easily understand, it’s networking. It’s connecting with people and entities with whom you’d like to do business.

Like a large cocktail party, social media’s multiple channels can be dauntingly vast and off-putting. What makes it worth staying and mingling are the aforementioned connections, as well as social media’s ability to help establish your business’s presence locally and on the internet. Yup, we said it – your internet presence, i.e. ranking on search engines. I see we have your attention.

With most social media channels your posts will get indexed by search engines, alerting them that you are active and relevant. If you are more relevant than your local competition, who do you think will rank higher on someone’s internet search for your services in your service area? This is good stuff.

But how does it all work? Do you HAVE to be on every social media channel out there? One does not have to be active on every channel. Presence on three to four social media networks is the norm. Find the ones with which you are most comfortable and dabble.

Here are 4 tips to help you get the most out of your social media efforts…

#1 Find Your Voice

Think about how you want your brand to be presented. Who is the best person to represent the voice of your company? It’s you or a trusted member of your staff. Can others do the job for you? Certainly you receive enough spam email and robo calls hawking these services, but it is a step removed. And though it can be crisp ,it is not as authentic as your own voice. Find your voice.

#2 Find Your Medium

Do you take video at your business? YouTube, Google Posts, and Facebook/Instagram stories are for you. Do you like taking photos on the job and around town? social-media-explainedInstagram, Facebook, Google Posts, and Pinterest are great opportunities to share. Don’t forget Twitter. You’ve got options!

Don’t think you have the time to make it work? A smart phone can record a photo and a moment for later posting, either sitting in the passenger seat heading towards the next job, at the office after work, or later after dinner at home. Both paid and free tools exist to help with scheduling so you can get work done ahead of time and remove some of the pressure.

#3 Find Your Flow

Presenting your latest offer or deal repeatedly on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram is not ‘doing social media.’ It is a part – you get partial credit for that. For full credit, you also need to follow other accounts, share some of their posts, like some of their posts, and comment occasionally. It’s interacting. It’s being social. How do you enjoy listening to that one person at a party who talks incessantly about themselves? You likely find yourself looking for the door or hoping for a rescue text or phone call. Don’t make your customers feel that way.

#4 Find Your Sweet Spot

Sure it involves a little trial and error – after all, what works for one company may not work for another – but social media is a must. Figure out what works for your business and what engages your customers – find your sweet spot.

Social media for business is a little like a great chili recipe. There are dozens of viable and successful ways to do it right. The most important thing being: you are the one directing the kitchen.