Social media, for many, is like a misunderstood giant. Even marketers who know social media is important, often don’t understand how to use social media effectively and are unable to provide measurable results. One of the most common things we hear from cleaning and restoration owners is “I wish they understood social media better”. Another common statement from owners is “I just don’t have time to do it.” If this sounds like you, you may want to consider reevaluating (or creating) your social media strategy — but, keep in mind you don’t have to do it alone! Spot On Solutions specializes in the the cleaning and restoration industry and we can help! We hope this information is helpful.
The first step in crafting your social media strategy is to clearly define the goals and objectives you hope to achieve. Having concrete goals will help you define your messages, and will provide you with a way to measure the effectiveness of your social media campaigns.
Let’s be honest—the overarching goal of any restoration business is to increase sales and to turn a profit. All of your others goals fall under this umbrella. These goals may include growing your customer base, improving brand identity and awareness, transitioning to more restoration work, reducing costs or improving customer service. Yep — all of these things lead back to the almighty goal—increasing revenue.
Whatever your goals may be, they can be applied easily to social media. There are a few things to consider when setting your goals. Clearly define your goal and set a measurable benchmark—say you want to increase the number of leads from your Facebook page by 10 percent each quarter. Be sure to set realistic goals that are achievable within the timeframe that you set.
Before you move any further ahead in your strategic social media planning, take time to ensure that the success of your goals can be accurately measured. Define the goal with hard numbers and make sure you are able and know how to measure the result. For example, let’s say you decide to run a carpet cleaning special on Facebook. You should define what you want to have happen with this campaign. Do you want 10 people to call and make appointments? Do you want 15 people to share your offer with their friends?
If you have been hesitant to embrace social media, setting measurable goals will help because the proof of its value will be right before you. Social media is a very cost effective way to directly target your ideal audience. Set measurable goals — the results will help keep you motivated.
After you have set your goals, identify which social media platforms will have the greatest reach for your audience. Which social media platforms you use may vary based on your particular goals and what your competitors are using. Take the time to learn about your customers and what platforms they are using most and what they and their customers prefer. There are pros and cons to each platform, so it is important to consider each one and identify the ones that will help you reach your goals. There are regions of the country where Facebook is the most widely used outlet and others where Twitter is supreme. Did you know that active Facebook users tend to be more predominately middle-aged woman? Is that a demographic you would like to reach? If you own a cleaning or restoration company — I’m pretty sure you just answered YES!
While the above steps are important, ensuring you are sharing relevant content on a regular basis is often where many social media campaigns fall short. The most important step is to develop a social media content strategy and schedule, and stick to it. Depending on the size of your team, this would involve assigning content, scheduling posts or updates, and ensuring you have someone who is engaging with current and potential customers on a regular basis. We know you are busy and your social media will the FIRST things to get dropped from the “to do” list. But, continuity is key!
Identify your content and develop a posting schedule that matches your goals. If you are developing content, make sure you allow enough time for it to be created. Don’t be afraid to outsource some of the work to people who specialize in a particular area or can offer a unique point of view. You can also share relevant content created by someone else with permission or attribution. Spot On Solutions creates unique content that is used to benefit your social media efforts and compliment your SEO efforts.
You interact with your customers every single day. When determining your content, take a moment to put yourself in their shoes. Think about the type of things they would be interested in receiving from you—what can you offer to them that would enrich their experience with your company? Consider videos, blogs, tips, photos and graphics.
Include informational or educational content, but try to steer clear of content that is clearly sales-driven. Create content that is useful or entertaining and your customers will become more engaged. Your customers will appreciate your posts, and over time you will be able to work on converting your social media leads to new customers with more sales-driven content. Restoration companies have the unique opportunity to become newsmakers (and experience a wider reach with their social media) when they post during severe weather and other natural disasters.
An effective social media strategy continues to evolve as you learn what works and what doesn’t for your customers. Continually evaluate your content and make necessary adjustments to your individual campaigns and overall strategy. Social media can be a powerful tool when used effectively. Follow the guidelines outlined above and you too will be on your way to having an effective social media marketing strategy.
If improving your social media strategy has been on the “to do” list for too long — give us a call at Spot On Solutions and we’ll talk about how we can help you use social media to increase your online presence and increase revenue.