Are you using Facebook to grow your construction business?
Facebook is the biggest social networking site in the world with nearly 2 billion active users. There’s a very good chance that most of your potential customers or clients have a Facebook account. By bringing your construction business to Facebook, you have the opportunity to get your business in front of a whole bunch of potential new clients. But using Facebook as part of your marketing strategy takes some know-how. Do it right and you can have a new source of leads; do it wrong and you can turn off potential and former clients.
If you’re ready to take your construction business to Facebook, avoid these all-too-common mistakes.
Not Setting Up Your Page Correctly
You’ve probably already got a personal profile on Facebook. When you bring your contracting business to Facebook, you’ll be creating a business page -- not a profile.
- Go to facebook.com/pages/create
- Select the right page type. For most contractors and construction pros, you’ll want to select “local business or place”.
- Choose a category from the dropdown that best describes your business.
Tip: Don’t try to be clever when selecting a page type/ category. The page type you select will determine what information can be seen on your page “about” section. If you’re a local business, you’ll want prospective clients to be able to find your address and phone number easily. If you choose “brand” or “entertainment” rather than “local business” you’ll make it harder for customers to find your basic information -- which can be a disadvantage for your business.
Failing to Optimize Your Page
Once your business page has been created, you’ll want to optimize it. Here are four essential steps to optimize your business page:
- Pick a search friendly page name and set up a vanity URL for your page (example: www.facebook.com/awesomeconstructionpros)
- Add a profile picture and appealing cover image that reinforces your brand and message.
- Complete your profile entirely - be sure to include your address, phone number, website, hours of operation, and other information that will help customers easily identify your page.
- Specify a CTA (call-to-action), such as Contact Us or Book Now.
Focusing on ‘Like’ Quantity over Quality
Facebook will allow you to create all sorts of different promotions (ads), including Page Like promotions. Essentially, you can pay to increase brand awareness and get your business page in front of more people. But don’t emphasize the quantity of your page likes and fans over the quality of your page likes.
Just because someone has liked your business page doesn’t mean they’ll engage with your content.
In fact, there’s a good chance most of your page fans won’t ever see your posts, pictures, or videos. Research has shown that your page’s organic reach -- the number of people you can reach for free on Facebook by posting to your page -- could be as low as 1%. That’s one person out of every 100 likes that may see your post.
Tip: Want to get better quality page likes? Reach out to former and existing clients and ask them to like your new Facebook page. Send out an email and let them know you’re on Facebook and ask them to like your page. Be sure to include a link directly to your page URL to make it easy for them to find you. Reaching out to your existing client base won’t cost you a dime and helps you build a community of people already familiar with your business and services.
Focus on building a community of engaged users, rather than building up unengaged likes. Talk to your fans, join groups, and really be a part of a community. This isn’t a quick fix -- real engagement takes time and ongoing effort.
Not Knowing What to Post
What’s the message your Facebook page is trying to convey?
The content you post on your business page should follow a common theme and remain relevant to your brand mission. That doesn’t mean every post should be about your product or brand, it means that everything you post should relate to your values and community.
- Post regularly. You don’t need to post daily. Even a couple of posts per week is enough to show visitors to your page that you have a regular presence on Facebook. Consistent posting is key: once a week is far better than a burst of posts followed by no activity for months.
- Follow the 80/20 rule. The majority of your posts (80%) should be content that your community finds interesting. The remaining 20% of your posts can be about your brand, product, events, or campaigns. If you’re a remodel contractor, you can share DIY home improvement and design tips with your audience most of the time, and then occasionally self-promote with pictures of a project you just completed, a blog post you wrote, or a reminder of the services you provide.
- Stay focused. You can use your personal profile to share funny memes, cat videos, or political rants, but keep focused on your community and brand mission for your business page.
- Use images. A picture paints a thousand words - be sure you’re including visuals with your posts in the form of photos, graphics, or videos.
Working without a Strategy
We mentioned above that you should post things that align with your brand mission -- but that’s only part of an overall strategy. If you want your social media efforts to have any impact, you’ll want to create a documented social media strategy.
- What are your business objectives and goals?
- Who is your audience, what are their needs, and what do they care about?
- What is your brand story, values, and mission?
Answer these questions and you’ll have the beginning of your social media marketing strategy documented. Refer back to your strategy when you’re curating content to share on Facebook and when creating new posts for your contractor business page.
Not Using the Right Tools
Building an engaged and active community on Facebook takes a lot of time and resources.
Most contractors don’t have the time to spend hours a day posting, commenting, liking and responding to messages on Facebook. But with the right tools for the job you can work smarter -- not harder -- to manage your social media activities.
Social media management tools like Hootsuite or Buffer can help you schedule posts out ahead of time. Whether you post three times a week or three times a day, a social media management tool can help you be more effective.
Planning out and pre-scheduling posts can free you up to be more agile in your day-to-day Facebook activities. You can spend your time responding to messages and comments or reacting to a newsworthy event when you know the rest of your posts are all queued up and ready to publish.
Facebook offers insights that will tell you exactly how well your posts and ads are performing. Many social media management services will also include post data and insights.
Facebook insights include information on:
- Reach - the total number of people who saw your posts
- Page views and likes
- Post engagement (likes, comments, shares)
- Link clicks and more
Don’t get emotionally attached to a certain post type or content theme if your Facebook insights are demonstrating it doesn’t resonate with your audience. Look to your insights to see what your audience is reacting to and engaging with and use that information as you move forward.
Neglecting to Promote Your Business
Your organic reach on Facebook may be low but there’s a way to overcome that and get your business out in front of a wider audience: Facebook ads.
There’s many benefits to paying to promote your business via Facebook ads.
Facebook can help you target the right people. Facebook allows you to select an audience based on location, demographics, interests, and behavior when creating ads, and you can test ads against each other to see which ones your audience is responding to. You could choose to share your posts with homeowners of a certain age within your geographic location, for example.
With Facebook Lookalike Audiences, you can import your customer list and Facebook will find similar users based on their data.
Taking your contracting business to Facebook can be a smart move that can help get you in touch with current and potential customers. Facebook can help you increase brand awareness, cultivate brand loyalty, and increase leads and conversions -- as long as you avoid these rookie business page mistakes.
Guest blog by GROW.