As with any other business, social media can and should be an extremely valuable resource for contractors, whether you are a custom home builder, home remodeler, or commercial contractor. There are several reasons to employ social media and when properly utilized, social media can bring many benefits to contractors. The most obvious benefit is getting your company name and brand out there and connect with customers. In this blog post, we will go over ways to use social media for contractors, some platforms that we like to utilize, and some best practices to be successful with social media.
Social Media for Contractors
Here at A Finer Touch Construction, the use of social media has been a priority for several years and we have been fortunate to have received a great response and see its positive impact on our business. One of the reasons social media has worked for us is because we make an effort to engage with our followers. Although it demands a lot of personal time, the relationships and networking have been instrumental.
Why Use Social Media?
There are a number of reasons and ways to use social media. While we will list some of those ways below, you are really only bound by your creativity.
Here is a list of just a few reasons and way to use social media:
- Get your company’s name out to reach potential customers.
- Supply your company’s contact information.
- Create the narrative.
- Blog posts discussing industry trends, projects, and providing educational tips.
- Post-project photos (completed projects, progress photos, renderings, etc.)
- Interact with followers and potential customers.
- Meet and interact with other contractors and suppliers to build professional relationships.
- Market research – see what people like and don’t like.
- Allow followers and potential customers to see your company’s personality and introduce them to various members of your team.
- Give followers a look behind the scenes such as project tours and workers in action.
Social Media Platforms
There are several social media platforms available today. One thing to keep in mind is that different social media platforms can and should be used for different purposes. When decided what platforms to use, consider how you will utilize that platform and what purpose it will serve and be realistic on how active you will be or required to be to be successful on that platform. Also, remember that being on every platform just to be on every platform will not always be the best approach. You do not want to get in over your head to the point where you are not updating certain platforms for months or the quality of your content goes down because you are trying to balance too many platforms. It is better to maintain two or three quality platforms.
Facebook is a good resource to provide a lot of information about your company. You are able to set up pages such as an “about us” page to give a company overview, contact information page, page describing the services you provide, client reviews, informational posts, and links to your company’s website and other social media pages. Facebook can also be a great tool to interact with your followers and potential clients. Additionally, you can utilize features such Facebook Live to live stream project tours, events, demonstrations, etc. Facebook also boasts the largest platform by total users.
Visit A Finer Touch Construction’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/aftconstruction/
Instagram is a great platform for posting photos and videos of your work. Not only should you continually post photos of your past/completed work, but also posting progress photos of current projects provides followers with great insight into how projects evolve. In addition, progress photos can capture the attention of your followers as they will often revisit your page to see how the project turns out.
Instagram photos do not need to be limited to your projects. By posting photos of company events, outings, celebrations, and photos of employees, it helps followers and potential clients learn more about your company’s personality.
As with Facebook, Instagram can also be used to live stream events. Here at A Finer Touch Construction, we have utilized the live stream to give behind the scene project tours. In addition, we have used a feature called Instagram Stories to share videos of company events and celebrations and provide snippets of our employees’ personal lives.
A great benefit of using Instagram is the ability of people to post comments on your photos and videos. It is important to pay attention to these comments as they can provide instant feedback and serve as market research into what people like and do not like. Also, comments are a great way to interact with followers and potential customers. We often receive questions in the comments section of our posts such as the material used, the finish, etc. This engagement keeps people interested in your work and your company.
Another reason Instagram can be incredibly useful is users are able to share posts with others and utilize a feature known as “mentions.” For example, someone may really like a photo you posted and decide to leave a comment where they “mention” another Instagram user by inserting that persons Instagram username in their comment. When someone is mentioned they will receive a notification and your post just reached another potential client.
Visit A Finer Touch Construction’s Instagram page at https://www.instagram.com/aft_construction/?hl=en
LinkedIn is geared towards the individual user rather than companies, but it can still be a great resource for contractors. Using your individual profile, you can connect with others and build professional relationships. In addition, you can get your company’s name out by posting stories about your company or simply posting industry articles that will attract readers. Building your LinkedIn network and posting relevant articles will help draw people to your profile and in turn provide exposure for your company.
View Brad Leavitt’s (President of A Finer Touch Construction) LinkedIn page at https://www.linkedin.com/in/bradleavitt
Houzz is an excellent resource for contractors. Houzz is one of the largest online platforms where people can get inspiration for home projects, interior design, and find contractors. Setting up a contractor’s page on Houzz allows you to provide a lot of information to other Houzz users, many of which are actively using Houzz because they are looking to complete a home project such as a new build or remodel. However, to successfully reach other Houzz users, it is important to take the time to post as much information as you can to help users get a full understanding of your company and its capabilities.
The types of information Houzz allows you to post includes:
- A company overview where you can provide an “about us” to provide users a solid background of your company, the types of services you offer, areas served, and what sets your company apart.
- Project information where you can list past projects and post project photos to give users examples of your past work and your company’s quality standards.
- Houzz has a feature known as Ideabooks. Ideabooks allow users to save photos of items they like and would like to incorporate into projects. Contractors can utilize Ideabooks to showcase elements of past work. For example, on A Finer Touch Construction’s Houzz page, we have set up Ideabooks for such design elements as kitchens, wine cellars, living rooms, and bathrooms.
- Like Facebook, Houzz has a page available to post customer reviews, which is one page that should be utilized. Photos of your projects are great and will drive people to your page, but having actual client reviews will help turn potential clients into actual clients.
Another great feature of Houzz is the ability for users to ask questions. Being willing to let users ask questions and taking the time to answer those questions gives you an opportunity to interact with potential clients. This type of interaction can help potential clients get a glimpse into how you work with clients and get a sense of who you are as company.
You can visit A Finer Touch Construction’s Houzz page at https://www.houzz.com/pro/aft-construction/aft-construction
Along with Houzz, Pinterest is one of the most used social media platforms for people looking for design inspiration for the home remodel or build project. When posting project photos, such as to your website, it is a good idea to tag them to Pinterest. Having your project photos show up on Pinterest will provide great exposure for your company and can lead to potential clients seeking out your services.
You can find A Finer Touch Construction on Pinterest at https://www.pinterest.com/AFT_CONSTRUCTION
There are additional social media platforms than what we have listed here, but the above are the main platforms most widely used. Keep in mind, that just having a presence on these platforms will not guarantee you will be successful in promoting your business and gaining clients. To be successful you need to be active on these platforms by posting regularly to the various platforms, engage with followers and users, show personality, and take advantage of cross-promotion with other business, clients, etc. and they may do the same. After all, having another user with 100,000 followers reposting one of your project photos is great exposure.
Lastly, one of the most important tips is making sure that all of your social media profiles provide a link back to your company’s website. While a few of these social media platforms allow you to post a lot of information, you want traffic driven back to your website where you will have the most information regarding your company with branding tailored specifically to you. In today’s world, a good, professional website is a must.
Take this scenario, a person is looking to build a new custom home and has found two new home builders in their area that they are considering. They go online to do some research on the two builders. One builder is not that active on social media and either does not have a website or only poor quality photos. The other builder has an active social media presence and a professionally designed website, both with lots of project photos.
Which builder do you think that person is going to choose?