Social media marketing for construction contractors.
How you should use social media to get more leads. A comprehensive look at how to use social media marketing for construction contractors, home builders, remodelers, HVAC companies, roofers, landscapers, well… you get the idea.
Does Facebook or social media Marketing work for Home service contractors?
Yes, Facebook and social media marketing still works for contractors. However, the results or return on investment has drastically changed in the past few years. I should tell you that if you’re looking to get quick leads to fill your funnel and pipeline then Facebook is not the best use of a contractors time and resources.
However, if you have an established contracting company and you’re getting regular leads but want to increase your exposure in your community, build brand awareness, and trust, then social media is an absolute must.
First…we live in a social media world after all. If your business is not in the social arena then you will not be top of mind for hundreds of thousands of people in your community.
Secondly, the statistics are quite compelling.
- 68% of American Adults Use FB
- 74% of Those Americans Access FB Daily
- 95% of Local Businesses use FB
- 41% of Americans on FB Are Age 65 +
- 54% of Consumers Research Brands on Social
Perhaps the most interesting statistic in this 2018 report is that 41% of Americans on Facebook are over the age of 65 years old. The older generation is growing on Facebook and this is a key demographic for the home services and remodeling industry.
Even if you hate social media, it is hard to argue with the numbers. For now, and the foreseeable future, social marketing is going to be a force to be recond with.
“It took thirty-eight years before 50 million people gained access to radios. It took television thirteen years to earn an audience that size. It took Instagram a year and a half.” Gary V.
Knowing your customers’ buying cycle
For most construction companies the buying cycle is much longer for than you might think. The buying cycle is the process that every customer goes through when they purchase something. There are probably more than a dozen different ways to think about your customers’ buying journey. However, it is typically thought in terms of a funnel.
Starting with awareness, the first stage is where your potential new customer first becomes aware of your brand or services. The customer then flows into the interest stage, this is where they begin to do some research or a little “tire kicking.” Finally, the customer enters the decision stage where they make comparisons and choose a contractor.
As a marketer I like to think of this funnel in 3 simple stages: KNOW, LIKE. TRUST. First, they have to know you or be made aware that you even exist. Secondly, they need to see more of you and begin to like you. After getting to know you and seeing that your pretty likable (because of all the clever marketing you’ve done) they will finally be ready to trust you and invite you to enter into their home for your services.
Every contractor business has a different buying cycle.
If you are an HVAC company, a roofing company, a plumber or an electrician you probably get many leads very quickly. Your customers’ buying process is much shorter because you offer emergency services. If someone’s AC goes out in July, they’re going to search Google, find you, and call you that day. That is where our Silverback Lead Generation Package really shines. We have had great success getting these kinds of leads for contractors.
However, if someone is remodeling their kitchen, they may start researching kitchen remodeling 6-12 months before they actually choose a contractor. The same can be said for a new roof, exterior siding, or building a new home addition. These customers are in a much longer buying processes.
That being said, this is where social media comes in. Facebook and Instagram is a great way to get in front of your audience when they’re still dreaming, thinking, and planning their next remodeling project.
It’s a Marathon
To put it simply, lead generation marketing strategies like pay-per-click advertising is a sprint. You can get quick leads from people who are searching for your services.
Social media and Facebook marketing is a marathon where you communicate with people who will need your services in the future. With social media marketing, you build awareness so that people can know who you are, begin to like you, and finally choose to trust you to remodel or service their precious home.
Most contractors are using Facebook wrong!
Now, I follow a ton of contractor facebook pages in my city and I want to tell you why I think most every single one of them are using Facebook wrong.
To recap, we should think about marketing and social media like this:
- USE GOOGLE ADS AND PAY PER CLICK ADS TO GET FAST LEADS from customers with a short buying cycle.
- USE SOCIAL MEDIA to build brand awareness and engage with customers who have a longer buying cycle to get them to like you and eventually trust you.
So, why are contractors using Facebook wrong? Because they’re using Facebook to promote their business as if their future customers have a short buying cycle.
They are promoting, promoting, promoting. And promoting.
And, this does not create affection, or likes and trust. Instead, it mostly annoys people.
Sure, there might be a slim chance that someone (let’s call him Bill) just got home from work, his wife says, “Bill, the roof is leaking!” – to which Bill responds, “Well let me go to the john real quick and then I’ll make a few calls.” Then as Bill is sitting on the throne, he does what he always does in the privacy of that little room, he pulls up Facebook on his phone and gets immediately distracted, forgetting about the leaky roof. But then, low and behold, Bill sees a facebook post that says, “LEAKY ROOF? WE CAN HELP!” Bill happily says, “Perfect!” And clicks that post, follows thru to your page, finds your #, and calls right then and there.
That probably doesn’t happen.
But that seems to be what most contractors think is going to happen.
Most every post on Facebook seems to say,
“We do this…,
Or, “Don’t forget you need this, which is something we do.”
“Get 15% off!”
“Get a Free Estimate!”
“Fall Specials on Gutters!”
AUGH…. it’s so much noise.
So, How Should Contractors Use Facebook?
If we think about Facebook in the 2nd way, ie… as a marathon, leading potential customers through the funnel of: Know, Like, Trust, then contractors should use Facebook to make people like them.
Ask yourself this question: What can your contracting company do on Facebook to make someone like you?
The answer, more than likely, will include giving away something of real value.
Now, I’m not talking about 15% off your next service. I mean REAL value. That might be a video teaching them how to program their thermostat. Or an infographic teaching them the easiest 10 ways to lower energy bills in the summer.
Give. Give. Give.
When you give them information, instruction, and real value, people WILL like you.
There is actually an ancient proverb that says:
“Everyone is a friend to a person who gives gifts.”
(I think it’s from the Bible.)
Marketing guru Gary V. has been teaching this social media strategy for a long time. In his book entitled, “Jab. Jab. Jab. Right Hook” Gary V. says the give, give, give is like a jab.
You keep giving and giving – or jabbing and jabbing – and then you make the sale and throw that powerful right hook.
This doesn’t mean you don’t promote, it just means you don’t over promote.
Later, I’ll show you how to be a giver as I give you (…see what I did there?) 20 non-promotional social media post ideas for your home service business.
Which Social Media Platforms Are Best for Construction Contractors?
The best social media platforms for contractors are Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Twitter, I believe, is more effective for staying in the loop with news, politics, and sports. Posts on Twitter are quickly buried with so much white noise. Some contractors may have a good following on Twitter, but I don’t believe people go to Twitter to learn more about contracting home services.
Pinterest will probably be an effective platform for contractors as you could feature some great photography of Home Remodeling but I’m not sure it would be very effective for Industries like electricians or HVAC companies. To be quite honest I’ve not spent enough time on Pinterest. But… I do believe that it could be a key player for home remodelers and builders.
Finally, LinkedIn is primarily for B2B marketing (business-to-business). If your contracting company has a commercial division, you will not want to avoid LinkedIn. It would be a good idea to build an audience on Linkedin.
Now… with that out of the way, let’s take a deep dive into how you can use Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube to get more leads for your construction contractor business.
Instagram is great for contractors because it’s easy
Instagram is great because you can easily upload photos of your most recent work. If people are looking for bathroom or kitchen remodeling and if you have decent photography of recent projects with relevant hashtags you’ll get exposure and be on your way to building trust. Many of our contractors integrate Instagram with their Silverback Website, this way when the add a pic to Instagram it automagically appears on their website too.
Facebook – the biggest
Facebook is a must because it’s still the biggest platform. I’ll be the first to admit that Facebook is very frustrating but you can’t deny the sheer numbers of people who are there every single stinking day.
Facebook is the 3rd most popular website in the world. Based on the sheer numbers of daily visits the top 3 websites are:
Consider how much it would cost monthly to rent a billboard on the busiest highway in your city versus how much it would cost to invest in a good Facebook marketing strategy. You can put yourself right in front of 10,0000 more people if you do your social media marketing strategy right.
Not only that, but with social media, you are not just getting in front of them while their driving at 80 miles per hour, but you are right there at their fingertips most likely when they’re just sitting on the couch or toilet :).
YouTube – my favorite
I think YouTube may be the best platform for Home Service contractors. First of all, I mentioned earlier that it’s the number 2 most popular website – every day. This means that people are now, not just going to Google to make searches but they are going to YouTube to search for things.
We often say, “Just Google it!” But the trend is turning into, “Just YouTube it!”
I am one of those people because I do this all the time.
Anytime I need to do anything I go to YouTube first and search to see if I can get a quick 5-minute video showing me how to do it efficiently.
If your company shot simple videos about how you perform certain services for homeowners, not only can you then take those same videos and place them on Facebook, and on your website, but you can use them in Facebook and YouTube advertising campaigns targeting your city and favorite demographics.
Today, video is king. People are reading less and watching more.
Most people prefer to consume information via video. In fact, even though I’ve written all these words in this post (which I’m doing primarily to get SEO results), I’ve also shot videos with the same content that you can look at on our YouTube channel here. 🙂
So if you’ve read this far you are probably ready to start using facebook, instagram, youtube, and social media to help grow your construction business. If that’s you then I’ve got good news. Below we have about a half dozen more helpful posts and videos filled with how to’s, tips, social media hacks and more.
Check out these TOP 4 FACEBOOK TIPS FOR CONTRACTORS:
– HOW TO OPTIMIZE YOUR CONTRACTOR FACEBOOK PAGE
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