The good news: opportunity is up! The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University expects home improvement projects to increase by nearly 7% this year — a number similar to last year’s growth. The not-so-good news? Census reports indicate there are about 650,000 professional remodelers in the United States. With such a saturated market, it can be tough for home improvement contractors to differentiate themselves.
Now, you may not be a high-volume tweeter or a Facebook fanatic, but a solid social media strategy can really increase your lead generation and sales without much effort. And even if you have a social media strategy, there are some things you might be missing that could boost your visibility – and engagement with potential customers – even more. Check out these five tips you might not have considered before:
Encouraging customers to write reviews on social media is a valuable opportunity to leverage existing platforms for positive exposure. With 88% of today’s consumers trusting online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, the line between the virtual and real world has been erased. Racking up several positive social media reviews can go a long way toward obtaining new customers, as more and more people comparison shop online before ever making that first phone call. If your business is lacking in the review department, it can make you look unreliable, even if you’re an outstanding contractor. Build trust and get more eyeballs on your company by soliciting reviews, because they can be just as powerful as person-to-person referrals.
Social media is all about immediacy. If you don’t respond quickly when contacted through social, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. When a potential customer reaches out to you, engaging with them promptly does wonders for your customer service image, while ignoring them is no different than sending them to your competitors. For many seeking your services, your online presence is where they get their first impression, and social media can be a gold mine for leads. You can set your own standards, but a good rule of thumb is to answer questions and respond to comments within 24 hours — after that, many people move on. Being responsive buys you a reputation as a company that cares, which often translates into closing more sales.
Social media platforms such as Facebook offer advanced ad targeting. When investing in social media ads, you can retarget your ads to show again to customers who’ve already visited your site — which can be much more lucrative than generalized ads. This means the ads will be shown only to people who are already looking for a contractor, and seeing your ad more frequently makes them more familiar with your brand, increasing their chance of remembering and choosing you.
Lead ads are a way that social media platforms can help you gain valuable information about homeowners who may be considering a home improvement project. With a lead ad, interested consumers fill out a quick and easy contact form that populates a database you can use for following up. This helps you focus on the low-hanging fruit because it provides you with the contact information of homeowners who are serious about hiring a contractor. Being willing to fill out a form is the first step toward signing on the dotted line with you.
Unlike traditional media, the up-to-the-minute freshness of social media makes it the perfect platform for offering specials. Social media-only specials deliver value for customers who follow and interact with your brand’s online presence, and make tracking your success easier. Specials can include free touch ups, home inspections, consultation sessions, etc. Promoting a choice of payment options on social media can help convince customers of the ease of working with you and help you close more sales.