There was once a time when you’d never have dreamt about using social media for tradesmen. Social media was all about staying in touch with your friends, family who had moved away and sharing those all-important pictures of your latest culinary delights.
Things have certainly changed. It may be true that many tradesmen still get their work via phone calls and word of mouth, but the importance of social media is continuing to grow. It has been used effectively by other industries for numerous years and now it has become clear that social media for tradesmen can bring a real boost to your business.
Why do I need social media as a tradesman?
You’re an expert in your trade, you’ve got plenty of work coming in, and you’ve never bothered with social media before. Why bother now? The truth is that if you want to carry on picking up new customers, people have changed the way that they look for services now. Of course, word of mouth is highly effective, but if this is all that you are relying on you are severely limiting your reach.
People like to feel that they know someone before they invite them into their homes. They want to know as much about you and your company as possible. If you have your social media set up correctly, potential customers can instantly see:
- Your address
- Your company logo
- A telephone number
- A link to your website
- An email address
Beyond this basic information, comes the important parts that can really benefit your business. Potential customers can see examples of your work and they can also see how you interact with people. You can set yourself apart from your competition by replying to comments and sharing useful hints and tips. It is not all about selling: it is more about adding value.
Which social media platforms should I use as a tradesman?
There are numerous social media platforms and when it comes to social media for tradesmen, some are more effective than others. You can by all means try your luck at creating a viral video on TikTok, but the chances are that this won’t bring you many results. Here are the top platforms to get yourself set up on:
Long established and known by almost everyone, Facebook can be a great platform if it is used correctly. As well as having your personal profile, you can also create a business page that holds all of your company information. It allows you to post as well as letting customers/potential customers reply or post their own queries.
Instagram and Pinterest
These have been grouped together as they have something in common – they are extremely visual. You may not immediately think of using either of these channels as a tradesman, but if used in the right way they can bring you some great traffic to your website.
LinkedIn has often been referred to as the business version of Facebook. There is some truth to this so using this form of social media for tradesmen will depend upon who your target customers are. If you are aiming for households and members of the public, other platforms will bring better results. If you are targeting businesses as your customers then LinkedIn is well worth exploring.
YouTube can certainly bring you plenty of website visits. With it being owned by Google, great videos will rank highly in search results and bring you more traffic. If you explore this route, it is important that not every video is purely a sales presentation. Instead, use these as a way to teach people. Provide hints and tips and really give your audience value. This builds trust and sees people being more likely to use your services.
The rules of social media
Like all social media, when it comes to social media for tradesmen, there are certain rules that should be followed. Knowing what these are means that you are more likely to attract new customers and build a following. Ignoring them can have the opposite effect:
- Make sure that your content adds real value and isn’t just a sales pitch
- Use your social channels to engage and communicate with customers, not to preach to them
- Keep your social media up to date by posting regularly
- Never ignore a post – ensure that you always reply
It is also important to use images. There is plenty of research that shows that people are more likely to engage with your posts if they include an image. Solid walls of text are off-putting and quickly sees people moving on.
The importance of a professional image
It goes without saying that if you’re using social media for tradesmen you are going to need to remain professional. That goes for all industries but the truth is that a lack of professionalism on social media can cause your business untold damage.
Don’t be tempted to get caught up in any arguments. Don’t start to make derogatory posts about a competitor. As in all walks of life stay clear from anything that can be perceived as sexist, racist, or anything else that will damage your business. The great thing about social media is that people share posts. Veer off on a pathway that is unprofessional and this sharing can actually hurt you.
Just get started
As long as you apply common sense and don’t start to post anything that can damage you, the best advice that you will find around social media for tradesmen is to jump in and get going. Social media isn’t going away any time soon so the sooner you claim your space the sooner you can start reaping the benefits.
Yes, there is lots to learn, but often this learning can be done as you go. If you try and master every intricate detail before you ever post then the truth is you’ll never get started. Take a look at your competitors for some inspiration then take the plunge.