Social media can feel like an endless flood of posts from every person you’ve never known, and it can get overwhelming and repetitive fast.
But it’s easy to forget that social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram aren’t just for promoting yourself or your business. The word ‘social’ is there for a reason: they’re for creating communities and building relationships.
Crystal shared her tips for how to use each social media platform to not just blast the world with your business’ weekly promotions but to become more trustworthy, create value, and build relationships that can ultimately become lifelong customers.
Read on to get Crystal’s social media marketing tips for small business owners and what you should do now to create loyal customers (hint: you don’t need every platform!)
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Social media marketing tips for small businesses to build customer loyalty
First, decide which social media platforms you’re going to use.
“I do not want you to be on seven different social networks. I want you to find the 1-2 that are most likely to produce the best results for you,” Crystal suggests. “I don’t know about you but I can’t pay my mortgage with Facebook likes.”
So what results are you after? Results are not likes or comments. For small businesses, results = revenue.
“Results are not comments. Results are not likes. Results are revenue.”
As you read these social media marketing tips, think about which platforms are more likely to help you bring in more revenue and more lifelong customers. “Choose 1-2 networks and rock them,” says Crystal.
Remember, it’s about quality over quantity.
1. Use Facebook to start conversations
“Facebook has the largest pool of your target market. That’s number one. Facebook is like the low-hanging fruit for most businesses,” says Crystal.
For small businesses, the best way to use Facebook is to create posts that invite comments. “When people start commenting, now they’re taking ownership of a conversation and they’re more likely to share. And a share can easily turn into a referral.”
This could mean sharing useful DIY tips related to your services, sharing stories about your employees or clients, or posting prompt questions.
MIL-SPEC Landscaping shared this rendering on their Facebook page for a client project they’re working on to showcase their skills and creativity:
Power Tip: For more advanced users, use Facebook Ads to target prospects in your area specifically after key events.
“One of the most powerful uses of Facebook is Facebook Ads so you can target your prospects in your area specifically, especially after key events.”
Looking for Facebook ads advice for your industry?
2. Use Instagram to create social proof
Because Instagram is a visual platform, that makes it the perfect place to showcase your work and give customers a peek of what they can get when they book a service with you.
Crystal recommends posting before and after photos and videos on Instagram, as well as progress photos and videos. Images and videos of your work act as social proof for your business: it builds trust and helps persuade customers that you’re the right person for the job.
Take this example from Painter’s Enterprise’s Instagram profile:
These before and after photos show customers what Painter’s Enterprise can do, plus they’ve shown their sense of humor in the caption.
You should also tag any brands you use or partners you have and include hashtags in your posts. This increases the likelihood of those brands reposting your content, reaching an even broader audience.
Power Tip: For users who are ready to take Instagram to the next level, use Instagram ads to target prospects in your area after key events.
“If you’re not familiar with Instagram ads and you want to figure out how to do it yourself, you’re going to go through Facebook ads. The Facebook Blueprint program will take you through the training for Facebook ads and there’s also an Instagram section as well.”
But remember, Instagram is not about getting a ton of interactions.
“We don’t want to compare ourselves to retail or clothing. We’re not going to get the same amount of interactions but we don’t have to, right? Even if you just get one or two on your posts a day, that one or two can turn into one referral a week.”
3. Use YouTube to show off your knowledge, tips, and tricks
While people go to Facebook and Instagram to browse images or join conversations, they go to YouTube to learn.
Take advantage of this platform by posting DIY tips and simple projects your customers can follow along with at home. This helps you position yourself as a trustworthy expert.
“You’re showcasing your knowledge and you’re getting people hooked into you so that when they need the true professional, they’ll call you,” says Crystal.
Here, SEF the Lawn Surgeon gives viewers tips and tricks for how to deal with an oil filter:
Power Tip: If you decide to invest your time in a YouTube channel, you need to make sure your viewers can find you. Add keywords to your title and description that people can easily search for.
Be strategic with the keywords you use when you publish the video. Posting videos about common issues or questions your target customer often has will help get your video to the right audience.
“People need this kind of information. Most viewers might not be your target clientele so you have to be strategic in how you’re utilizing YouTube,” says Crystal. “But keep in mind it does lend credibility to your business.”
READ MORE: 23 Gary Vee quotes for small business owners
4. Use Twitter to track media mentions and get PR
Twitter might not seem like the most obvious place for a home service provider to advertise their business — that’s because it isn’t! Crystal recommends using Twitter to track media mentions.
“Use Twitter to contact news and media accounts with community service or tie your offerings into current events.”
Since homeowners don’t often use Twitter to find local businesses, don’t spend time posting about promotions on your Twitter account. Instead, use it to share useful information that may catch the media’s eye.
“If you know that a place is about to get freezing temperatures, this is your opportunity to use Twitter, to contact some of the major news stations and say, ‘Hey, I have three tips every homeowner needs to know that they need to put in place in the next three days before the freeze comes,’” says Crystal.
Power Tip: Create a list of the reporters, writers and news outlets that you’d be a good fit for.
Identify a list of local reporters, writers, and news outlets that are most likely to feature a business like yours or a topic you’re an expert in. Crystal recommends interacting with that account once a week to establish a relationship and get your name out there. It can be as simple as liking the Tweet or saying something like “great article”.
5. Use Houzz to showcase your work and get reviews
Houzz is a home renovation, remodeling, landscaping, and design website. “This is the social network where people are going for home renovation and upgrading ideas,” says Crystal.
“For those of you who do work that is more about showcasing homes— our landscapers, contractors that do renovations— this is the network where you shine.”
“Regularly add engaging professional photos to your profile. It’s as simple as that.”
Houzz is a visual platform, so it’s all about attractive, professional-looking photos. If you’re already adding high-quality photos to your website, Facebook business page, and Instagram profile, add Houzz to your list of profiles to update.
Best Handyman Boston created their Houzz profile, added photos of projects, and included customer reviews.
Power Tip: To further optimize your Houzz profile, ask clients to add reviews.
Houzz is a great social network to help you build your sales pipeline. Houzz’s ‘Find Professionals’ feature lets homeowners search through and browse home service providers profiles. They can filter by location, type of work (from pool builders to landscapers), project type, budget, and more.
When you create your Houzz profile, build up your customer reviews. “Reviews make a huge difference,” says Crystal.
Customer reviews make your business look trustworthy, reliable, and professional. When you follow-up after a job and ask for customer reviews on Google or Facebook, give customers the option to review your business on Houzz too. Over time you’ll build up a strong collection of reviews.
READ MORE: How to respond to negative reviews
6. Use Pinterest to get traffic to your website
“This image-based social network is great for DIYs and ideas, and it’s very heavily dominated by women, making up over 87% of the network,” says Crystal.
Like Houzz, Pinterest is great for home service providers that can show off their work or add value by sharing DIY tips in the form of an image.
“Lots of people upload pictures directly to Pinterest,” says Crystal. “Don’t do that.”
“As people share those pictures more and more, they can change the captions. But if you’re sharing it directly from your website, whenever anyone clicks that image, it’s always going to take them back to your website,” explains Crystal.
This is a great way to bring traffic to your website, build your brand as an expert in your field, and book more work.
Put’s Ponds & Gardens use Pinterest to send traffic to their website and even their YouTube channel.
Power Tip: For users looking to get more out of Pinterest, add your location in image descriptions.
When you add your service location to image descriptions, it ensures that you’re sharing where you actually do the work. That way, potential customers can connect with you, check out your website, and book a service.
Pinterest helps get your business name out to just about anyone, so it’s important that you focus your reach on your service area with image descriptions.
7. Use LinkedIn to connect with commercial clients
“LinkedIn is ideal for those with a business-to-business (B2B) offering. If you don’t do any type of commercial work, this is probably not going to be one of your top social networks,” explains Crystal.
“LinkedIn runs like websites — it runs off keywords. So, if someone goes on LinkedIn and types in a word or a term, and you don’t have it in your profile or company page, you can’t be found for that,” says Crystal.
So, think about the keywords you want to be associated with your business and get those words on your profile.
Power Tip: Join groups with decision-makers/referral partners as you’ll show up higher in their search results.
“You don’t have to post anything or participate. Just join those groups. Get some of your keywords in your headline too for both your personal profile associate with your business, as well as your business page. We want to make sure we’re leveraging both of those.”
Keep track of your social media marketing referrals
Now that you’ve created a way to fill your sales pipeline and capture customer referrals, how do you keep track of it all to build customer relationships?
“Note any little detail about your customers in your CRM [client relationship manager], because you never know how that information will serve you in the future. If someone mentioned that their kid’s birthday was yesterday or that someone passed away, or that they support a certain charity, add all of those details to your CRM,” explains Crystal.
“Retaining a client starts the day after they sign the contract or hire you. The moment they sign it, how you deliver the service is part of retaining that customer.”
“The next time you reach out to them, you can check the notes in your CRM and make that human-to-human connection. That’s what gets us lasting clients. And that’s what gets us referrals.”
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