You may feel in your trade business that social media marketing isn’t relevant to you. After all, you probably got into a trade because you want to be on the tools instead of in the office behind a computer!
There are so many benefits to marketing your trade business with social media, from being able to advertise to potential clients to showing what services you offer and displaying some great visuals of your work.
We’ll cover all the benefits in this guide, as well as showing you which ones to focus on for growing your business.
The benefits of using social media to grow your trade business
You can reach new customers
With so many people using social media platforms nowadays, you are bound to garner the attention of potential new clients if you have a presence online and a digital marketing strategy.
Older forms of business marketing, such as newspaper ads, have become less popular as information is far more accessible now through social media. A lot of the information a potential client might be looking for can be found in the palm of their hand, 24-7!
You benefit from peer to peer reviews
If you have a happy customer, they are likely to share the finished product on social media which helps you in two ways. One, they are doing half the work for you by producing images of your work, and two, they are advocating for how good your business is which other potential clients can see.
Here’s an example of how this works. Jane just had her bathroom redone by your team, and is thrilled with the finish. She posts it on social media to share with friends and tags your business. Your company name has now been advertised for free. The next time Jane’s friends are looking for a tradie, your business is front-of-mind. This is a great example of how modern-day worth of mouth can be useful for your trade business - without it costing you a thing!
It provides an overall image of your business
Potential customers use social media to gather social proof - they’ll look for work you’ve done and read the comments about it which can be the difference between them choosing your business over another.
It’s all well and good to say your business is great, but having the backing from real clients is something incredibly valuable and will put you in the best position to grow.
You can show off your work
If you are doing great work, you should show it off! If potential clients are looking for inspiration or just to see what is possible with their next project, you can be the one to lead the way as the experts.
There is also a good chance clients don’t want to read pages and pages of information, so getting some nice visuals of your work can keep their interest too. It might even spark their interest to request extra work they hadn’t thought of!
What are the best social media channels to be on?
With so many different social media channels to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which ones are best for your business.
Here is a quick rundown of what each platform is and what each one can help you achieve.
Facebook gives you the ability to:
- Set up a business page
- Display your website link so potential clients know where to go to get more information
- Add your contact information such as email or phone number - it’s really important to make it easy for clients to contact you for quotes and queries
- Utilise the Facebook messaging function so potential clients can contact you in real-time - this is a great option if you work in an industry where clients need your help urgently!
- Display photos of your work so clients can see what you do
- The reviews function allows clients to quickly get a look at recommendations from other people
- Page ‘likes’ will give potential clients a good look at how much support your business has, which is another form of recommendation through word of mouth
If you set up a Facebook business page this will help with visibility in search engines such as Google. For example, if someone uses google to search plumbers in their local area, and you have a business page on Facebook, it enhances the likelihood of them coming across your business.
Facebook also gives you the ability to:
- Utilise Facebook Marketplace
- This is a handy online selling function that is free to use, extremely easy to list on, and can save you a lot of time whether you are getting rid of old unused gear or selling a product you have made
- Use Facebook groups
- Special interest groups can be a great place to share knowledge and find new customers - this might be groups along the lines of ‘NZ Home and Garden DIY’ or ‘Renovation tips’
- Utilise Facebook ads
- Facebook ads are an affordable way to advertise your business to reach your ideal customer
- If you are unsure how to use this function there are plenty of informative articles on how to run Facebook ads for your business
Instagram gives you the ability to:
- Share images of your work and business
- This is a great way to show off the type of work you do which can help you to stand out amongst your competitors - it’s also a good opportunity to show the quality of your work or style ideas, such as a flash tiling or landscaping job!
- Sharing on Instagram can be a little more informal, so you can have fun with what you share
- Share videos of your work
- Instagram provides you the function to share videos so you can show off what you do in action - that can be surprisingly satisfying for viewers to watch especially if you work in a niche industry
- Using the ‘stories’ function is a great way to engage with your audience, and doesn’t require you to take too much time taking perfect photos
As well as Facebook and Instagram, here are some other social channels to consider using:
While not technically social media, building and updating your business profiles on tradie sites like Builders Crack, No Cowboys and tradies.org.nz can help your business stand out.
Potential clients looking for reliable tradies are likely to visit these sites so having a profile there will add to your online presence.
If you are confident in front of the camera and competent with editing software, Youtube videos can show your personality as well as your expertise.
Videos are a great thing to add to your website as well, especially if you want to give potential clients a deeper look into your business. This could include introducing your team, showing the type of work you do, or even talking through why you started your business.
Although Linkedin is more commonly used as a business to business platform, it is still great for small to medium businesses to showcase company ethos, advertise for job vacancies and show expertise within your industry.
Getting your business name out there will never be a bad thing!
What kind of things should you be posting on each platform?
Now that we’ve given you a rundown on the different social media marketing platforms available, let's look at what you should be posting on each one in order to grow your trade business.
- Introduce yourself and your team
- Most clients want to know who might be coming into their home or workplace, so being able to put a face to a name makes the process feel more personal
- Share recent projects
- Facebook is a great place to share photos as it’s easy to do, reflects the most recent work and will likely be easier than updating your website photos constantly
- Share before and after photos
- Potential clients love a before and after photo as it shows them what their potential project could end up looking like - a bit of inspiration goes a long way!
- Share customer testimonials
- Most clients will go looking for recommendations, so having this on your Facebook page front and centre shows you have nothing to hide!
- Share your expertise
- If you are speaking about the best way of doing things, that establishes you as the expert in your field and intern helps to build trust with clients
Here are a few other things to remember:
- Ask for permission to share if you are using pictures of your client’s project or property
- Post at a consistent frequency - don’t leave months between posts or potential clients might think you have disappeared off the scene!
- Experiment with Facebook ads
- Create a marketing plan and schedule a week or fortnights worth of posts in advance using facebook’s creator studios. This will help keep posts consistent without having to set yourself reminders
- Argue in the comments section. Reply to any negative comments with tact, but follow up with a message or a phone call
- Treat it like a personal page - keep it relevant to your business for target marketing purposes
- Shots of you and your team on the tools
This is a great way to show who you are, and a few smiling faces will be a good incentive for potential clients to choose your business to work with
- Time-lapse of you completing a job
Posting interesting content that people actually enjoy watching will help to not only entice new customers but could also encourage them to share your work
- A review of your gear
Showing that you are using the latest and safest tools, even if it’s hire gear, shows you have good standards for things like health and safety, and puts another tick against your name. There are lots of reasons to hire gear for your trade business, and just one of those is being able to get your business name out there with people in the industry.
- A carousel post (multiple images) showing a tutorial of how you do something in your business
You can tell a story with images, without needing to do too much writing in a caption. This is a good way to utilise your time when using social media. One great way to do this is posting a before and an after shot
- Customer testimonials
A picture of a recent job and the quote from the client is all the proof a potential client needs to get on board
Here are some do’s and don‘ts for Instagram:
- Connect with your community. Like follow and engage with people in complementary businesses
- Take a bit of extra effort with the pictures and videos. Pop on a filter using apps like ‘vscocam’ or ‘snapseed’. Using consistent colours will look better on your page
- Get creative, mixing up content from photos and videos to text-based posts. These are simple to make on sites like Canva and there are lots of templates to play with
- Use hashtags that are relevant to your business. This guide from Later is a great place to start
- Post just for the sake of it. Spending a bit of time thinking about who you want to see your post and what they might find helpful or inspiring will go a long way on this platform
- Post and ghost. Spend a bit of time commenting on others posts and stories as well as posting - engagement is a two-way street!
Grow your business with Hirepool
At Hirepool, we’ve been helping tradies grow their businesses for over 60 years, so we know the role that good marketing, and good gear can play when it comes to attracting more customers.
Check out our trade hub for more tips and tricks for your business, and get special deals and offers on gear when you sign up to ‘tools of the trade’ emails.