On this video Josh Nelson of HVAC SEO explains how HVAC Contractors can leverage social media to GROW their business.
Let's talk about social media and really how social media applies to the HVAC-specific business. You know, I talk with plumbing, AC repair contractors all the time and what they're tending to tell me is, man, I know there's a lot of growth and a lot of opportunity in social media, but I can't figure out for the life of me how being on Facebook is going to help to grow my business, get my phone ringing more, or do anything that's going to benefit me.
So, the way I like to explain it is, if you think for a second, what is the number one source of your business right now? Where does most of your business come from? And, in most cases, the answer to that question is repeat-and-referral business. So my existing customers, using me again, or my existing customers referring me to their friends and family, and that's where the majority of my business comes from.
Social media, when leveraged correctly, if you can get your true customers, those same people that use you again and refer you to others, is an opportunity to take that repeat-and-referral business, put it on steroids, and take it to a whole other level. So, if you do this thing right, you can result in a lot of repeat-and-referral business for your organization.
As a matter of fact, the average Facebook user has 135 friends, so if you've got a system within your business where you're getting your true customer to go to your Facebook page and press 'like', by virtue of the pressing 'like', all of their friends, those 135 people in your geographic area in most cases, are going to log in and see that Judy just pressed the 'like' button and said that they like Pete's Plumbing Heating and Air.
And it's almost as if Judy went out and said, "Hey, you know, I found this great plumbing company in the XYZ area and I recommend them. Next time you somebody, give them a call." I think you can see that there's a major opportunity in doing that.
So let's kind of unpack where to start and really what the most important social media profiles are, because there's thousands of different social media profiles and opportunities, but again I like to say let's focus on the 80/20 rule. Let's focus on the 20% of social media profiles that are probably going to drive more than 80% of the result. And actually, in social media it's probably more like a 99/1 rule, where 1% of the social media profiles drive 99% of the opportunity.
So the ones you want to be involved in, at the very top of the list, is Facebook business page. You want to set up a Facebook business page for your business, and it's just a function of having a personal Facebook profile, and then creating a business page.
You want to set up a twitter account for your company, '@your company'. You want to set up a LinkedIn profile, especially if you do any type of commercial-related business. You want to set up a YouTube channel. You should have a YouTube channel regardless in order to sync your videos to your Google+ Local page or to your Google Maps listing, but again you can leverage YouTube, it's a great opportunity to really create videos on an ongoing basis and gain traction for your organization.
Google+ is one of the fastest growing social media profiles available. It's Google's answer to Facebook. You're going to need it in order to have you map listings anyway, so set up a Google+ profile.
Get involved in a blog. Whether it's installed on your name or it's a Blogger profile. I recommend it be on your domain, but you need a blog because it's going to be the central hub where any new information, any news updates, any information that you guys are putting out should go to a blog and then be synced to your different social media profiles.
This is where you want to start from the social media perspective. You want to have each one of these accounts setup and ready to roll for your company. Here's how you can roll it out. Here's how you can start to get your customers involved in a social media profile so you start to get a groundswell that will really lead you to the place where you want to be, which is getting more repeat referral business.
First thing you want to do is start to think about your sphere of influence. Your best customers, family and friends, people that you associate with, and develop a list of the names and email addresses of those people. Put together an email that you can send out to them that says, "Hey, just wanted to let you know we setup a social media profile on Facebook, and we'd love to get you involved."
Depending upon your relationship, maybe it's just a, "Hey look, this is what we did, go ahead and press like and it'll be fantastic." If you feel like you'd like to an offer incentive or some reason for them to go ahead and press that like button, press that subscribe button, press that +1 button, well then you can offer a discount or something of value. But you want to have a mechanism where you're reaching out to your sphere of influence and getting some type of base of a following on your social media profiles.
From there, you need to be consistently posting valuable information.
Actually, before we go there, then what you want to do is come up with a strategy for getting your true customers, or your customers going to your social media profiles, on an ongoing basis. We talked about getting an email database together, and sending it out to your customers after service, asking them to write a review. Well, if you're giving the emails from your customers after service or before service, that will give you the opportunity to send an email, maybe a couple of days after service, saying, "Hey you know what? Thanks so much for your business, we really appreciate the opportunity to serve you. By the way, we're actively involved in social media. Would you press the like button, and if you do, we'll give this incentive."
Maybe it's 10 percent off their next service, or maybe it's some little trinket that they would appreciate. But now, you're consistently growing your following. You're not just getting social media followers for no apparent reason, you're getting your real customers that are going out and engaging with you on social media. Once you've got that core information, or that core group in place, you've got to do two things on a consistent basis. You've got to post information to your social media profiles, otherwise it was all for naught. And you're going to engage with your customers that are there.
By posting valuable information, what I mean by that is, you're going to be putting information on it. Here's what's going on in the local market. Here's some tips for properly managing your AC. Or hey, hot season is right around the corner. Make sure you change your AC filter. But try and keep 90 percent of the information you put on your social media profile as informational and 10% promotional. So, more information that's just, you know, topical information and a very little bit of it that is, "Hey, here's 10% off your next service," to try and drive the business machine or the lead machine.
From there, more important than even putting out that information is engaging with your customers. So as your customer who has liked you goes ahead and puts on, "Hey, it's Billy's birthday," somebody on your team needs to be following what's happening in that social media sphere of influence, and say, "Hey, wish Billy a Happy Birthday for us." You know, little touches like that and engaging with them on a personal level via social media is how you develop that loyalty and that ability for them to want to continue to use you and want to refer you to others.