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|03-16-2016, 11:30 AM||#1|
Join Date: Feb 2016
A Social Media Intro for Plumbers
If you don’t already take advantage of social media outlets to promote your plumbing business, now is the time to start. Plumbers face a variety of situations ranging from mundane to extremely dramatic, often on the same day. From overflowing toilets to burst pipes, these visuals and the tales that come with them lend themselves well to social media marketing.
What Is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is the seemingly simple art of promoting yourself on social networking websites. A variety of these websites exist, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Every social media website requires a different approach to obtain maximum results – which is why there are professionals who dedicate their entire careers to mastering the nuances of social media marketing.
You don’t, however, need to hire an expert to get your foot in the door with social media. By spending some time observing and gaining some social media experience, you can quickly grasp what type of content is appropriate for which platform.
Facebook is one of the most well-known social media platforms – perfectly adaptable to using as your marketing “home base”. The site welcomes all forms of visual media, while focusing heavily on the written word. There is no character limit on how much you can type – and it has the largest user base in the world.
Facebook allows you to set up a “page” for your business, which helps keep your business life separate from your personal life. A personal Facebook account requires you to send a request to “add” people to your list of friends, who can then see what you post. But a business page allows anyone to be referred to you or find you and “like” the page to receive selected updates pertaining to your business.
Facebook users can find your business page by searching for plumbers in the area or getting the address directly from your marketing materials. You can even just tell people to look up “XYZ Plumbing” on Facebook: most media-savvy consumers will know how to do that.
Facebook is the place to advertise deals and specials while keeping your clients and customers abreast of what and how your business is doing. You can also share content from your other social media accounts to your Facebook page.
Instagram is vastly different from Facebook, in that its primary focus is purely aimed at visual imagery. Instagram requires you to download an app to your phone or mobile device, from which you take and upload pictures along with a caption explaining what’s going on in the image.
Sharing an unusual or humorous day on the job makes for a fun, relatable visual anecdote. After all, many plumbers have had to unclog a toilet only to find a toddler’s toy or stuffed animal. The story of how it got there and your “rescue” process is sure to capture the attention of the public.
On Instagram, you can make use of “hashtags”, words preceded by the pound sign (#). These tags allow users to search for similar content. So if you added the hashtag #plumbingstories to your image of a rubber duck in a toilet, users who are browsing that topic will find your post. You can add geographical tags, so if you’re based out of Detroit, Michigan, a #Detroit would be appropriate. Instagram suggests common hashtags based on what you input – don’t be afraid to use their suggestions, if appropriate.
YouTube and Vine
Instagram is good for still images, but YouTube, and to a lesser extent, Vine, are the social networks for videos. YouTube is the spot for longer videos, while Vine limits its users to shorter clips that are easily watched and shared quickly.
The focus of each site is different, too. YouTube videos are commonly focused on entertainment or information, while Vine is more of an entertainment-only platform. For example, if marketing your work on YouTube, you might create an informational video explaining the different tools of the trade, or showing viewers how to complete a simple home plumbing task.
Vine is the site for showing people an eye-catching clip of what happens when you reel in an electric snake too quickly, with the hopes of going “viral” – in other words, becoming a household name and essentially Internet famous.
Providing informational content on either site gets your name out to the public and demonstrates your expertise. If people need help, they’ll be more likely to recognize you and your work and reach out for your services.
Pinterest is another image-heavy social network. The premise is that users provide an image and a link to online content, organized into separate “pin boards” based on subject. Most site users are women, commonly in their mid-20’s to early 30’s, with an upper middle class income. Toilet humor and graphic imagery isn’t likely to go over well on Pinterest.
The ideal approach is to focus on creating boards for home improvement ideas, upgrades and DIY tips and tricks. Including links to sites besides your own is also useful.
Creating the right content to get your social media accounts recognized by the right people takes time. It’s a free method of advertising, but can become heavy-handed if done wrong. Take some time and investigate the ins-and-outs of your chosen social media network(s) and the user demographics of that site. Tailor your content to each site’s strengths and tie it all together with your Facebook page and business website.
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