When I am home during holidays, relatives sometimes introduce me to their friends and say that “Hannah does Facebook and Twitter for her job in Charlotte.” While Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms are mentioned in my job description, they are only one small facet of successful online marketing strategies for home service companies.
As a content marketer for Blue Corona, I write blog posts and landing pages daily for a wide variety of clients, including HVAC contractors throughout the country. Once we publish blog posts on our client’s websites, social media platforms represent just another channel where we promote the remarkable content. But let’s take a look closer at what “doing Facebook for your job” actually entails.
Social media allows for engagement with a brand’s community—gone are the days of one-way communications from the marketer to the consumer. Social media engagement can lead to a variety of valuable actions including:
Word of mouth referrals
Even though social media has been exponentially growing since the early 2000s, we still see a clear divide between brands that get it and those that think it’s still about just having a page or the most “likes.”
One company that truly seems to grasp the integration of social media with content and online marketing is Four Seasons—the largest HVAC contractor in the world.
While Four Seasons is not Blue Corona’s client, we believe they provide great examples of engaging, purposeful, and strategic social media use—proving that a company in any industry can succeed within the social online world with the right tactics and practices. A simple look at their home page gives links to all of their social media channels and—even better—enticing reasons to follow, like, and engage with them:
Customize Your Platforms for Your HVAC Company
Almost anyone can create an account on one of the many social media platforms, but what is better is customizing the sites for your consumer base and community. As seen below in Four Seasons’ Facebook page, they’ve customized the tabs at the top header to be “Coupons & More!” and “Videos.” Often, the generic brand pages provide a map or events. Four Seasons understands what their consumers may be more interested in and provides a quick link to coupons, a category that is more likely to convert to a lead or sale than an unused events tab.
It is important to understand how your online community will use your page. Generic pages are just that: generic. Customize your profiles to provide the best resources, tools, links, and content to your fans or followers and prove yourself as the industry authority in the area.
Social Media Is Live
In the interactive web era that we currently log onto, it is crucial to prove that your brand is run by real humans—not just automated responses. Four Seasons could not have scheduled their time sensitive Google+ post when they planned their monthly social media content calendar. Instead, it is clear that they continue to monitor social media channels and news outlets in real time to respond rapidly and relevantly within their circles and communities (much like Oreo did during the last Super Bowl’s power outage). Since Four Seasons is located in the Midwest and based out of Chicago, they understood that their customers and circles would appreciate showing a little pride for their home team.
Connect with the Consumer’s Lifestyle
Many brands understand the power of Pinterest, but are unsure how their company fits into the photo-dense platform. On Pinterest, it is important to not just promote your products and services, but rather really connect to the lifestyle of your target consumer. From Four Seasons’ Pinterest profile, it is clear that they have a clear vision of who their target audience on Pinterest is. From the boards on the top of their profile, only two of the 10 are related to the heating and cooling industry! Most are related to customizing your home.
With boards that target the consumer’s lifestyle, Four Seasons integrates their brand and service into that lifestyle—i.e. you can have a perfectly designed and decorated home but you won’t experience the true comfort of your home without an efficient and quality heating and cooling system.
Understand Each Social Platform’s Purpose
At first it might seem odd that a HVAC company has a LinkedIn page—aren’t those normally for Fortune 500 companies looking to recruit middle management? Four Seasons’ LinkedIn page proves that they truly understand each social media channel and what purposes they provide.
In this LinkedIn post, Four Seasons is reaching out to plumbers to expand their workforce. Their call-to-action, “Send resumes to…” matches many of the Fortune 500 companies that also use LinkedIn to tap into the vast number of people looking for employment.
When creating content calendars or schedules to post to social media, understand the purpose of users who are on those platforms. Facebook fans won’t engage as well with a job posting than those connected with your brand on LinkedIn.
Mix up the Types of Content You Post
Four Seasons provides a mix of content to their audiences within social media platforms. Throughout all their channels, they post:
Internal links to their site
External links to other sources
Relevant references to media/news
Mixing up what they post allows Four Season to test the type of content that have the highest level of engagement, conversions, and return on investment (ROI). A glimpse at Four Seasons’ Twitter feed shows that consecutive tweets over the course of three days informed their followers of new content, recent weather, service offerings, and product specifications. Their followers (almost 1,000 of them!) are less likely to un-follow the handle due to boredom from repetitious content.
Mixing up what they post allows Four Season to test the type of content that have the highest level of engagement, conversions, and return on investment (ROI). A glimpse at Four Season’s Twitter feed shows that consecutive tweets over the course of three days informed their followers of new content, recent weather, service offerings, and product specifications. Their followers (almost 1,000 of them!) are less likely to un-follow the handle due to boredom from repetitious content.
If photos speak a thousand words, then videos are priceless. In of Four Seasons’ YouTube uploads, there is a news package that features a company executive shown as an authority on avoiding HVAC scams. If CBS-Chicago views Four Seasons as a credible and professional HVAC expert, wouldn’t you, too? Customers may not have seen the news clip live on TV, but the brand has uploaded it (with over 17,000 views to date!) to their YouTube channel—which they can now share on other social media profiles to spread the word and mix up content types!
Can Your HVAC Company Match Four Season’s Social Media Presence?
Are you convinced that social media can be done right no matter the industry—from HVAC to plumbing and other contractor services? With a strategic integration of social media channels into your business goals and website content, you can increase your communities and engagement online.
Still confusing a poke with a G+ and don’t quite understand a retweet? Blue Corona can help. Contact us today to find out about social media services within our online marketing packages!
About The Author: Hannah is the SEO Team Lead at Blue Corona. If she's not busy daydreaming about the training session for her team, you can find her improving client conversion rates and planning her next trip.
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