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Social Media Tips for Plumbing Companies to Differentiate Their Brand Online
We often think about social media as a personal space. We share cat videos, family photos, and sometimes strong opinions about all things light and serious. But can it also be a place for you to market your plumbing business?
The short answer: Yes! The how-tos? Let’s get into it!
Why Should Plumbers Care About Social Media?
People love to spend their free time on social media apps. A recently study from Facebook shows that 37.6% of TV viewers scroll social media apps while watching TV!
Social media can also play a pivotal role in your plumber internet marketing strategy, from lead generation to brand differentiation.
Why Invest In Social Media?
Social media advertising provides many benefits for home service companies and plumbers alike:
- SEO benefits – You’ll often hear us stress the importance of SEO for plumbers. That’s how your site gets found on Google search results. Participating in social media is just one more way that you improve your site’s SEO performance.
- Social media is leaning into recommendations – Facebook will often highlight “recommendations” now when people are asking for a specific service or product in an area. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to (gently) plug your own business when these pop up in various social media streams. Social media is the new word-of-mouth marketing.
- Social media is helpful for emergencies – Apart from the leisurely “does anyone know a plumber” posts we just alluded to, there’s also the, “my kitchen is flooding I need a plumber’s number NOW” posts. If you’re monitoring social media, you won’t miss these emergency services calls and messages from customers in need.
- Social media is inexpensive compared to traditional advertising – TV commercials, direct mail, radio ads, and newspaper ads are expensive and result in high customer acquisition costs. Social media ads do not. And, unlike any of these expensive forms of advertising, social media is persistent, ubiquitous, and easily accessible by all.
Lastly, participate in the conversation. People talk about your business online, like it or not. You can either choose to participate in the conversation (and have control over the conversation) or let others do the talking for you. Suffice it to say you’re always going to be your own best representative.
How to Start Building Your Social Media Strategy
Build Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
So now that we’ve talked about why social media matters for your plumbing business, let’s go through some steps to get you started.
Knowing your target audience is critical in general, but even more so on social media, because that can help you figure out which platforms you prioritize. You’ll want to build your ICP, or Ideal Customer Profile, to fully understand who your audience is and what traits they have in common:
- Is your plumbing business primarily B2C or B2B?
- Who is the typical decision-maker in your customers’ households? Are they typically male or female?
- How old are your ideal customers?
- Are your customers typically married? Do they have children?
- What is the average household income of your most profitable customers?
- What service areas (cities, townships, neighborhoods) do you want to service most?
- What is the average age of homes in your most desired service areas?
- What services do your customers frequently want and need?
- What kind of financial situation are these ideal customers in?
Make sure you take the time to answer all these questions before formulating a social media strategy for your plumbing business.
Pick Your Platforms
You don’t want to take a shotgun approach to your social media strategy. You want to make sure you can execute well on at least one, at most two, platforms before taking on others. Once you’ve gotten started you can always add more or pivot to prioritize the ones that you get the most traction on.
We recommend starting with Facebook.
What’s the Goal of Your Social Media Campaigns?
Remember to always begin with the end in mind. What is your goal for engaging in social media? For example, do you:
- Want to build a mailing list to cultivate leads?
- Want to be part of your local communities via organic and paid interactions?
- Want to generate leads?
- Want to build an online audience?
Pros and Cons of Social Media Platforms for Plumbers
This is best for middle-aged audiences with disposable income who are also comfortable with technology and hence feel perfectly comfortable looking for plumbers on the platform. Facebook is also excellent for building a community and a variety of content posting.
Con: Not great for younger crowds or B2B.
If you enjoy sharing project pictures or real-time work using the Stories feature, Instagram is a great way to showcase your work and if you want to build out your brand identity, you can definitely do that in a meaningful way on this platform.
Con: Not a great way to communicate with your target audience.
As we noted above, Nextdoor is a crucial social media platform for plumbers to be engaged with. You can target specific neighborhoods and communities that you want to participate in via conversation or paid advertising. The platform verifies that the people listed in the neighborhood are actually living there. 90% of American households are using Nextdoor, which is why you want to be on there to let them know about your plumbing services.
Con: You will want to set aside some budget for advertising on this platform
While it’s primarily known as a place for your resume to live online, LinkedIn is often pitched as a content and learning platform. The users tend to be wealthier and more oriented towards networking and recommending trusted vendors. Activity on this platform would be smart for B2B plumbers.
Con: Not going to be used for those who are in emergencies or otherwise need help NOW.
The key to Twitter is understanding the character limit and working within that to get your message across. It also helps to be following the right accounts in your field so that you have the ability to comment and share with what they are tweeting.
Con: Same as with LinkedIn: less likely to be used for people who need help right away.
Much of what we said about Instagram applies here, though less through your own photo feed and more through “boards” you can create and “pin” things to. Dominated by females, which is important if that is your target customer.
Con: Very much a hobby and browsing site rather than an action-oriented site.
Decide which platform will be primary for you and which one(s) will be secondary. This is important because you want to be known for engaging with people and the platform you choose will also in part define your strategy.
Social Media Tips for Plumbers
Now that you’ve thought about your customer profile and decided which platforms you are initially going to pursue, what’s the best way to go about it?
Firstly, always lead with value. We know it can be tempting to want to just “get” new customers, but this is a marathon, not a sprint. You want to create a trustworthy, relevant, and helpful brand on social media platforms. Give ideas and content away for free. This will not only help the DIY crowd, but get people to realize that DIY isn’t always the answer, and when people realize that, you will be the first company they think about when experiencing a plumbing issue.
Secondly, batch your content. You will make more progress and feel less overwhelmed if you batch out your content a couple of weeks in advance.
We keep mentioning content, and the quality of that content is going to determine the quality of your audience. You could create:
- Blogs and informational articles – You have a wealth of knowledge in the plumbing industry. You need to share it.
- DIY and how-to videos – The same as with the blogs, but now in video form.
- Behind the scenes – People really do love to see this kind of content. You’ll want to bundle these bits of content with inspiration, humor, personal updates, and customer stories. You can also showcase customer work here, with their permission.
- Milestones and achievements – People like to feel like they are part of something, so when you share “We just hit 1,000 followers!” they will be happy and celebrate with you.
- Stories about causes – If you or your business are passionate about causes, this is a great type of content to share via education about the cause and periodic updates as to what that organization may be doing or how it might need help from the community.
Those are all ideas for content that you generate internally. But there’s also plenty of external content for you to interact with.
- Trends/news – When there are news items that are current and being discussed, you have an opportunity to throw in your two cents.
- Jokes/anecdotes – People do really love social media for jokes and stories, so lean into that. There’s no harm that can be done with your brand being associated with people laughing or smiling.
Above all, remember to be social (pun intended). Act the way a friend would.
- Educate and engage your customers FIRST, then people will be more open to when you promote your business.
- When people message you, make sure to respond and do so in a timely manner.
- Encourage others to interact with you by interacting with them. This can cause others who don’t know about your business to click through to your profile, which can help grow your organic followers/likes. These relationships are the building blocks of leads.
- Be consistent with your branding and post regularly. This will be different for different platforms. For example:
- Quick tips on Twitter should be daily, whereas pictures or stories on Instagram might be weekly. Remember that less frequent, high quality posts will always trump frequent, yet mediocre content.
- Be genuine! It’s okay to show some authenticity. Yes, professionalism is important, but so is personality!
Step Up Your Social Media Game
Once you’ve mastered the basics you can go for some next-level tactics.
- Contests – You can use these to encourage people to engage and share your content.
- Live streams – You could maybe do AMAs (ask me anything sessions) once a week.
- Use technology – There are various software programs you can use to automate the posts you’ve batched, like SproutSocial.
- Use social media advertising – You’ll get better at this as you refine your customer profile and find what content really resonates.
Through all of this, always keep learning. It can feel overwhelming at first, but realize this is a key component of your business, and you can set aside some time on a regular basis to keep learning tips for how to use your chosen platforms.
You Can Do It! (If You Want To)
There are some plumbers who do much of what we discussed on their own, and they do it well. But that doesn’t mean you have to feel obliged to. If you need help with any aspect of social media, contact us online. We’re happy to help!
About The Author: Brandon is Blue Corona's Director of Marketing and oversees the company's growth initiatives. He is passionate about growing the company's brand, leads, and sales. Outside of work, Brandon enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter at a local brewery and completing DIY home improvement projects.
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The information on this website is for informational purposes only; it is deemed accurate but not guaranteed. It does not constitute professional advice. All information is subject to change at any time without notice. Contact us for complete details.