Last summer, I was lounging on my couch, browsing the black hole that is Facebook, trying to avoid the profiles of high school friends that have recently had a baby, when I kept chugging down my (un-sweet) iced tea and peeling off the layers down to my (free) college event shirt and norts (Nike running shorts—you’re wearing them). When I contemplated taking an ice bath in between messaging my bestie and stalking a crush, I realized that my air conditioning was in fact broken.
While I’m not the most experienced home repair guru, my computer was conveniently on my lap and allowed for some quick Facebook and Google searches of companies in the area that could help my over-heating self. Many of your customers may be in similar situations, or at least easily within grasp of the online world, when they realize they need your services. Facebook is not only a convenient platform to connect with your local HVAC customers, but it’s also a great way to expand your overall online real estate.
Read on to understand how a Facebook page for your business can greatly help your online presence and turn into more leads!
How Facebook Can Help Your HVAC Company
Your customers are already on Facebook.
Facebook is the most used social network. As of March 2013, Facebook had 655 million active daily users! The online platform is just another way you can be accessible to your clients and customers. Successfully marketing your business online is, at some level, a real estate game. Your goal is to cost-effectively maximize yours and you can’t do that without an awesome Facebook presence.
When your prospective customers have a problem or need an estimate, your contact information and hours are directly on a site they can spend hours a day on. Facebook is also a virtual help desk. Answering the questions posed by your prospective and current clients is a great way to build up authority, and establishing yourself as THE online authority (through status updates reminding people to clean their vents or posting photos of easy installation tips) will increase your credibility and engagement, and, in all, help your long-term search rankings.
Supercharge Referrals & Word of Mouth
As a business owner, you can attest that an invaluable local marketing channel is word-of-mouth referrals to your business from satisfied customers. For most small business owners, referrals are their number one source of new business. Facebook is an online community where your satisfied customers can discuss their most recent broken A/C ordeal without having to go out and grab coffee from their college buddy.
Through Facebook, your fans are able share their thoughts, reviews, and praise of your company. When they do this, their comments are often visible to thousands of their friends and friends-of-friends. That’s right—your company can also appear in friends-of-fans’ news feeds when they interact with your brand on the platform—further expanding your online visibility.
Facebook Local Search
Facebook can be quite effective in online marketing with the Facebook Local Search tool. This feature is similar to Yelp—allowing users to search or browse businesses in close proximity. It is important for you to have an active Facebook page for your company and have previous customers engage with the brand, as Facebook will prioritize the local search listings by cues from users’ friends “liked” pages.
Improve Your SEO
I believe that optimizing your Facebook page may have a positive impact on your rankings on search engines. While it’s not too common, your Facebook page could show up on Google search results, especially if you’re sharing quality content and updates with your fans related to the search query. This would allow you to maximize your online real estate by taking a spot in search engines away from your competitors.
Facebook can also impact local SEO. When you have consistent local listings on social sites and other directories (aka. NAP citations), you have a better chance of appearing in the “7-pack” / map section of Google search results, which often show up before the organic listings. As an HVAC company, most of your searches will be in your local service area and local SEO will only become more crucial for obtaining traffic and leads from the Web.
HVAC Facebook Contests
Facebook also allows you to interact with your fans in a fun way! For example, hosting contests can be a great way to engage previous and potential customers, further your reach within Facebook, and differentiate yourself from the competition.
Need some ideas?
Ask your fans to participate in a photo contest for the oldest A/C unit or vote for the best “beating the summer heat” tricks. Fun and engaging contests will not only create more stories for customers’ news feeds, but also humanize your brand.
Dave Musial, president of Four Seasons Heating & Cooling, one of the largest HVAC contractors in the U.S., has developed what I think is a very cool way to leverage Facebook to get low-cost TOMA (top of mind awareness) for his company.
Dave’s Chicago HVAC company holds ongoing contests where he offers fans a chance to win tickets to major Chicago sports and entertainment events, restaurants, and more. All fans have to do to enter is to share the related Facebook post from Four Seasons on their wall.
Four Seasons’ contest posts are about as close to a runaway success as you can have. They regularly get shared and re-posted by hundreds—sometimes thousands—of people.
Creating a Facebook Strategy for Your HVAC Business
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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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