The Role of Social Media in the Home Remodeling Industry
A recent report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 82 percent of all Americans over age 18 access the Internet every day, and perhaps more surprisingly, more than half of American adults over the age of 65 are online as well. With such a huge percentage of the population looking to the Internet for news, information and networking on a daily basis, social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter offer great potential for reaching a large number of your customers, employees and their associated networks at relatively no cost.
Because of that, the development of an active online presence can seem like a no-brainer for home remodeling companies. Especially those looking to increase brand awareness, share ideas and inspiration with homeowners and promote accomplishments such as awards and media hits to prospective customers and employees alike.
For companies like ours, and businesses in general, we’ve found that the key to a successful social media presence lies in first determining who and where your audience is and how to effectively communicate with them using each site’s unique features and tools. Before launching a profile, determine who you want to reach in the space—the way you speak to your customers may differ greatly from how you interact with employees and partners, and the content you offer will absolutely change depending on the end user. While your goal of maximizing awareness of your business may be a consistent and guiding factor in your overall social media strategy, avoid looking at each specific site through the same lens, and consider the individual benefits that each site has to offer.
Below are a few ways to make the most of your presence on the most popular social media sites:
Facebook: The largest and most established social networking site, Facebook is poised to surpass one billion users by August of this year. Chances are, a huge percentage of your customer base is active on the site, and uses it daily both to communicate with friends and follow their favorite brands and businesses. Offer those homeowners a blend of useful content, such as relevant research on the housing market and educational tips on ways to maximize their home’s energy efficiency, in addition to more specific offers, coupons and deals to incentivize them to utilize your services. Keep your message and tone of voice consistent in all status updates, photo uploads and Timeline interactions so your brand will be instantly recognizable when popping up in your followers’ news feeds.
LinkedIn: While Facebook is a great place to communicate with customers, LinkedIn can serve as a prime location for showcasing the benefits and culture your business offers employees. Since the target audience on this site is likely current and prospective employees, take advantage of LinkedIn features such as the ability to link to other social media networks and create a custom “Careers” page with job postings, employee testimonials and company news and information. Remember that by setting your LinkedIn profile to public, you’ll have a better chance to cast a wide recruiting net. Keep in mind it will also be visible to customers through Google searches, so tailor your content accordingly.
Pinterest: One of the newest social media sites, Pinterest’s user base is growing like wildfire and it’s a great example of the visual trend in social networking. Users cull through thousands of images with the ability to save their favorites in personalized categories called “pinboards.” Home remodeling professionals can use the site to highlight their work as inspiration for homeowners, ideally creating an aesthetically pleasing and interesting palette of images that best convey the type of services that are available through their business. The most successful Pinterest accounts are filled with visually stimulating photography, so avoid jumping on the Pinterest bandwagon if that’s not something you feel you have to offer prospective customers.
With social media, as with many things in life, it’s not worth doing if it isn’t done right. Avoid using social media as a marketing tool if you do not have the time or resources to devote to doing it properly, and understand that even though it may be free in cost, it takes a good deal of thought and time to create and maintain an effective online presence.