Social media can be tricky to use effectively for any small business. It can be a massive time suck. It’s easy to confuse activity with progress. And one controversial post can ruin a reputation you spent years (and maybe decades) building.
In this blog we are going to share some advice based on questions that we often get asked by painting contractors about social media.
The first question you should ask yourself is: what are you trying to achieve on social media? Are you using social media deliberately to accomplish something for your business? Or, are you really using it for personal use?
If you are on there because you just enjoy it and it’s fun for you, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. You might enjoy being a part of a community of painting contractors, or your local community. Both of those are great.
However, if you are doing it with the hopes of attracting customers, whether you are targeting new customers, repeat customers or both, you have to think through your approach. The first step is to build your audience, your second step is to increase engagement of your audience.
What social media platform(s) should I use?
American Painting Contractor (APC) conducted a really interesting survey recently where they asked painting contractors what their social platform of choice was. Here are the results:
The question doesn’t distinguish whether it’s for personal or business use but we can probably assume that most people who answered the survey factored in both.
However, if you want to utilize social media to help you attract new customers you should use the platform that is going to give you the opportunity to connect with the most potential customers. Who is your target audience? What is their social media platform of choice? That’s where you want to be.
Should I just try to use every social media platform I can?
No! What usually happens is you spread yourself too thin trying to do it all and end up using them all poorly. You will be much better off focusing on one or maybe two social media platforms at most.
How do I grow my social media audience?
Encourage everybody you interact with to follow you. Provide content that informs, entertains and engages your followers.
What types of things should I post on social media?
This depends partly on the platform you are using, but as mentioned above you want to inform, entertain and engage your followers. Notice that I didn’t say “sell to.” We recommend using the 80/20 rule with at most only 20% of your content being sales-type messaging. That may include a special promotion or a new service. Feel free to do less than 20%. If you hit a new follower with buy, buy, buy then they will turn you off and you’ll never have an opportunity to reach them again.
The quickest way to build your audience beyond asking everybody you interact with to follow you is to educate or entertain your followers. Share your painting techniques with them. Tell them how to identify signs that the outside of their home needs to be re-painted. Share trends in homeowner color choices. Poll your followers to see what their favorite color is for kitchen cabinets. This is the type of content they will be most likely to share with their connections.
You can also feel free to post great photos of your best work and new jobs you complete – those could inspire your audience. Providing inspiration to pursue those renovation projects they’ve always wanted to purse is another way to engage them.
How often should I post?
We recommend posting consistently three to five times a week. However, stick to the plan and make sure your posts meet a certain quality level. If you are just going through the motions to check off a box then reassess whether you should be posting at all. Fewer posts of a higher quality are better than many posts that stink.
How long should it take before the customers start rolling in?
This depends on many things including how active you are, the size of your market and how well you are able to engage your audience. That being said you would hope to have gotten a new customer by the six month mark of your consistent efforts.
There are several other things that we could cover but hopefully these tips will at least get you started or provide you some new guidance to improve your current social media efforts. Different things will work with different groups in different markets. Pay close attention to the posts that get you the most interaction and try to do more of those types of posts.
To learn how ProPainter Websites can help you attract more customers, call us at 919-424-6121 or schedule a meeting for a day and time that is convenient for you.