How to Gain Followers and Share Your Message on Social Media
Social media is a free way to brand your business and get your name out to potential customers. In this second part of our series on branding, Alyssa Hall, director of marketing communications for GAF, provides tips that businesses can use to promote their company and increase their visibility in the online space.
Q: What are some ways companies can utilize social media for their business?
A: Local businesses can use social media as a way to remain connected to their communities and stay engaged with former and potential customers. There’s a real opportunity to share company information that can help to build their business – like explaining the services they perform, giving easily accessible contact information, and sharing photos. Beyond those basics, companies can show their community ties by posting awards they have won, highlighting charitable efforts, or even just sharing messages about upcoming activities like a town parade. For GAF contractors who are part of our Habitat for Humanity or No Roof Left Behind programs, social media is a great place to post pictures of the build and share details of the project. They just have to make sure they have permission from anyone appearing in those photos and the property owner before sharing them.
Another useful way to use social media is through sharing reviews. About 80% of people check online reviews before making a purchase and trust the opinions of complete strangers, not just friends and family sharing their experiences. Considering the importance of online reviews, social media is an excellent place to invite former clients to leave a positive review and that can help to get new business. Just remember if they provide something to the client in return for the review, they may have to disclose that fact.
Q: What are the best sites and are there different ways to speak to different social sites?
A: It’s nearly impossible to be on all of the different sites and have enough time to devote to properly updating them all – and the last thing you want is a social media site that looks like it’s not being maintained. The whole point of social media is that it is current. Try a few things, find what works, and then devote your time to the efforts that get results. Look at sites that have been successful and try and figure out how to apply their strategies to your own pages. There are definitely companies that have mastered this; it takes a little time to research and a little creativity to see how to morph it and make it your own.
Q: Do you have any tips for getting a company’s name out as an expert in the field?
A: One of the best ways right now to be considered an expert in the field is through LinkedIn, which is a social media site that has a lot of different groups. Although it was originally a site where people went to find a new job or a candidate for a job, it has become a networking site with groups designed for experts to share their thoughts on specific topics – yes, even for roofing. In fact, there are many groups devoted to roofing, both residential and commercial. Some include homeowners asking questions and some are for professionals sharing best practices. One way to start getting your name out there as an expert in the industry is to join these groups or other message boards and answer questions. When your name starts to be the one associated with answers, that is when you start becoming an expert. Though sometimes you will be answering questions from someone across the country, which makes it hard to see the potential to build up your local business, the key is to use other social pages to share these posts and showcase to your local network your expertise and willingness to answer questions. In simple terms, it shows people you are helpful and willing to take the time to offer input and field questions, which is a characteristic people are looking for when bringing a contractor into their home.
Want to learn more about social media and how important it is to a roofing company? Find out in this one-hour webinar on Thurs. Oct. 15 from 4:00 pm-5:00 pm EDT with GAF, top marketing professionals and leading social media experts. They will cover tactics and best practices for your social media plan, presence, posts, and promotion.
Read More in the Business Branding Series: