Networking, marketing and customer generation through Facebook, hints for tradesmen

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Networking, marketing and customer generation through Facebook, hints for tradesmen

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Networking, marketing and customer generation through Facebook, hints for tradesmen

By Michael Griffiths

Created: 18.03.2017 00:00:00, last updated: 19.03.2017 00:00:00

Networking, marketing and customer generation through Facebook, hints for tradesmen

Networking, marketing and customer generation through Facebook, hints and tips for tradesmen and other small businesses - By Michael Griffiths of Griffiths Web Design

The aim of this post is to help tradesmen make effective use of Facebook as a networking and marketing tool. It can be pretty daunting when you first step into the world of Facebook but have no fear. This post will help you to get started on your Facebook journey.


This post is intended to provide some helpful hints and tips for builders and the like regarding how to use Facebook for networking purposes to better market your business and your services which, with a bit of luck, will lead to a solid basis on which you can gain extra custom.


Don’t be shy, introduce yourself!


Write a bio on your personal page that accurately describes you, and what you do, in a way that projects your personality. Lots of people make the mistake of using it as another spot to waffle on about their business. This is not the way to go, the users who visit YOUR profile are there to find out who you are not your company. In all likelihood they found your personal profile through your business page so they already know what they want to know about your company.


Write a bio for your business page that describes your business. Remember that your voice is not the same as your brands voice. Your brands voice should be more professional, you can be relaxed and have fun but you have to maintain a level of professionalism at all times. Do not make it too abstract, people will read your bio to find out more about your brand so give them what they want….more info about your brand!


Write a really in-depth post, on your business page, about your brand, its services and its mission. Don’t just blurt something out, remember that it is human beings that will be reading it. Try to present it in a way that fits in with your brands image, make it fun and interesting and most importantly make it informative. Your audience should know everything they need to know about your brand from reading it. This is your chance to really build up some trust in your brand, so make it shine!


Join groups that your target audience frequent and introduce yourself. And by yourself I mean you not your company. Try to engage people regularly to start building relationships with your target audience. Don’t try to ram your products or services down their throats, Facebook is a networking tool. Solid relationships with your target audience help to build trust in your brand, in business trust is the most important factor in the decision making process.


Remember that YOU are the expert


Everyone has, and is entitled to, an opinion. Not everyone is right and no one is right all the time (except me of course) so don’t be surprised if you come up against internet negativity. As annoying as these keyboard warriors and internet trolls are, dealing with them in a calm and civil manner will only help to boost your target audience’s trust in your brand.


Negative reviews…. Ergh! I know, I know nobody wants negative reviews on their business page but don’t get too upset. If you are seen to deal with it in a calm and professional manner your target audience will be able to see that no matter the situation you can resolve it in a way the best suits everyone.


Be confident in your assertions. People value you opinion as a professional in your chosen field so speak confidently and don’t give them a reason to doubt you.


Write informative posts that are relevant to your brand and to your target audience. Share them with groups that will appreciate your perspective.


Your audience wants to talk to a real person


When talking to people through Facebook use your personal profile. It can help put the person at ease because they are talking to a person, not a brand. When you talk to them you’re not trying to close a deal, you are trying to get them to like you, so don’t push your sales pitch on them. Direct them to your business page if it ever comes up but in the meantime you need to concentrate in building strong relationships. Strong relationships equal more referrals and, eventually, more custom.


Engage with people regularly. These relationships need continual maintenance and upkeep in order to benefit from them.


Make sure you respond to all comments and messages promptly as people on Facebook lose interest quickly. What’s relevant to them now may not be so tomorrow.


Don’t be afraid to let your sense of humour out to play. Nothing quite gets the same level of engagement than a funny post or comment. Keep it nice though as you don’t want to risk alienating those who are a little more reserved and cautious in their humour.


Show off your work regularly


You work hard all day long. So why not show your target audience some of that hard work? Upload as many pictures and videos of your work as you can on a regular basis and don’t forget to write a detailed post about it as well. Just don’t forget that if you are taking pictures/videos on someone else’s property then you will need their permission first.


Advertise individual services in local for sale groups


Advertise your services in local for sale groups. Many of them will allow posts from businesses. Use these posts to advertise your services individually. So you offer service X, Y and Z? Then create separate posts for each service and post it to as many for sale groups and business adverting groups as you can. Facebook does make it a little easier by providing a button labelled ‘Post to more places’. Click on that button and select all the groups you wish to share with and click post. Your post will then be posted to the groups you selected. There is a limit to the number of groups you can post to in 24 hours. Avoid this limit at all costs or you will be unable to post or comment in any group for a certain amount of time (this is done automatically by Facebook and cannot be undone)


Don’t forget to ‘bump’ your posts. What this means is write a comment on the post and it will be brought to the top of the group feed. Don’t overdo it though as you will be banned from the group by the admins.


Start a group to share expertise and advice, not to sell services!


Create a group on Facebook in which you can impart some of your expertise. Do not use it as a direct advertising group because people will not want to join or engage. You want to use this as an opportunity to build some confidence in your knowledge of your chosen field.


You may find that when you first start the group you will be the only one posting in it. Do not despair! Keep posting well written and informative posts and eventually your target audience will engage. Make sure you use lots of relevant keywords and the odd hashtag or two, for ease of search.


Invite other people from niches that compliment yours. You’re a plumber? See if you can get a carpenter or two to join? Or an electrician? Home owners would be ideal also. You want to invite people to your group that you know will appreciate your perspective and that may even be able to contribute to the conversation.


Post regularly to your business page


Post at least once a day to your business page and no more than 5. You want to maintain a constant presence but you don’t want to spam users. That’s a sure fire way to get your page un-followed. So between 1 and 5 is the way to go.


Spread your posts out throughout the day so you can get different sections of your target audience at different times. Everyone has a different routine, so it’s down to you to figure out when your target audience is most likely to be visiting Facebook.


Do not put out more than 1 or 2 direct advertising posts on your business page per day, except maybe offers and the like. Your audience will visit your page to find useful information, not just about your brand but about your industry as a whole.


Make some videos of helpful hints and tips


Your knowledge is your power. So wield it wisely. Create some videos in which you can give some helpful tips and advice.


You could create some how-to videos to help your target audience better understand your craft.


You could share some videos of you working. As they say actions speak louder than words so don’t just tell people how good you are, show them!


Don’t want to present a video? I totally understand. Facebook is here to rescue you. On your business page it gives you the option of uploading photo’s into a slideshow video. Facebook is also able to provide you with some royalty free music to go with the video. You can use your own music track but you have to make sure you own the rights to the music track otherwise Facebook can, and probably will, remove your video.


Share other people’s content


I know this may seem a little counter-intuitive. You want the world to see your carefully planned well written content. That content that you and only you are posting. Well yes and no. Sure you want the world to see your content but you need to remember that you are trying to build up trust in you and your brand. Sharing other people’s content that you feel is relevant to your business and your target audience will help to achieve that end. Sharing other peoples content will show your target audience that you are willing to share relevant knowledge with them wherever it comes from.


Another point I would like to make about sharing other people’s content is that the people whose content you’ve shared just might take a peek at your profile (personal or business) if they do you may well end up making yet another valuable connection.


Ask for likes, shares, and comments


Don’t be afraid to ask for likes and shares in your posts. Don’t be needy but do ask.


Also you may have seen posts floating around Facebook that say something like:


“Win product x! Just like, share, and comment done on this post to enter”


These posts work extremely well. Who hasn’t got a few seconds to like, share, and comment? You don’t have to go mad and give away a million pounds worth of your service but you could offer something small that your target audience will appreciate. For example if you specialise in kitchen installation you could offer as set of cupboard handles or something. I’m not in the business of installing kitchens so that may have been a rubbish example but my point is as follows: whatever you offer is just a token, the important thing from it all is the engagement on the post. A user enters the competition so their friends see their engagement on the post, then a couple of those friends will enter and so on. Each entry increases the engagement on your post enormously and more and more people get to see it each time. Welcome to the world of viral advertising.


Be patient!


This is probably the most important point of them all. As the saying goes, patience is a virtue. Nothing in this world is instantaneous, and social media is no exception. Building up trust in your brand is a slow going process that requires constant maintenance and above all else enormous quantities of patience. So don’t worry that you’re not getting sales right away. In time you will build up enough brand authority that people will (hopefully) flock to your business page to request those amazing services they keep reading about on Facebook.


That’s all for now, thanks for reading


That is all we have time for this time but keep an eye out for more posts in the future. Please share this post on as many social media sites as possible and give us a like on our Facebook business page too, if you comment a link to your Facebook business page I will happily give it a like.


Do you need someone to take the hassle out of using Facebook for business? Then get in touch with Griffiths Web Design (www.griffithswebdesign.com) for some great deals on social media management.

About Michael Griffiths

Web Developer and Social Media Coach

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