Social Media is a pervasive part of our everyday lives and that trends will likely continue on its upward trajectory.
Facebook and YouTube dominate the social media landscape for adults while Americans in the age ranges of 18 to 24 embrace Instagram and Snapchat among others at a higher frequency.
Check out some interesting statistics from a reported published by Pew Research earlier this year that illustrates the broad base usage of social media in today’s society:
- 78 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds use Snapchat, and 71 percent of them visit the platform multiple times per day.
- That same report stated that 71 percent of Americans in this age range use Instagram and 45 percent are Twitter users.
- Social Media behemoth, Facebook, reports 2.23 billion monthly active users on the platform as of June of 2018.
- Pinterest is substantially more popular with women than with men, with over double usage numbers from gender to gender.
- 50 percent of Americans with a college degree use LinkedIn, compared with just 9% of those with a high school diploma or less.
Now that we’ve examined some of the recent usage data, let’s explore how to put social media to work for the success of your HVAC business.
Grab these six tips to help you launch a social media campaign that drives results.
#1: Be In The Right Place
After reviewing the bullets above about the mix of demographics of social media platform usage, light bulbs might be lighting up in your mind about the unique attributes of your HVAC customer base.
Perhaps your HVAC business is located in an area that has a large Hispanic population or a mostly older adult population.
If that is the case, you might find putting some social media effort into WhatsApp advertising or primarily into Facebook makes the most sense.
Whatever the makeup of your HVAC customer base is, you’ll need to put your message out on the social media platforms they are most likely to frequent.
Get started by reviewing the users for each major social media platform.
Many companies make the mistake of going for a “throw everything against the wall and see what sticks” approach but end up wasting precious resources on platforms that their potential HVAC customers do not use.
And, then drawing the incorrect conclusion that social media, as a whole, does not work for their HVAC business.
Use these user insights into the top social media platforms to help you define your HVAC business’s social media strategy:
- • Facebook – Broad mix of users that vary in income, race, gender and age.
- • Instagram – Great for visual content targeted to Millennials and females.
- • Pinterest – Largely female, age is a combination of Millennials and GenXers.
- • LinkedIn – Working professionals that are educated with high-incomes.
- • Twitter – Great way to reach male, Millennials, earning above-average incomes.
- • YouTube – Users are 18-49-year-old males who are watching via mobile.
#2: Be in that right place at the right time.
Now that you’ve narrowed done the “where,” it’s time to think about the “when.”
The old adage, timing is everything, applies to many marketing efforts including social media.
Don’t post your HVAC social media message up when no one’s looking.
It will get lost in a feed and possibly never reach its target!
There are backend analytics tools to help you determine what your audience’s organic engagement metrics are on the social media platform you choose are, but following a few rules of thumb for you to consider.
Social Media Time of Day Cheat Sheet:
- Facebook – Best engagement on Facebook has been shown to go down on Wednesdays at Noon or 2 p.m. and Thursday at 1 or 2 p.m. Best day is Thursday, worst day is Saturday. Evenings and early mornings have the least amount of engagement on any given day.
- Instagram – Instagram users are checking out posts the most on Wednesdays at 3 p.m. or Thursdays at 5 a.m., 11 a.m. between 3 to 4 p.m. Best day to post is Thursday, worst day for Instagram is Sunday.
- Twitter – Twitter users are most engaged on Fridays from 9 to 10 a.m. Sunday mornings receive the least amount of engagement.
- LinkedIn – The best time to reach LinkedIn users is Wednesday between 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday is the best day to post to LinkedIn, but engagement on Tuesday through Thursday rank well also. Friday through Monday, receive the least amount of engagement.
#3: Create A Solid Foundation (a.k.a. create a social media calendar).
Taking a step back to create a social media calendar before publishing content to social media is one of the most critical steps to your HVAC company’s success in this channel.
While there is an element of on-the-fly social media efforts in response to current events that can’t be predicted as well as IRL (in real life) pivoting required to respond to users as they reach out to you on social media, your social media calendar provides a solid framework.
Some of the many benefits of creating and maintaining this social media calendar for your HVAC business include:
- Ensure that your content is posted on the right platform at the right time.
- Allows for the use of a social media-posting tool, so posts can be scheduled in advance.
- Provides the perfect place to log KPIs and measure what frequency and what type of content is resonating with your audience.
#4: If you publish it, make it engaging.
Your frequency, choice of social media platform and in-depth social media calendar, they all mean nothing, really, if no one checks out what you’re posting.
Your charge as the social media maven for your HVAC business is to create engaging content that people actually stop scrolling to read.
These tips will help you in your quest for engagement:
- Be relevant to your audience. If your audience is primarily Baby Boomers, don’t share content that is targeted to Millennials.
- It’s not all about you. Tempting as it may be to shout from the rooftops of Facebook about how your HVAC services are worthy of their 5-star rating, don’t. Make your content about the customer, not your company.
- Keep it short and sweet. Your unique success metrics will always dictate what you should be posting, but, as a general rule, brevity wins.
#5: Mix it up. Variety is the spice of life.
Don’t bore your social media audience by always sharing the same type of content.
Keep them guessing, and paying attention, by sharing a variety of blog posts, video testimonials, helpful third party articles, longer guides, employee recognition, community events, infographics, etc.
Be sure to check out your engagement metrics to see what your audience responds the most to – this may be the area to increase.
#6: Set it and forget it? No way!
In any industry, responding to your social media audience is quintessential to success, but this activity is especially important in the service-dominated HVAC industry.
While posting fun and engaging content is on your marketing team’s to-do list, be sure that a knowledgeable and trustworthy member of your team is poised and ready to respond when a customer reaches out via social media.
Follows these key tips to ensure that your team is ready to respond and understands the best practices related to responding to your customers who touch base via social channels:
- Respond promptly! Social media users expect instant response. Designate a point person that is ready to reply to messages within 24 hours or less.
- Take negative offline ASAP! If you receive a negative comment on your social media account, respond quickly to diffuse the issue (as noted above), but try to take the customer to email or telephone as soon as you can.
- Encourage good behavior! If your customers are commenting on your posts or leaving your HVAC business positive reviews, don’t ignore them! Reply with a thank you or nice comment to encourage more engagement in the future.
Social media is the perfect place to build a stronger brand, communicate with current customers and engage a new group of potential HVAC customers.
Many businesses fail at social media because they waste efforts on platforms that don’t fit their customer demographic or they bypass best practices related to timing and planning.
Once you get your HVAC social media efforts up to speed in those areas, your success hinges upon posting interesting, varied content and responding when your customers engage.
When you look at the widespread usage of these platforms, it’s easy to argue that this is a channel we all should be working toward mastering – ASAP!