Shop by Industry

Business Tips

How to pick the best social media platform to promote your business

Melissa Paniagua, a Ferguson Social Media Strategist

by Melissa Tempest

 

For businesses competing in the digital age, harnessing the power of social media can boost your businesses credibility, drive leads and grow sales. This is because creating a business profile on social media is an excellent word-of-mouth marketing tool that is also free on all major platforms. Through the major social media platforms like Facebook, Yelp, Instagram and Twitter, it’s common for people to share business recommendations with friends and family.

Whether you’re a plumber, builder, HVAC technician or general contractor, setting up a business profile on social media can make it easier for potential customers to find you. If you’re new to using social media, knowing where to start can be overwhelming. Fortunately, it’s not necessary to set up a social media profile on every platform. Depending on what your goals are, you can choose to use the platforms that fit your business’s marketing goals. Learn about the respective advantages of using various social media platforms to help you implement your business’s social media strategy.

Facebook

With over 200 million users in the United States, creating a Facebook business profile is an excellent way to reach potential customers. Here’s why:

  • Facebook allows you to target your ideal customers. With Facebook, you can buy ads that display to the user demographic of your choosing. The cost for advertising on Facebook varies, but once you choose your budget you can determine your potential reach. So if you wanted to target homeowners between the age of 30 to 45 who live in a certain area, you can do that with Facebook.

    Pro tip: Another reason why Facebook is ideal for reaching potential customers who are in need of help from a trade professional is that the majority of users in the U.S. are adults over the age of 25, making them more likely to be of homeowning age.

  • Facebook can serve as a substitute for a standalone business website. For some business owners, creating a standalone website can exceed the scope of their marketing budget or technical abilities. Facebook is an excellent solution for establishing your online presence because creating a Facebook business profile is free and easy to do. When you create a Facebook business profile page, you can - and should - include all of the information about your business that you would feature on a standalone website.

  • Facebook can help to improve your business’s perceived credibility. When you create a Facebook profile page for your business, customers can post reviews and rate their experience with the service you provided. According to one source, 92 percent of consumers read online testimonials in order to help them decide where to spend their money, and 72 percent of consumers are more likely to trust a business if their testimonials are positive. By having a Facebook business page, you have the chance to show potential customers why they should trust your business.

    Pro tip: If a customer writes a negative review on Facebook, business owners have the opportunity to respond to the feedback and make an attempt to correct it. This can decrease the likelihood of customers choosing to use another business by 25 percent.

Yelp

Yelp claims that they are the “ leading local guide for real word-of-mouth on everything.” Like Facebook, Yelp allows business owners to create business listings under which customers can share testimonials with other users. Here’s why Yelp is an excellent marketing tool for trade professionals:

  • People are searching for home services on Yelp. According to a report from Yelp, reviews for local home services, such as plumbing and HVAC services, were among the top three most commonly reviewed businesses by category. Additionally, 37.3 percent of U.S. Yelp users were adults between the ages of 34 to 54. This tells us that there are a high number of adults of homeowning age who are searching for trade professional services on Yelp.

  • You can measure the success of your Yelp listing. As a business owner, you can see how potential customers interact with your Yelp listing. You can measure the performance of your listing by accessing data like the number of clicks on your listing, phone calls from your listing, and requests for directions from Yelp. This allows you to see opportunities for improving your business listing and provide customers with a better experience.

    Pro tip: With Yelp, you can promote your business through paid advertisements in order to increase the visibility of your listing, and even block competitors’ advertisements from appearing on your listing page. This can give you a greater chance of reaching potential customers.

Instagram

If creating awareness of your business’s brand is on your list of marketing goals, then Instagram can be the solution. Instagram does not make it possible for users to review or rate businesses like Facebook or Yelp, but the platform does make it easy for customers to share a brand’s content. According to one report, one-third of the most viewed Instagram Stories are posted by businesses. While Instagram would not be as effective at driving leads as other platforms, it can help to position your business as a thought leader in your industry. Instagram is useful for branding because:

  • Instagram makes it easy to showcase your work. Instagram allows businesses to join online communities and share content in those communities. Thousands of Instagram users are part of communities for plumbers, HVAC contractors and other trade professionals. If you installed a new pipe system that you’re particularly proud of, you could post a picture of your work in a Twitter community that you follow. This would allow others to see your work and can help you improve your business’s reputation.

    Pro tip: In order to grow your network on Instagram, it’s important to share fresh content on a regular basis. The top businesses on Instagram post new content about 5 times per week.

Twitter

Twitter can be another helpful tool for branding your business and networking with other trade professionals. Twitter posts can be no more than 280 characters in length, making it the perfect tool for sharing ideas and news related to your industry. Two key advantages of this social media platform are:

  • Twitter can help you stay informed on relevant topics. Like Instagram, Twitter allows you to join communities and follow trending topics. For example, a common debate among professional plumbers is whether or not to use press fittings. If you’re looking for insight from other plumbers about their experiences with press systems, Twitter would be a good place to share the discussion.

  • Twitter can be a customer service tool for small to midsize businesses. According to a survey, 85 percent of small and medium businesses felt that it’s important to use Twitter as a means of customer service. By having a Twitter profile that customers can tag, it makes it easy for customers to contact your business. This can also serve as a testimonial of the level of service that your provide to your customers.

Ferguson is dedicated to helping you grow your bottom line. Find more articles to help you market your business in Business Tips, and visit the Ideas & Learning Center to gain insight on topics related to your industry

Melissa Paniagua, a Ferguson Social Media Strategist
Melissa Tempest

Melissa's mission is to empower Ferguson customers in finding the information they need to expand their knowledge through her writing. Her intensive experience with social media marketing makes her a trusted resource for trade professionals.