Social media is very powerful, and has changed the sales and marketing games in numerous, noticeable ways. As of this summer, the global population was around 7.5 billion people. 3.7 billion people have Internet access, and of those people, 2.3 billion are on some form of social media. The math shows us that only about 42% of the global population is on the Internet. Among that 42%, 72% percent of people are active on some form of social media.
Social media is clearly a force and something to pay attention to, now. For example, here in America, we may have just seen a national election completely shifted by social media use. Although it is a powerful medium, the problem with social media for HVAC contractors and other businesses is the same: the return on investment is hard to measure.
There are 34.6 million results on Google when you search for “social media and field service,” but the fact of the matter is this: many field service organizations are not on social media, and the ones that are tend to post sparingly and in an unfocused manner.
Why are social media posts for HVAC contractors so few and far between you ask? Well, admittedly these companies are busy with other workday tasks like serving customers and taking fix and repair calls. Along with helping clients, these businesses often run into other concerns such as:
- Not knowing which social media networks to join
- Being unsure of who should manage these social media platforms for the company
- Wondering what content should be posted
- Being concerned about how social media posts for HVAC contractors can work if the business does not have any unique content
- Thinking, “Why should we prioritize this if it won’t help us get new customers?”
- Simply not knowing where to begin
Another factor that causes field service businesses to shy away from using social media is the concept of social selling.
First, a definition:
Social selling means selling your business’s core product or service directly via social media.
Social selling for field service organizations means having one of your employees sell your business’s services or products to a contact made on a social media site such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram.
A large-scale example of social selling is as follows:
Midway through 2016, one of the biggest companies in the world, Microsoft, purchased LinkedIn for $26 billion. At that time, LinkedIn had 400 million users, but only 25% of these people used the social media service each month. Although 100 million users is still a good base from which to work, if you are trying to contact a person via LinkedIn who is (a) busy or (b) does not plan on job-hunting anytime soon, there is a strong chance that this person is not logging into his or her LinkedIn account regularly. It is not a good way to market your business’s products and services to this person due to his or her lack of time spent logging on to this social media website. People not regularly signing on to their social media accounts is one problem with social selling and social media for HVAC contractors.
We live in an era now where it is easier than ever to identify customers when using social media for HVAC contractor marketing purposes, but it is harder than ever to get in touch with them. There is a ton of noise from sales and marketing departments coming at potential customers from all different angles, so even though social selling seems like a relatively straightforward concept, it can be a full-time job for field services businesses.
Again, going back to Microsoft purchasing LinkedIn for one second: $26 billion was spent to buy this social media platform. That is a lot of money. There are a lot of smart people working on LinkedIn to get it to that valuation. Most likely, if there was a way to turn a LinkedIn message into a sale, someone would have figured it out by now. The company has an entire suite of sales products, but nothing guarantees the sale.
Tying back in to social media for HVAC contractors, that is where the rubber meets the road with social selling: it cannot exist on its own. You have to pick up the phone, take the potential client to lunch, and follow through with the sale. Social selling in the field service industry is only the first step, and you have to follow up after the initial social media post or message. Consider consulting online articles about social selling, including “How Smart People Do Social Selling” and “Social Selling Works, But Not How You Really Think” to learn more about effective social media posts for HVAC contractors.
Although social selling might be a long way off, there are certainly ways to make social media work for your field service organization. The best place to start is to understand the different networks, their purposes, their user bases, and how your field service business can benefit from being on each platform. Social media for HVAC contractors and other field service organizations is a reasonable approach to growth, retention, and customer service.
Does creating and using social media to promote your fields service business sound like something that you would be interested in? If so, we have put together an eBook that walks you through these basic social media concepts:
- Selecting social media networks
- What to post on your social media accounts
- How to post when your company does not write its own content
- How to gain customers using social media
- The first steps to social media usage and success
Along with social media posts for HVAC contractors, there are a ton of different marketing mediums you could be pursuing, and some that your field service management software can help you out with. Many field service businesses are new to social media and online marketing, and it seems like a baseline understanding of where to be and what to do is a good place to start. Our eBook helps you understand the ins and outs of the online marketing and selling world in relation to field service businesses.
If you have some social media accounts but never really use them, are brand new to social media for HVAC contracting purposes, or have been kicking around the idea of using social media for marketing and selling, our eBook is a good resource for you. Download it now and, as always, contact us with any questions.
In short: are you going to replace the rest of your marketing with just social media? Probably not. However, social media for HVAC contractors is still a valuable investment that can help take your field service business into the digital age.