Over 65% of the UK population is active on social media, one of the highest percentages in the world. You probably have at least one social media account yourself, so you’ve likely seen how these platforms have evolved. Once simply places to connect with friends and post funny cat videos, businesses now rule the roost, and companies in all industries are using social media to bolster their brand and connect with customers. In fact, you’ve likely wondered whether setting up profiles for your own tradesman company might be a good idea.
Well, here at Tradesman Saver, we reckon social media can be beneficial to any business, including tradesmen. However, that doesn’t guarantee that it’s the right idea for your own company. While social media could be a godsend for one tradesman, it may not be worth another’s time, which is why we’ve decided to look at both sides. Read on and let Tradesmen Saver help you decide whether harnessing these platforms for your own company can have a worthwhile impact.
Why tradesmen need social media
1. Tradesman businesses can benefit from more visibility
Harnessing social media can be incredibly advantageous for those with an existing online presence, as it bolsters your visibility and attracts more customers. First of all, you can use social media posts and PPC adverts to direct traffic straight to your website where people can find more information and get in touch. Considering a monumental 71% of homeowners use Facebook to find tradesmen online, the advantages of having a social media presence are plain to see. What’s more, by encouraging users to engage with your posts, your content could be seen by hundreds or thousands of new people, helping you boost brand awareness and get more business as a result.
Another benefit you may see is an improvement in your web traffic and Google rankings, thanks to the impact social media has on search engine optimisation (SEO). This is largely achieved by having an SEO-friendly website, but a solid social media presence can work wonders too. In fact, there is a clear correlation between popular social media platforms and high ranking sites, which comes down to social media’s ability to promote a website’s content, increasing user engagement. Social media also broadens your online presence in general, resulting in more branded searches and visits to your website.
2. Social media lets tradesmen better engage with customers
Social media gives businesses the opportunity to interact with their customers directly, and unlike traditional media, offers a two-way street when it comes to conversation. Perhaps the most notable advantage of this is that you can instantly receive, review and respond to customer feedback, hugely bolstering your customer service capabilities. For example, research from Harvard Business Review found that customers were likely to spend more with a business that responded to their tweet, even if this was a complaint.
In addition to improving your customer engagement, you could follow the lead of companies who run competitions and surveys, requesting and promoting user generated content, such as videos of their own DIY projects. These activities will show your company’s human side, and help to build a greater affinity with your customers in ways that are much harder to achieve outside of social media.
3. Social media can improve a tradesman business’s branding
In isolation, there’s no guarantee that social media will bring about tangible benefits like increased conversion rates, but there’s a lot to be said for the branding recognition it can provide. Research shows that 85% of people research a brand online before making a purchase, and a social media presence could give you the edge over competitors that don’t. Moreover, by regularly posting content about your industry and responding to customer queries, you will establish yourself as an authority in your field, helping you gain trust and attract even more business.
Reasons tradesmen may not need social media
1. Tradesmen can be better off focusing on their website
As we mentioned earlier, social media isn’t the only way to boost your online presence. In fact, a good website is arguably more important, since it will encompass everything a customer needs to know about your business, from its services and contact details to handy DIY tips and tricks. While social media can offer plenty of advantages, it’s often just an extra marketing tool that some businesses don’t necessarily need to thrive online. As such, you may be better off putting all of your energy into your website.
2. Trade directory listings may be sufficient
Many people use online directories to find tradesmen including the Yellow Pages, Checkatrade, TheTradefinder and Rated People. If you’re already generating leads from sites like these, a social media presence will be less pressing. That said, certain trades are more prominent than others on online directories. For example, plumbers, electricians and builders seem to be listed everywhere while more niche professions such as steel fabricators or chimney sweeps aren’t. If your trade is less common, consider bolstering your online presence in other ways, including social media.
3. Social media accounts can be costly and time-consuming to maintain
Anyone can set up a social media account and start posting, but it takes a lot of skill to create engaging, relevant content. Not only do you need to be very creative and able to convey your company’s culture and tone through the writing and media you use, but you also need to plan your content, set goals and measure the results. If you don’t have the ability to do this single-handedly, you may need to hire a social media manager, which could really cut into your profits if you’re a small business owner. Even if you are willing to run your company’s social media accounts yourself, you’ve also got to take into account the time it will take up — time that may be better spent elsewhere, if you have it to spare in the first place.
The Tradesman Saver verdict
A social media presence won’t do your business any harm, but is it likely to impact your company’s future success? Overall, social media is particularly advantageous for larger tradesman businesses which already have an online presence and are able to use social channels to enhance this further. They are also more likely to have the budget for these efforts.
However, for smaller tradesman companies, a website is probably enough. That said, if you’re looking to expand your small business then building a social media presence could supplement your existing work. It all comes down to how your current marketing strategy is going, and whether you think social media can help push things to the next level.