Read more about how the rules for selling remodeling have changed
Many remodeling and home improvement companies recognize the need to master use of social platforms. But those platforms are ever-evolving, and generating content takes time and requires a strategy. What should you post, where should you post, how often should you post? And how do you measure results? “Facebook, or any social platform, is brand-building, not in-your-face selling,” explains author and speaker Dennis Schaefer. “You post about the work you’re doing on a Habitat for Humanity house. You post that Mary in the office got engaged. You throw in some home improvement tips. You’re building a presence so that when [that homeowner is] sitting in the coffee shop and starts thinking about a new bathroom, he remembers your company and says: Oh, I saw them on Facebook.”
Smartphone technology has put quality photos and video within anyone’s reach and made it technically simple to capture information and post it immediately. But though many remodeling companies connect with homeowners via social platforms, relatively few are active there with a continuing, recognizable presence.
Three years ago, while speaking at a forum on marketing for contractors, Schaefer asked the audience members how many would be willing to pay something under $300 per month for a service that connected them with the reigning social media, such as Facebook and Houzz. Every hand in the room went up. So Schaefer developed a business plan, and after a few months launched an app called Visible Builder. For a monthly fee, Visible Builder creates, manages, and maintains up to nine social platforms relevant to its contractor customers. Adding regular content to Google-searched sites such as Yelp, Facebook, Houzz, and LinkedIn enhances search rankings, builds brand awareness, and steers searchers straight to reviews by happy customers. The power of these media is now huge, Schaefer says, especially Houzz, which he calls “the absolute best.”
“Houzz leads are as good, or better, than referral leads,” Schaefer insists. Although in many cases, companies with a Houzz page have no updated profile, let alone regularly added new content. But, he says, “you can’t just build it and forget it. It’s a weekly conversation. You need two or three posts a week to stay in front of the audience you’re building.” Schaefer says the next wave in social marketing is building five-star reviews on sites that anyone can gain access to—not membership-based sites such as Angie’s List—so that the first thing homeowners doing a Google search for a company in your area encounter are words of praise from your customers.
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