The days of homeowners opening the phonebook and flipping through the yellow pages to find a plumber are long gone. The Covid-19 era proved that the drain professionals of today need to be active on social media to keep their businesses thriving as much of the world moved permanently online. While a plumber certainly can’t work from home, meeting potential customers where they are is more important than ever. Social media is a powerful form of word of mouth, and there is ample opportunity for today’s plumbers and drain cleaners to use social media marketing – without taking too much time or breaking the bank.
Be on the right platforms
No two social platforms are quite the same, and not every platform is right for your business. While most sites can share different kinds of content, they each have a different personality and user base. First, consider how much time you have available to spend on marketing. It’s far better to put everything you have into a single platform than spread yourself thin doing every platform halfway. Once you have an idea of what time you can invest, consider what you most want to use social media for.
- Looking to tap into trends, popular hashtags, and share quick takes on the go? Twitter could be a good option. If you’re able to keep your thoughts to 280 characters and can hop on timely happenings in the moment, you can excel at Twitter. Follow local government agencies and organizations to keep tabs on local conversations; a cold snap in your area is a great time to offer advice for customers worried about freezing pipes.
- Facebook is often the platform people think of when they hear “social media.” The platform offers more varied content types than Twitter and is set up to function like a business’ home page, with reviews, content and contact info. It’s also the best place to reach older age groups.
- Instagram has become more than a photo sharing app. Businesses are using the app to share informational “decks,” live stream on Instagram Stories and tap into video trends with Reels. If you’re willing to put in a bit of extra work to make videos and take photos, Instagram is an amazing platform to reach younger adults. There’s no need to have extremely polished, professional level video; audiences prefer authentic, relatable content. A cell phone with a camera is all you need!
- LinkedIn is a great tool for professionals who have a lot of business customers, and those looking to network in the plumbing and drain cleaning field.
Know your audience
Before making your final choice of platform, consider your ideal audience. What channels are they using? Are you working more often with individual homeowners or businesses? What are their demographics like? Once you’ve chosen your platforms, turn back to your audience again. What content can you provide that is of value to them beyond your actual services? For example, can you create a short guide for homeowners on common plumbing issues they can fix themselves? Staying top of mind with past clients this way is a great way to increase word of mouth recommendations.
Share the right content
Though Instagram makes it the easiest to share, video content is king no matter the social platform. Videos are given preference in social algorithms and tend to be the most engaging content type. In addition to using video whenever possible, consider how to educate, engage and promote through your content. Offer followers education and quick tips (how to videos, lists of tips, infographics), create content that makes them want to engage (fun facts, motivational quotes, memes) and be sure to promote your services in a way that doesn’t feel like a sales pitch (giveaways, testimonies, videos of you in action on the job).
Be smart about paid advertising
At some point, you’ll want to consider paid advertising on social platforms. These channels are businesses of their own, after all, and they will make sure your content gets right in front of your customers with a paid ad. You can specifically target your ads to locations, demographics and interests. Though a bigger spend allows you to get a longer running ad and broader reach, you don’t have to invest a ton of money to see results. Ads give you insights and analytics about performance, so you can learn and adapt your strategy as you go. Try getting very local and giving your ads a local flair to show followers you’re not just creating generic sales pitches.
Ultimately, social media is about being social. There are conversations to be had, and users respond best to businesses that authentically connect with them. Many professionals in the plumbing and drain cleaning space are self-employed or work for small businesses, and a glossy, corporate-feeling social media presence won’t be authentic to you. Don’t be afraid to be yourself! Share and like posts by other users, respond to all comments you get (even the negative ones) and create opportunities for customers to interact with you. Additionally, encourage your customers to share your social media pages and recommend you on neighborhood group pages. These groups can boost your following and help you gain valuable word-of-mouth traction.
A smart company that carefully maintains its social media presence can improve relationships with current customers, forge connections with new ones and raise the bottom line. Be honest about the time and money you have to invest, understand your audience and focus on being yourself and you’ll soon see a return on investment.