Social media marketing is a great way for HVAC businesses to promote their products and services to customers in their local areas. It’s an exciting and fast-moving method that delivers your message straight into your customers’ hands – literally. What’s better than that?
It’s a rapidly-evolving field and there are lots of different platforms to choose from. For the purposes of this article, we’re going to focus on social media marketing on Facebook. Great! That’s one decision made. But now what? What kind of things should you be posting? How often? How can you tell if you’re reaching the right people? Should you run ads?
“I tried it for a while,” we hear you say. “But nothing happened.”
Don’t be disheartened. Sometimes, a few simple tweaks might be all it takes to spit and polish your social media strategy. We asked our Social Media Marketing Specialist, Luke Pahlau, for some tips and tricks that will help your HVAC business stand out on social media.
Keep reading, because we’re also going to share case studies from two HVAC businesses (one about content, one about ads) as well as some examples that will help us explain.
Optimize Your Facebook Posts
Making your business stand out on Facebook isn’t as hard as you might think. The truth is there are only three things you need to know to develop a successful marketing strategy.
Make Your Content Valuable
Step one is to publish blog posts that provide valuable content to your audiences. These are important, because it positions you and your business as an expert in the HVAC industry.
“Blogs are great to promote on Facebook because we can target the ad specifically for people interested in their industry,” says Luke. This means if someone is looking for heating, emergency heating repair services, new boilers, duct cleaning services – you name it! – then they will find the things you share on social media to be relevant and interesting.
(The added side-benefit of frequent blog posts is that it also makes it much easier for potential customers to find your business via search engines, especially if you answer common questions and make sure they’re fully-loaded with relevant keywords. But that’s a story for another day – here’s a handy article we prepared to help you learn about search engine optimization.)
Make Your Posts Engaging
Second, make your posts as interesting and eye-catching as possible.
“In terms of the Facebook ads themselves, using an engaging image or video that is relatable to the audience will encourage people to actually click on the ad,” says Luke. “Videos and short GIFs have been doing especially well when promoting these blogs.”
Let’s be honest. Facebook is a highly-competitive environment, and there are lots of exciting things vying for your customer’s attention. “Andrew just said what?!” “Awww, Jess and John are having twins.” “Can you believe your mother just posted that?” “Hang on a second, I’m just quickly watching another Game of Thrones conspiracy video.” “Oh, and there’s a puppy!”
Somewhere in the middle of that, you’re trying to let your customers know that you just started stocking a fabulous new boiler that will make them happy and comfortable all winter.
The way to do that: VIDEO.
There’s no doubt about the fact that videos are super eye-catching, and when you’re vying for a split second of someone’s time as they’re scrolling down their news feed, you need to do everything you can to grab their attention. The good news is that it’s a simple fix. Just make sure you add a good video, gif or even photograph with every post.
(“Video? No, look, it’s probably not for us. We’re selling boilers! We’re technicians, not actors. We don’t need video.” Okay, we hear you. It’s definitely something new to consider, even if it is slightly outside your comfort zone. But we’re here to help. Here’s why video marketing is so important and here’s why you should organize a photoshoot for your business.)
Keep It Coming
We’re going to let you in on a little secret. One thing, and one thing alone, can make or break your Facebook strategy. You can’t succeed until you incorporate it. Are you ready?
There, we said it. You can publish the best content in the world, and you can cover every post in glitter, but the magic won’t happen unless you’re consistent. So keep your content coming!
Lots of times, the biggest thing that will distinguish you from your competitors is the fact that they’ll create a post or two and then shrug and forget about it. You won’t. You’ll keep posting, putting things up at least a few times a week, and your customers will notice.
You’ll let them know about new offers. You’ll give them tips to help keep their homes snug in winter. You’ll post relevant local content so they feel connected to you. And you’ll be the first person they call when their boiler breaks or they want to upgrade to a smart thermostat.
Social media plays a really important role in growing brand awareness, which will help you connect with your customers, boost your web traffic, and eventually generate leads.
Once you’re nailing the content, style and frequency of your posts, your audience will begin to grow. That’s when it’s time to start talking about running Facebook Ads. Here are three steps to creating Facebook Ads that will reach new clients. Or you could call us to discuss.
Case Study #1: Moore Heating & Air Conditioning
Moore Heating & Air Conditioning stresses technical expertise, with the fleet of service trucks ready 24 hours a day to meet the needs of its customers in the Anchorage area. It also just got a new website (check out the stunning design) and it is smashing its business goals on Facebook. It has 392 likes, 92 recommendations and a rating of 4 out of 5.
Wait a minute. Luke (remember, he’s our Social Media Marketing Specialist) has just sent us an email. “There is a jump in Moore’s web traffic on February 14th, which is when their Facebook ad began,” he says. Now, we’re marketers – not mathematicians – but that sounds pretty good.
It definitely was. Moore ran four ads in the last 60 days, which resulted in 4184 people reached, 356 post engagements and 32 link clicks. So what did they run to get such a strong result?
Here’s an example. This post reached 1936 people and generated 19 landing page views (that’s the web traffic we’re talking about). It cost $50 to run. This post worked because it had an attention grabbing headline – no-one wants to accidentally void their HVAC warranty. It used a good picture and it provided helpful information that made people pause and think.
Here’s another example. This one reached 1842 people and generated 16 landing page views. It cost $30 to run. You’ll probably notice this one is about the same topic as the first one – different people respond to different things, so it’s worth trying a few different approaches to to make sure you target as many potential customers as possible. Again, the headline is attention-grabbing, the photo is eye-catching and the text is relevant and interesting.
Talk to us today to talk about making your HVAC business stand out on social media.
Case Study #2: HeatSource Mechanical
HeatSource Mechanical has been providing superior products, elite craftsmanship and stellar customer service in the Mat-Su Valley for more than 35 years. It recently got a new website (check it out if you’re like to see an example of our work) and a revitalized social media strategy. It has 1,302 likes on Facebook, 120 recommendations and a rating of 4.3 out of 5.
HeatSource has run four ads in the last 60 days, reaching a total of 4289 people, getting 123 post engagements and 95 link clicks (that’s when people go through and visit your website).
Here is another example of a sponsored post done right.
Why? This is a job ad, which reached 1,827 people and generated 35 applications. It worked because it’s specific and relevant. It’s not just any old post about what you’re doing that day, it has a specific message and purpose. OK, so most of your sponsored posts won’t be job advertisements, but it’s a great example of pointy messaging that gets strong results.
Pros And Cons Of Facebook Ads
About 1.66 billion people use Facebook any day, and you can bet that at least a few hundred of them would be interested in what you have to say. You just have to find them.
Once you have your business page set up on Facebook, you’ll have access to a page called Facebook Ads Manager. This is what you’ll use to create your own advertisements, so that they will pop up in other people’s Facebook feeds. This is the perfect platform to use if you want people to know about a special offer or you have a new product you’re excited to share.
The first step is to choose a marketing goal, because specific ads are going to be most effective. What do you want people to know? Facebook Ads live in a fast-moving environment filled with news and entertainment. It’s best if your ads tell your customers something new. Offering a shiny new Lennox furnace? Got a great deal on seasonal thermostats? Tell them!
You can also select your audience, decide where you want your ad to run, set your budget, and pick a format. Just like your regular posts, Facebook ads are very visual. The Ads template includes space to add a photograph or video, so make sure the imagery you include is attention-grabbing. You might even want to consider getting your own imagery, because real faces are a great way to make people stop scrolling while creating a sense of trust.
Effective social media marketing strategies are very effective in terms of increasing brand awareness, building trust with your potential customer base, and generating leads. After all, you want to be the very first person they think to call when their furnace wheezes to a stop.
Talk to us today about how you can optimize your business on Facebook.