A Social Media Kickstart for Service Businesses

You have your accounts set up, you’ve followed a bunch of people and businesses; you’ve even picked up some followers on Twitter and Instagram. And best of all, you have someone in the office with some time to post to your social media channels each week. But you’re at a loss as to where to start, and it’s even more difficult to have any goals or purpose when it comes to social media.

This is all-too-common, especially for service companies. When your expertise is in refrigeration or house cleaning, how can you be expected to be an expert at social media too? And what would expertise even look like? These tips will help inspire you to get started, and help you use social media with greater effect.

1. Set an Overall Goal

Instead of worrying about how to get new business from Twitter or Instagram right away, decide on a goal that you can achieve everyday, starting right away. A goal like “We will use social media to delight our existing customers” is much easier to plan around, and may have a positive effect on your bottom lines before you know it.

To make sure you are always “on message,” gain an understanding of your tribe or community, and always make choices that reflect their interests and concerns. It will help your shared posts the become a true reflection of your brand, if you always keep your desired reader in mind when crafting content or selecting items for sharing.

2. Pick Some Themes and Be Consistent

Just a few social media updates per week are enough to help keep you top-of-mind with your followers. The key is to be consistent— staying on topic will help shape the narrative of your company. Themes as simple as: happy customers, before-and-after, smiling staff, or job-of-the-week will be enough to keep you going with plenty to share. Just make sure that you focus on making it about your customers, not about you. Talking about yourself and the features of your service will get boring fast.

To help stockpile content, have your field staff take photos with their phones when they are on out on jobs, and send them to the marketing staff for approval and sharing. You can even incentivize this process with a prize that is both desirable and easy to reward. For example, awarding the photo of the week submitter with a choice parking spot in your lot. Or first dibs on route choice. If you can source just two photos for sharing on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram per week (the same photo, shared three different ways, once for each channel), and add one or two replies to followers in the mix, you’ll be running circles around your competition on social media.

3. Share and Be Friendly

Neighbors, friends, customers, visitors. Follow their channels, and share the best of what they’ve published. Supporting your community reflects positively on you, builds relationships, and provides a useful service to your tribe. Best of all, it gives you plenty more to say and share on your social channels.

4. Tell the Best Stories

Every once in awhile, you will come across a story that is too good not to tell. The heritage Tudor mansion that your team just repainted, with the shocking before-and-after photos. The custom beer fridge installation on a customer’s outdoor patio. The discovery of a collector’s item on a random junk pickup. When the best stories are dropped in your lap, double your efforts and find out more. Conduct some short interviews (by email is fine) with the staff and customer involved, and turn it into a more complete story. It could take the form of a blog post, or a more detailed Facebook post. Just make sure that you take advantage when the best stuff comes across your desk, and you will always have compelling stories that your community will enjoy. When you get it right, these stories have the potential to be shared far and wide, increasing your reach and audience.

Start Today

With these tips, you should be well on your way to publishing with purpose on social media. If you’re ever stuck for an idea, ask your staff. They can be a wealth of information, and act as a filter to help decide what’s interesting and worth sharing.