Social Media for Builders, Remodelers, and Contractors
Social Media Marketing is a critical element in your digital marketing strategy. From boosting your brand awareness to increasing your lead conversion rate, social media can be used in several ways to improve your digital marketing.
Social Media is an ever-evolving landscape. Platforms come and go, algorithms shift daily, and the user bases continue to sky rocket. Every day on social media is a chance to meet a new lead, learn about your audience's buyer journey, engage with a client, or even research your target audience. With so many ways to use social media, how do you know what's right for you?
Social media tactics are very similar between home builders, remodelers, and contractors. Because the industry is so visual, the same platforms, strategies, and tactics apply. When used properly, social media can be one of your best sales tools!
Let's break it down.
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Facebook is the most widely known and most consistently used social media platform in existence. Roughly 2 billion people use Facebook, and over 80 million of those users are on the mobile app. In fact, studies have shown that 83% of women and 75% of men use Facebook - and the age range of 18-29 is the most engaged group on the platform. When you consider that women are likely your audience's decision maker and that the age group you have already been spending money to reach is waiting to be tapped, it seems very foolish not to be where they are!
Marketing on Facebook is different than how you interact with Facebook as a user. Let's dive into the nitty gritty.
In order to start a company Facebook page, you must already be a user yourself. The company page is tacked on to your profile so that when you login, you can access both profiles at the same time. Once you are logged in, select the drop down arrow in your menu (see image) and scroll down to "Create Page." Facebook will begin a guided process of asking you for information to fill out your company page.
Here are our tips for optimizing your business page:
Think of Facebook like the water cooler. Everyone is congregating, sharing stories and pictures, listening to one another, and is fully engaged. It's a break from the real world, the workday grind, and a way to feel important while in line at Starbucks.
As a home builder, remodeler, or contractor, Facebook is the perfect platform to share stories about your brand, your team, your clients, and your projects! There are dozens of posts that will be extremely popular on your company Facebook page:
Facebook is constantly editing and developing its algorithm to improve the user experience. So no matter what updates occur, as long as you are always posting with your audience and their user experience in mind, then you are working with the flow of traffic. Essentially, if you are posting when you know your audience is online, then your material will be seen.
As a general rule of thumb, Facebook is most popular in the mornings (before work), in the early afternoon (on a lunch break), and in the evenings (after work and into the night). If this is when your users are checking their Newsfeeds, this is a good time to post and show up. Insert yourself into their buyer journey - post when they're online! With our years of experience in social media marketing for builders, remodelers, and contractors, Builder Funnel recommends posting once a day on Facebook - but if that's too much then 3-5x per week is a good start.
Consider your buyer personas. When are they online? When are they interacting with Facebook? If you have a client who you have a strong relationship with, you can ask them for some insights such as when they're online, what kind of content they like seeing on Facebook and any other questions that will help you post the right stuff at the right time.
You'll also want to keep in mind what you are posting and when. For example, is an interested home buyer going to make a decision on their lunch break? Don't go in for the ask at 11:54am on a Tuesday - instead, share a helpful blog about how to design the perfect entertaining space when building a new home. Go in for the ask on a Sunday afternoon when someone is doing their research and shopping for a new home in their area - share your "Tour a Model!" page from your website!
Social media is so powerful because it allows companies to interact with leads and clients immediately. Gone are the days of leads scrubbing your website until they find the exact detail they are searching for. Now users expect to be able to find everything instantly - and that includes by asking directly.
Facebook is the perfect platform for this engagement. It encourages people to contact a company directly by commenting on a post but also by sending them a message. In fact, one of Facebook's dozens of ranking factors for your page is your Messenger response time! The point of being on a social media platform to begin with is so that you can be social! Be sure to respond to messages you receive - and if possible, within a very timely manner.
Another ranking factor for Facebook is how engaged users are with your posts. The more comments and shares your post gets, the more Facebook recognizes it as good content. This is the kind of good content that it wants to share more prolifically, so your post's reach will increase with each comment! Friends of the commentor will be able to see the post in their newsfeed which will then open their eyes to your company as well. So a very powerful way to interact with your audience is to find new ways for them to comment on your post. But if you're successful, remember to reply to their comments!
Now that you've mastered the basics of marketing on Facebook as a remodeler, contractor, or home builder, you're ready to graduate to Lead Generation! This is the part of social media marketing that spreads past brand awareness and dives into conversion. After all, when you're putting so much effort into a single social media platform, you want to see the results!
You may have noticed that your Company Facebook page has a call-to-action button on the right side of its banner image. While there are several options, it's important to consider how your users are finding you. For example, if they're finding you while still doing research on remodeling, they may not be ready to call you. In that case, it's best to encourage them to "Learn More" and send them to your blog or project portfolio on their website. If most of your users are finding you on the Facebook mobile app, then including a "Call Now" button will make their research easier rather than having to search your social sites and website to find a piece of information. Mobile users are more likely to call than browser users.
If you're not sure which button to use, start simple and work your way up. Switch them up every few months to see which gets you the most leads! You're only one click away from editing your call-to-action.
Buried in the left menu of your company Facebook page, you can build out your Services tab. Click into Services, click the button "Add a Service," and start building out all of the services you offer. And, of course, we recommend being up front about pricing. Let your leads self-qualify themselves - you don't want to waste your time on tire-kickers.
Some examples of services that a remodeler or contractor would list here include:
Some examples of services that a home builder would include could be:
Creating a private Facebook Group is an incredibly powerful tool for your future marketing endeavors. If you have a group of clients or leads who are extremely engaged in your brand, you can leverage their excitement and honesty to influence others. You can also get priceless feedback about your content, branding, messaging, pricing, and more!
As a home builder, creating Facebook Groups for all of your home buyers who live in particular communities or neighborhoods is an incredible way erase any buyers remorse. All new homeowners will have an instant network to meet neighbors, learn about local events, and an even to discover tax breaks in their particular area. Here's a helpful blog explaining exactly how you can do just that!
To create a group, locate the "..." best to "Liked," "Following," and "Share" below your cover photo and select "Create Group" from the drop down menu. At Builder Funnel, we're huge fans of reaching out to people personally rather than with mass marketing, so we highly recommend you attach a personal note to each and every person you carefully choose to be in your group. After all, they are representing your brand!
One huge benefit to posting on Facebook as a company page is that you are able to turn existing posts into boosts or ads with a click of a button. One of the best ways to increase your reach, gain more clicks to links you share, or to maximize a campaign is through boosting posts on Facebook.
You can quickly and easily add a target audience, a budget you're willing to spend to target that audience for a certain amount of time, and voila! Your post has been boosted. Read this thorough article on how to boost your posts and how to track their analytics.
Beyond boosting posts, Builder Funnel also highly recommends developing a Facebook Advertising strategy and implementing immediately! Just like pay-per-click ads on Google started at cents on the dollar as popularity increased, Facebook is still in their advertising infancy. Paying for an audience or a click is currently far less expensive on Facebook than on Google, and now is the perfect time to start maximizing your advertising budget!
Facebook Advertising is complex - you have several options of how to optimize your ads (for video views, for website clicks, for views on the post, etc.) and endless options when you are building out your audience. Here are a few of our recommendations to get you off the ground:
False - if that's how you feel, then you're doing it wrong.
The first thing to test when it seems like Facebook just isn't the right platform for you is to check your analytics. After all, everything you do on Facebook is measurable. Check your "Insights" tab at the top of your company page to learn more about what's working and what isn't. Scroll along the entire left navigation to discover more information about your promotions, followers, likes, reach, page views, posts, events, videos, and more!
The only way to fix something that isn't working is to know what's broken - and digging into analytics will show you what's broken.
Another reason you could have low engagement or reach on your Facebook page is if you have been dinged with negative reviews. It's just a fact of life - there will always be haters. And on social media, it's even easier to leave a negative review that isn't even true!
The best thing you can do when you get a negative review is to respond in a timely manner. And if you truly believe that the review is a bot or spam, then reach out to Facebook for Small Businesses immediately to dispute it. Check out this article for more help on how handle negative reviews on Facebook.
Facebook Marketing works. At Builder Funnel, we've been using Facebook as a tool for marketing since 2010. And while things are constantly changing, our tactics work. If this all seems a bit overwhelming, we get it. That's we have dedicated professionals on our team who work in Facebook every single day to make sure our clients are performing the best they possibly can be on this particular platform. If you're ready to talk to us about how we can help you, reach out!
If you're curious to see how else we can help you, learn more about our Social Media Done for You Program! We've made social media as easy as copy and paste!
Instagram is one of the quickest rising social media platforms ever. Most other platforms had a gradual increase to popularity, but Instagram seemed to take over almost overnight. Its simple platform makes it easy to captivate users and even easier to engage. As builders, remodelers, and contractors, this is the perfect platform to showcase your beautiful photography!
Roughly 71% of businesses are on Instagram, and 80% of Instagram users are currently following at least one business profile. In other words, if your remodeling, contracting, or home building business isn't already on Instagram then your ideal leads are following your competition instead. According to SproutSocial, "as of March 2017, over 120 million Instagram users visited a website, got directions, called a business, emailed or direct messaged a business."
If that didn't light a fire under you, then skip this section (you'll be missing out) and go straight to Houzz.
Instagram is probably the most streamlined social media profile you'll ever create. It's as simple as downloading the app, logging in, and going. Of course, we have plenty of tips on how to get started off by optimizing your profile and posts. But the first step is as simple as that - downloading the app.
After downloading the Instagram app and creating your profile, you can select the Settings wheel in the top right menu in order to build your profile into a business account. Follow the steps Instagram has already laid out to continue to convert your profile in a business page.
You will also be guided to attach other social media accounts available to Instagram account. If you prefer to connect accounts, this is the point in set up when you can choose to, but you can also come back to this step if you're not sure on your social media marketing strategy yet. If we're being honest, at Builder Funnel we don't recommend to share the same content on Facebook and Instagram. There is a reason they are two separate platforms - they have different audiences and each audience wants to see something different.
Continue optimizing your profile by adding your logo as your profile image. This will eradicate any confusion a user has when trying to search for you.
Next, fill out your profile information. This will include a limited number of characters (roughly 2 tweets worth) to describe yourself. When writing about yourself on Instagram, keep in mind that this isn't the time to let your sales hat shout over your marketing mind. Take this opportunity to empathize and connect with users. Once they call you, you can put your sales hat back on.
Instagram users are there for the photography. There's little else to see, right?
Instagram is about stories. You should be sharing content that tells a story:
Growing your followers on Instagram requires consistent posting. This means that it's critical to keep posting over time in order to show up in peoples' searches. If you have a ton of imagery, you can post pretty regularly. You may even want to add a few projects (as multiple images or as single images at a time) right away so that users know what kind of pictures they'll be seeing moving forward if they follow you.
If you don't have a lot of imagery, post 1-2x a week. It's fine to start small! If each image and caption tells a story, then it doesn't matter if you're not posting daily - you're posting what Instagram users look forward to discovering.
Because of the nature of the Instagram algorithm, time of day doesn't matter as much for posting. Similar to Facebook, however, we recommend posting when people are online - before work, during lunch, and in the evenings after work. Instagram, actually, is extremely popular late into the night for those who have already climbed into bed but just aren't quite ready to sleep yet.
Just like Facebook, Instagram is an extremely social platform. There are a few important ways to remember to interact with your followers on Instagram that will make sure they feel appreciated and engaged. And before you ask how responding an Instagram Direct Message could help someone choose to buy a house from you, let us remind you that Millennials grew up in a world where research is largely conducted on social media platforms and they are your ideal buyers now.
Here are the key ways to interact on Instagram:
Because Facebook owns Instagram, you will have the option when creating an ad on Facebook to optimize and share it on Instagram as well. This is a great way to increase your followers on Instagram!
Instagram prides itself on its simplicity. In an effort to maintain this, there aren't many ways to optimize your business page for lead generation. If you consider Instagram as a brand building tool, then that's just fine. For those who are truly interested in your brand, however, there a couple of ways to make sure you engage them:
Remember those stats from the intro to Instagram? If Instagram isn't working - it's you, not Instagram.
When logged in as your business profile, you can check your Instagram analytics. This is helpful to see which posts are performing best, what days you tend to gain more followers, how many clicks your chosen URL receives, and what your audience demographics currently looks like.
If any of these analytics doesn't represent what you are hoping to achieve, then test! Try new filters on your images, try posting at a different time of day, do more in-depth hashtag research. There are plenty of methods to try and increase your Instagram engagement.
Of course, we understand that it seems overwhelming. Realistically, that's why we employ our Builder Funnel Inbound Marketing Specialists - to improve your social media engagement! If you're looking to get started with a few of our tips for free, check out our Done For You Social Media Program that makes Instagram as easy as copy and paste.
Houzz has been a popular social media marketing platform since 2009. While its popularity among remodelers and contractors has been on the decline, it is still very popular for the end user - those searching for a contractor or remodeler. According to 2017 data, Houzz boasts 40 million users and over 1.5 million local professionals (such as yourselves).
As Houzz's business model has shifted to lean heavily on benefiting their Pro Plus accounts and to offer a variety to its end users, its popularity among contractors and remodelers is dwindling under cries of commoditizing the industry. For now, users enjoy being able to search for local professionals, sifting through project imagery, and researching costs and trends on the site.
Houzz is also relevant for home builders. While you will have fewer projects to share by nature of business, it is still an excellent way to share images of your completed homes (especially once they're staged), whether they're model homes or quick sales.
Your Houzz profile will have 3 primarily important functions - showcasing project imagery, responding to messages and questions, and developing a system to get reviews on your profile.
Similarly to both Facebook and Instagram, we recommend building your professional profile using your logo as your profile picture. Your cover photo should either be a picture of your team together or a particularly impressive project. Keep in mind that this is likely someone's first impression of you if they've landed on your profile page.
In an effort to keep your profile looking active and engaging, we recommend updating your cover photo seasonally. Several studies have shown that people try to see themselves in a set of clientele before making a decision. Updating your cover photo seasonally will also aid in showcasing the type of project users are currently searching for as well (decks in the summer, three season rooms in the spring, and kitchen renovations before the holidays in the winter for example).
As you continue to fill out basic information on your profile, Houzz will highlight what information to continue providing to optimize your profile. Houzz recommends building out several Projects, collaborating with clients on Ideabooks, requesting Reviews from clients, and responding to Questions and Messages.
Houzz offers a few ways to share your content in front of your audience. The most common mistakes we see in sharing on Houzz are easily avoidable. Here's where you should focus your content:
By nature, posting on Houzz is very time-intensive. Projects can take weeks (or even months) to complete. Staging and sending professional photographers through after the project is complete also adds time to the overall timeline.
Houzz understands the needs of contractors, remodelers, and builders. Posting on Houzz doesn't need to be daily or even weekly. In fact, while we do recommend posting imagery as soon as a project is complete to better showcase your expertise in a timely manner, monthly posting seems to be the norm. If you don't have projects or photography completed yet and it's almost the end of the month, we recommend creating an Ideabook instead to share relevant content that way.
Houzz offers three main ways to interact with its users:
Advertising on Houzz can be pricey, but we have discovered a couple of options to utilize Houzz for lead generation for free.
When building your projects, you are able to write a project description. With the help of some basic HTML coding provided in this helpful article, you can link a landing page with a premium content offer in this section. We recommend linking a related eBook download landing page - if the project is a newly remodeled kitchen, you should link to an eBook about kitchen design trends or a case study on a kitchen renovation. This is the easiest way to draw Houzz users directly to your website.
A Houzz Pro+ account costs about $350 per month per location and per service. In other words, you're looking at a $4.2k bill annually to be promoted in Houzz at a minimum.
With a Pro Plus account, you get a few big benefits such as gaining a Houzz rep to help you maximize your profile, showing up more readily in searches based on location, and appearing as the third featured company on the Houzz home page (based on location again). These accounts specifically target a selected city rather than county or zip code break down. If you work within several cities, we would recommend you select the most lucrative city rather than targeting multiple (unless you want to see your bill increase even further).
Houzz offers their writing team to write an article on a recent project you completed to feature in their blog and newsletter. The promotional piece would appear in their Houzz Stories section for a limited amount of time and would also go out in Houzz's newsletter for a hefty bill of over $2K.
Before you give up on Houzz entirely, be sure to check the usual suspects of why your profile isn't performing well.
When logged into your professional profile, you can access basic analytics from the Dashboards tab in the top menu. You can discover which images and projects are getting the most views, saves, impressions and other such information, as well as how many impressions or views your profile has gotten in the past 1-3 months. If you have a Pro+ account, this will be broken down by Promoted and Organic traffic.
We can't stress this enough. In fact, a Houzz rep has once shared privately that pictures that aren't aesthetic or professional will not show up in searches. They can be detrimental to your brand on Houzz, so invest in a professional photographer. If you feel that your images aren't getting saves and your profile isn't getting views, this could likely be the culprit!
If you're curious to see how else we can help you with your Houzz strategy and implementation, learn more about our Social Media Done for You Program! We've made social media as easy as copy and paste, including a full video library of helpful training and tips!
What about Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and the rest of them? Luckily, these platforms have proven not to be imperative lead generators for contractors, remodelers, and home builders, so it's that much more important to really focus on Facebook, Instagram, and Houzz.
Yeah - it's a lot! Do you want to ignore social media and give up on these lead generation platforms? Before you do that, remember you can hire someone to help whether that's us or another agency!