5 Top Social Media Platforms for Residential Contractors
Social media remains among the best resources for building local brands. For relatively little out-of-pocket cost, it enables small construction businesses to engage customers and prospects in two-way conversations that are essential to winning their trust.
Nearly four in 10 American millennials provide at least weekly feedback to companies via social media channels, and two-thirds say their loyalty toward brands is impacted by the speed of the response they receive in return, according to research from Telus International. Thus, there is no point in setting up a page on a social media site if you are not prepared to post new content and regularly review and respond to followers’ comments.
“Social media is labor intensive for a contractor, but in reality most just need to post something once a week or so,” says Pro Construction Guide Contributing Editor Carl Sorensen, whose firm Sites4Contractors.com helps small construction business build and market their contractors websites. “Some project photos — a before/after photo or maybe an explanation of a particular challenge they faced with a job and how they overcame it.”
When done right, social media will help you identify and amplify the voice of your most loyal customers, which can be a very cost-effective way to generate qualified leads. To get a sense of what that looks like, Hubspot.com recommends following these 10 homebuilding brands on social media.
We’ve listed below the top social media platforms for contractors in the order in which Sorensen recommends that small home remodeling, maintenance and repair contractors adopt them.
While Facebook’s growth is slowing, it remains the world’s dominant social media platform by far. It offers unrivaled reach, the world’s largest active user base, a built-in customer review feature and extremely powerful and precise ad targeting. Facebook has also proven adept at adapting, most recently by enabling users to stream live video. It handles text-only, text-and-image and text-and-video posts with equal aplomb, making it an ideal training and proving ground for social media marketing newbies.
While Google has pulled the plug on its flagship social media platform, Google+, its Google My Business feature appears to be slowly evolving into a de facto social media site. The feature allows businesses to share promotions and news, ask and answer customer questions and respond to customer reviews, which are critical to managing an online business reputation.
Given Google’s role as the world’s most popular search engine and that setting up a Google My Business profile page costs nothing and takes about 10 minutes, this is a no brainer that Google is still one of the best social media platforms for contractors.
As of October 2018, YouTube was the second most popular social media site after Facebook with 1.9 billion active users. More importantly, visits to brand sites on the platform grew 70 percent (while they fell on Facebook and Twitter) in the third quarter compared with a year earlier, according to the most recent Digital Marketing Report from Merkle, a global marketing agency.
YouTube was named the third most valuable social media platform after Facebook and LinkedIn in a 2017 study based on a survey of 344 social media marketers from around the world. Because YouTube is owned by Google, YouTube videos show up prominently in Google search results when tagged with the right keywords.
Lead generation sites
When you are confident in your ability to support Facebook and YouTube, create a professional profile on Angie’s List, HomeAdvisor or Houzz (or HomeStars if you are based in Canada). While deemed lead generation sites by marketers, these sites are home to some of the largest libraries of contractor reviews, which makes them very effective for managing an online reputation.
Houzz, a mashup of a professional directory and Pinterest, is used by tens of millions of consumers to collect and share images for home improvement projects, including those posted by designers, architects and building contractors who establish profiles on the site. A professional profile on Houzz will allow you to follow consumers who follow you and contact them during critical phases of their projects.
Contractors are particularly well positioned to exploit these image-centric platforms due to the photogenic nature of construction work. These platforms also provide access to a younger, more engaged audience that is still growing. You can rely on hashtags to expand the reach of individual posts without fretting so much over wording. You can also create your own company hashtag that customers can use to post images of your work.
Instagram is by far the fastest growing of the major social media sites, thanks in large part to the success of Instagram Stories, which have made the site much friendlier social media platform for contractors. Moreover, as recently as 2017, Instagram users were 10 times as likely to click on home décor posts than Facebook users, according to the 2018 Social Media Industry Benchmark Report from Rival IQ.
While Pinterest has only 125 million active users in the United States, 75 percent of the content that “pinners” save comes from businesses, making it the most brand-friendly social media platform listed here. Sixty percent of pinners use the site for home décor decisions, and you can build relationships by commenting on their posts and responding to their comments on your posts. Merkle reported visits to brand sites on the platform grew 11 percent in the third quarter of 2018.
This list of social media platforms for contractors should remain accurate for the balance of 2019. Beyond that, we can’t make any promises.