Most plumbers we work with think it’s all about Google when it comes to internet marketing. And while Google is absolutely the giant in the world of SEO, there are many “signals” outside your primary website and Google My Business listing that can make a huge difference in how you rank in Google searches for plumbing services. Social Media Marketing is a great avenue for plumbers who want to develop a rich referral pool of loyal and new customers, and the great news is that social media business pages also send good vibes for Google rankings, too.
As with anything else, knowing how to make the most impact with social media marketing for plumbing will help you invest your time and advertising budget wisely. Today we’re going to share a few key ways that you can take your social media pages to the next level, and really leverage the incredible exposure of those platforms to gain more customers!
Everyone And Their Mom Is On Social Media
Graph showing the percentage of U.S. adults who use at least one social media site
(Source: Pew Research Center)
Take a gander at the graph above. Of U.S. adults between 18-49, over 75% are on at least one social media platform. These sites aren’t going away; in fact, most are gaining traction and diversifying. The way we take in news and information has drastically changed over the last few decades, and social media will be evermore a driving force in this space. The influence on buying decisions is significant, so you don’t want to miss the boat on reaching potential customers. Because if this research tells us anything, it’s that your core customer base is on social media. So you should be too.
#1: Understand The Social Media Algorithms To Get More Plumbing Customers
There is not enough space here to go into every single algorithm for all the social media platforms, but we will cover some of the basics for the most popular platforms at a high level to give you a nice boost. One of the most important things to understand on this front is that the best practices that apply to ranking well with organic SEO don’t work exactly the same on sites like Facebook and Instagram. (Instagram is actually owned by Facebook, so you’ll see a lot of overlap in their approach and algorithmic preferences.)
The Facebook Algorithm
At the beginning of 2018, Facebook announced that they were releasing a new algorithm that would unabashedly favor “meaningful interactions.” This meant focusing on commenting and sharing as signals of interest, versus simply liking a post or page. Passive actions aren’t going to get you on the radar with the incredible volume of users that Facebook boasts.
Facebook is still the reigning king of social media, so you’ve got to show up. A good way to consider how to fare well for your Facebook business page and Facebook marketing for plumbing customers is to remember that it’s a social network. This means that you should engage within Facebook and try to leverage all the tools available to stay ingrained in that space.
An article from Hootsuite gave some great advice for those who use Facebook Pages, as they are more likely to take a hit given the inherent lack of engagement typical of those accounts:
“…Brands should create quality content focused on sparking conversations between users. Try including questions in your posts, or writing about timely, relevant topics that users are sure to have an opinion on.”
Now, let’s be honest: plumbing repairs aren’t the sexiest topic ever. However, if you see your mission when it comes to content marketing for plumbing services as serving up valuable information on something you know very well, then you’ll be better poised to write posts that deliver. Ask questions, seek feedback, keep it light. For example, as followers to share their most frustrating home repair story, or perhaps the funniest/most embarrassing!
But here’s a critical point: don’t respond with sales pitches or sound like an advertisement. Respond like a living, breathing human. Laugh with them, or cringe with them, and make your comment specific to what they’re saying. This is how you can promote engagement and demonstrate that your page isn’t a boring, stagnant sales tool, but rather a community worth being a part of.
The Instagram Algorithm
Let me start with a sobering stat: according to an article from Later about the algorithm change, it’s estimated that only 10% of your audience on Instagram is seeing your posts.
Brutal, right? But that doesn’t mean you should ditch Instagram. Of the U.S. adults who use Instagram, 60% check it daily, according to Pew. That’s significant engagement, and an opportunity not to be missed for your plumbing business. These realities simply mean that you must play by the rules and plan posts to perform best.
Since the algorithm that drives Instagram feeds is also all about engagement, you need to take some specific steps to help boost the perception of interaction with your followers. These include:
- Encourage followers to “DM us for details!” – This drives traffic to your Direct Messages inbox, which is like private mail to which you can respond within the app, and also gives you the opportunity to foster more direct relationships with customers.
- Respond faithfully and quickly – If you never respond to comments and DMs, or if it takes you months to do so, you’re going to take a hit. Social media is supposed to be social, so remember that and treat comments and DMs as viable plumbing leads that should be given due attention.
- Use Stories to appeal to more followers – Stories are a great way to escape the feed a bit and engage uniquely with followers.
- Write meaningful captions – Even though Instagram is a visual platform, the captions are how users can send signals about their interests. If you write great, useful Instagram captions — treating it like all your other plumbing content — then followers are more likely to read them. The time spent reading your post is measured, and that attention could mean you’re showing up on feeds more prominently.
The YouTube Algorithm
If you think that social media marketing for plumbing doesn’t have a place on YouTube, you’d be sorely mistaken. At the top of the pack, YouTube is used by 73% of U.S. adults. Let me repeat that: almost three-quarters of Americans are on YouTube.
The key takeaway for successful YouTube marketing is to deliver video content that users want. Sounds obvious, but you wouldn’t believe how many people post videos that sound good based on their keyword-stuffed title for clickbait, only to fail to deliver anything of actual value. Likes nor clicks will get you better positioning amongst search terms for plumbing services. What will help you stand out are videos that are helpful, unique, and get to the point with the good stuff.
Increasing the likelihood that a viewer will watch and finish the videos you upload as part of your internet marketing strategy is far more beneficial than trying to cram a file with information overload. Our attention spans are waning over time, so focus on short videos — maybe 2-5 minutes — that respond to a specific need or question. This will not only likely show up best for specific searches (since Google loves to fetch video results for search engine queries), but the fact that viewers watch your content start-to-finish will bode well for how YouTube perceives your content.
#2: Prioritize Content Marketing To Cultivate Loyal Plumbing Clients
I mentioned content marketing earlier, but it’s worth repeating that you have to see all content you put out there as valuable pieces of information. (Or not, in which case, ditch it.) From an Instagram caption to a “How To” video on YouTube (which tends to perform well), or a long-form blog post on your website, everything you publish should serve your potential clients. Don’t think that the job of social media marketing is to advertise, but think of it as another form of value-add that you can deliver as a subject-matter expert on all things plumbing.
Because social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook are driven by followers, who choose to remain a captive audience for the content you put out, you must look at this pool as a potential referral and new client base that is more valuable than gold! They’re allowing you to market to them as a business, which is exceedingly rare in a hyper-marketed world, so position yourself as a meaningful source of information to help them better manage their homes (or businesses, if you service commercial plumbing clients).
#3: Diversify Social Media Marketing To Reach More Plumbing Customers
Perhaps you’ve spent a lot of time over the years on your Facebook business page, but you’ve given little thought to Instagram, Twitter, or any of the other top social media platforms. Diversifying your coverage will not only help create more opportunities for Google to recognize your reach and consistency of your brand, which will give you a boost in SERP rankings, but it will also allow you to reach varied demographics to expand your client base.
People of all ages own homes and need the plumbing services you offer, but they’re all on different social media platforms, as you can see here:
Demographics of U.S. adults who use social media (Source: Pew Research Center)
We’ve given some specific tips above for how you can maximize your efforts for social media marketing to gain new plumbing customers and develop a dedicated referral network. This doesn’t have to be complicated or burdensome but instead can be a way to interact directly with potential clients on a regular basis. You don’t have to wait for calls to come in; you can find them on social media every day, all day!