Tag Archives: Instagram

3 Instagram Stories Tips For Plumbing Social Media Marketing

It’s no surprise that social media is all the rage…and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Facebook marketing still dominates most of the attention of business owners who seek to leverage social media marketing to grow and appeal to new customers. But Instagram emerges as a viable lead source for plumbing repairs, especially taking into consideration that 60% of Instagram users check in with the app daily. That’s a dedicated user! It’s a wise business owner indeed who realizes that meeting potential plumbing customers right where they are — often checking their social media feeds — is a natural way to make Instagram Marketing a powerful tool in building your business.

Today we’re going to share a few tips for using Instagram Stories as a way to get maximum attention, bypassing the challenging (for businesses) feed algorithm and standing out well from the competition for target customers.

What Is Instagram Stories And Why Should Plumbers Use It?

Admittedly, plumbers probably aren’t the target demographic when Instagram released the Stories feature in late 2016. No offense, but pipe repairs aren’t exactly sexy. However, as Hootsuite reports, Stories initiate Direct Messages for one in every five posted. (Direct Messages — or “DMs” — are when users privately contact another user or account, kind of like Instant Messaging.) This represents a keen opportunity to connect directly with potential customers and foster relationships before the need for plumbing repairs even arise!

Instagram Stories are viewed at the top of a user’s feed from the app, and may include photos, videos (including specialized videos like Boomerang, Superzoom, etc.), or text content. Because these are not displayed in the optimized feed for users (based on an algorithm that admittedly doesn’t tend to fair well for businesses), they tend to get unique attention and are actually becoming more popular than feed posts. Stories mimic features in Snapchat, and were so welcomed that Facebook (who owns Instagram) introduced them in their platform as well.

At a high level, you can think about Instagram posts as evergreen content that users are more likely to see if they navigate intentionally to your profile page, while Stories are like behind the scenes looks at your every day. Stories tend to be more informal, and given the increasing desire for authenticity on social media, this is often a preferred view to see users and businesses with their hair down, so to speak.

Instagram Stories Text and Poll Feature

Example of text and poll features for Instagram Stories

Tip #1: Think About Stories As Content Marketing For Plumbers

As we recently shared on the blog, content marketing is a great way to attract new customers for your plumbing business. This approach, in contrast to traditional marketing, provides content focused on relevant services and information for potential clients, versus advertising your specific company. The goal is to serve the reader/user by answering questions and anticipating needs, versus explicitly saying, “Hire me!” (Though that may likely follow when you do this well.)

Instagram Stories can absolutely be content marketing for your plumbing business if you use them to share practical information, such as tips for keeping a home maintained according to season, or a behind-the-scenes look at a repair to offer advice for locating pipe leaks. The key here is that the information your sharing (the content) is helpful whether they’re in your service area or not. So while it’s a good idea to make feed content a little more tailored — perhaps highlighting local businesses you work with or sharing some favorite plumbing jobs from various neighborhoods you service — Stories are a great place to literally show up. Let followers get to know YOU and your team by interviewing your stellar techs, and even give your shop pup some love. (You’ll probably get more engagement over posts of your animals than you do your team, no offense.)

Tip #2: Use Questions And Poll Stickers To Encourage Engagement on Stories

Adding stickers and text to your Stories is a great way to make them pop as users scroll through new content, as well as optimize who sees what you’re creating. Stickers are found by tapping the square face icon. You can add auto-generated content like time, temperature (which could be impactful if you’re doing an extreme seasonal repair), or emojis. Here are a few others worth playing with:

  • Countdown – This is an entertaining way to create a shared-sense of excitement. Maybe your local sports team has a big game coming up. Create a countdown to make it known you’re involved!
  • Location – Great for attracting attention within your service area by tagging your location in familiar places. (Locations don’t necessarily tie back to a certain company or shop, so be sure to @Mention the shop to share the love.)
  • Poll – Poses a binary choice to followers, against which they can gauge other responses by percent answered. Fun opportunity for engagement and easy for folks to participate.
  • Questions – Allows you to pose a question and collect responses from viewers. This is an awesome way to start a conversation with users, and you can even share responses to keep the topic going and create a sense of community.

Instagram Story Stickers Screenshot

Screenshot of Stories stickers for Instagram Marketing

Adding text to video Stories is wise because many people watch videos without their sound on, so adding captions to summarize the content is key for getting the message across and reaching all your users. (Consider, too, hearing impaired followers! They’re often left out when Stories rely on sound to get the message across.) So if you record a quick repair overview using the Hands Free function — which just recently let you capture sequential 15-second clips without having to keep tapping — you can add some text to call out your content. (A little goes a long way. Keep it brief and use the Typewriter font for a sleek, simple look.) You should also add hashtags, just as you would in the caption of a feed post, to categorize your content and help new viewers find you!

Looking for practical advice to use the app to create Stories? Check out this post from Later for a step-by-step guide to Stories! They nailed it.

Let’s Address The Elephant In The Room

You don’t have time to be thinking about stickers and hashtags and emojis. We get that. You’re a busy professional and social media is probably the last thing you want to focus on after a busy day of service calls and running your business. Most home service professionals are farming our their social media marketing, and plumbers are no exception. This is a really wise delegation, as social media experts for SEO are far more capable of making the most of those efforts to increase leads and help your Instagram account boost your overall rankings.

That being said, I’m still addressing this post to you because it’s important that you understand the thought process behind why SEO specialists like us do what we do. Assuming you hire this out, how else will you know the value of what you’re getting (or not getting, unfortunately) if you don’t have a sense of social media marketing done well? This is our service to you, whether you call us or not. (That’s content marketing, by the way. See, it all ties together!)

Tip #3: Make A Plan For Engagement In Social Media Marketing

To the point I just made, we’re fully aware that you’re not watching your DMs like a hawk all day long. But someone should be. Whoever you hire out or delegate within your team to monitor the Instagram account for your plumbing business should make it a priority to stay on top of activity. Why? The Instagram algorithm is all about engagement. If you want to show up for more users, then you need to engage. It’s well known by now that not all followers are going to see every new post unless there is active engagement that lets Instagram know that there is value in that content based on experience.

In other words, if you post self-serving content on the regular, overly promoting your company and being overtly “salesy,” not only does this not foster genuine community (enjoy those Spambots, thought), but your posts will rarely be seen by anyone. Wasted effort, all the way. However, if you publish relevant, valuable plumbing information, aligned with an overall content marketing strategy for social media that aims to serve your customer base, then you’re far more likely to invite comments, receive Direct Messages, and get the kind of engagement that helps your company separate itself from the myriad of business that fade into the background on Instagram. Your followers are giving you the green light to market to them regularly, so give that some respect and make sure you’re delivering value and trying to cultivate a community. If you just show up to shove your brand in their face, no one is going to want to play with you.

In closing, it’s important to understand how each social media platform works to best leverage them as a tool for growing your business. Showing up with the same approach across the board isn’t going to help you fare well, and could actually hurt the plumbing social media marketing you’re working so hard to establish. However, rocking features like Instagram Stories will make your brand memorable and worth following, fostering a loyal referral network that will allow your company to thrive!

Posted: | Updated: Jan 22, 2019 | Categories: Social Media

How Plumbers Can Take Social Media Marketing To The Next Level In 2022

Most plumbers 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. For example, social media marketing for plumbers is a great avenue to develop new customers and 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. So today, we’re going to share a few key ways to take your social media pages to the next level and leverage the incredible exposure of those platforms to gain more customers.

Everyone And Their Mom Is On Social Media

Social Media Usage For U.S. Adults Graph
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 plumbing 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. If this research tells us anything, it’s that your core customer base is on social media. 

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 is that the best practices for ranking well with organic SEO don’t work the same on sites like Facebook and Instagram. (Facebook owns Instagram, so you’ll see a lot of overlap in their approach and algorithmic preferences.)

The Facebook Algorithm

At the beginning of 2018, Facebook announced a new algorithm that would unabashedly favor “meaningful interactions.” The powerhouse platform shifted its focus 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. An excellent way to consider optimizing your Facebook business page is to remember that it’s a social network. As a result, you should engage within Facebook and leverage all the tools available to stay ingrained in that space.

An article from Hootsuite gave some excellent 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, suppose you see your mission for content marketing for plumbing services as serving up valuable information on something you know very well. In that case, 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:

  1. Don’t respond with sales pitches or sound like an advertisement.
  2. Respond like a living, breathing human.
  3. Laugh with them, or cringe with them, and make your comment specific to what they’re saying.

You can promote engagement and demonstrate that your page isn’t a dull, stagnant sales tool but rather a community worth engaging with regularly.

The Instagram Algorithm

Let me start with a sobering stat: according to an article from Later about the algorithm change, an estimated 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 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 allows you 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.
  • 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, helpful 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, 73% of U.S. adults use YouTube. Let me repeat that: almost three-quarters of Americans are on YouTube.

The critical takeaway for successful YouTube marketing is to deliver video content that users want. 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. Of course, videos show up best for particular 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.

Content Marketing To Get 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.) Everything you publish should serve your potential clients, 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. 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 measure 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 significant source of information to help them better manage their homes (or businesses if you service commercial plumbing clients).

Diversify Social Media Marketing To Reach 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 help create more branding opportunities and 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:

Social Media Platform Breakdown Chart

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. Social marketing doesn’t have to be complicated or burdensome but instead can be a way to interact directly with potential clients regularly. You don’t have to wait for calls to come in; you can find them on social media every day, all day.

Posted: | Updated: Jan 7, 2022 | Categories: Social Media