Social media presents a huge opportunity for businesses to connect with potential clients, with 71% of Australians signed up to platforms including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. What’s more, recent data shows that 33% of users have increased the amount of time they spend on social media during COVID-19, making it more powerful than ever as a marketing tool for building businesses.
“If you don’t have a social media presence, it’s time you did,” says Neil Hipwell, James Hardie Ambassador and Founder of NSW building firm Futureflip. “A lot of our client leads have come in from someone seeing our work on Instagram, which is a great platform to showcase your work. With users saying that they increased the amount of time they spend on social media last year, the opportunity to secure more work is only growing,” he adds.
Here, Neil shares some of the social media practices he’s used to drive the success of his growing business, even through COVID-19. What’s more, Neil has created a video with more business advice for builders. The video features on James Hardie’s Design Ideas site, which is also home to the latest information on the looks that consumers are looking to their builders for help with.
Know your audience
Always remember that social media is a part of your marketing strategy. It’s there to help you make sales, so while it can be enticing to create content that gets the most likes or attracts the most followers, you need to make sure you focus on engaging potential clients.
Think about what your audience wants to see. This could be inspirational homes that you can help them achieve, through to advice on how to pick the right building materials for their needs. It’s all about adding value to their lives so that your brand becomes a trusted go-to for advice.
Pick the best Social Media platform
So, you know the who (your audience) and the what (your great content) the next step is the where (platform). There are a lot of social media platforms out there, but my go-to is Instagram which is used by 52%3 of people in Metro areas and accessed by users 28 times a week on average.
Instagram is great as it’s image based, creating a perfect opportunity to visually share high quality photos and videos of your projects in posts, while the Stories function lets you take a more informal approach with short form content that’s only live for a day.
Pick the right tone
Creating the right tone for your social media channel can be hard as you need to balance professionalism with personality. Swearing or crude language are clear no-go’s, as is technical jargon.
Take inspiration from brands in the industry you admire. Look at how they talk about homes, the length of posts, words and language they use. This can also be a good way to generate a list of hashtags that will help your content get seen.
Tone also includes images. I keep my in-feed posts professional and aspirational with a consistent look and feel. It’s important to think about why you’re posting the picture. For example, if you’re showcasing the shadow lines created by Linea Weatherboard, don’t turn the brightness up so high that the façade looks flat. I also use my stories to give a ‘behind the scenes’ look to add a bit more personality.
Planning is everything
Social media is a bit like a project, you need a solid plan in place. Start by considering what is important for your audience to know, as well as what they will find valuable. See if there are any consistent themes, such as inspiration, trends advice and examples of your work.
Each month create content that hits each of these topics to keep your channel fresh and varied. I will have our projects shot by professionals, but using a smartphone with a bit of editing on the social media platform you’re using is a great option when you’re starting out. Getting the images and videos right will not only help you grow your channel, but can turn it into a great catalogue of your work for prospective and current clients.
Tag partners and collaborate
A quick way to increase the number of people who see your content is to get it reposted by an account that’s got a large following. Big brands are often looking for content that shows off their product or service. When you tag them in your posts, they get an automated alert directing then to your content, which creates a quick way for them to share it with your channel’s details.
To watch the full video, check out the Design Ideas section of www.jameshardie.com.au, which also offers inspiration and info on residential and commercial builds, compliance issues and trends from Hamptons to modern looks. Additionally, register at myhardies.jameshardie.com.au to get access to tools, tips, new leads and expert advice to help you build your business.