5 ways to build your brand on social media

With approximately 1.65 billion active mobile social accounts worldwide, social networking sites are undoubtedly one of the most effective and affordable ways for businesses to communicate with their customers.
While most large corporations have dedicated social media teams, it can be tricky for self-employed tradespeople with limited time and resources to establish their social media profiles. However, Sarah Till, Social Media and Digital Project Manager at Baxi, says that by following the five Cs – choose, craft, curate, categorise and consult – installers can build a strong digital presence.

  1. Choose your channel(s)

There are now hundreds of different social media sites, but do you know your Twitter from your Snapchat? Can you tell your Facebook from your Instagram? Concentrate on channels where you know your target audience are going to be active and responsive to content from brands. As a rough guide, Facebook and Twitter are useful for reaching consumers of all ages, whereas LinkedIn is more of a commercial platform for larger contractors looking to build relationships with other businesses.
It’s also worth being aware of the strengths and limitations of each site. Having a company Facebook page means people can rate you, leave reviews and comment on your wall which other (potential) customers can then see. Great for positive feedback, not so helpful when a customer decides to take to the internet rather than calling you directly to resolve an issue, so you need to be on the ball with your customer service. Twitter doesn’t have this function, and it’s arguably easier to find and share content, but there are also fewer active users.
On the other hand, Instagram has one of the fastest growing audiences. However, it relies on image-driven content which is great for showing off your best work but can be more time-consuming to create.

  1. Craft your personality

The beauty of social media is it allows you to control your brand’s image. After all, you’re selling yourself as well as a product, so if you show off your personality homeowners are more likely to engage with you. Don’t be afraid to have a joke with customers, share interesting content such as energy-saving tips and give your opinion on things. However, keep it professional – if you wouldn’t say it on the job, don’t say it on social media.
Failing that, you could always make like @GasManGod and create a whole new persona for yourself as an all-seeing plumbing deity.

  1. Curate your content

Once you’ve decided which channel(s) to use and how you want to portray your business, it’s time to start posting. The key here is variety – nobody wants to be bombarded with promotional content all the time. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and post the kinds of things you think they’d want to see. A good starting point is sharing images and videos of your best work, as well as customer testimonials.
These days, it’s easy to create visually impressive content with just a smartphone and a few handy apps. Why not create a collage of your latest installations using PicCollage? Capture the moment you get a customer’s hot water running again on Boomerang? All it takes is a few swipes.

  1. Categorise your posts

There’s no point having great content if nobody can find it. Using hash tags, particularly on sites such as Twitter and Instagram, allows people to find your posts by searching for a simple term. Manufacturers often run competitions by asking people to tweet using a relevant hash tag too, so keep an eye out.
It also works both ways. By using the search function to find relevant conversations, you can get involved and show off your expertise or offer advice. For example, search for someone moaning about having no hot water in your local area, jump in and offer your services. They’ll be impressed with your proactivity.
Suggested hash tags include: #BaxiApprovedInstaller #SuperBaxi #RegardTheCard  #GasEngineer #BaxiMakesItEasy

  1. Consult your peers

Online trends are constantly changing. New platforms open, existing platforms add new features, and a different viral video craze sweeps the country each week. The easiest way to stay on top of things is to follow a broad range of influencers: manufacturers, industry bodies, trade magazines and other installers.
Look at the profiles of other gas engineers who already have hundreds – or even thousands of followers – and take inspiration from them. People such as @plumberparts, @pbplumber, and @irbheating spring to mind, but there are hundreds of others.
For more information, please follow @baxiboilers on Twitter or ‘like’ Baxi Heating UK on Facebook.