How to make the right impression on social media

Emma Cox,  Channel Manager – Brand & Communications at Mira Showers, examines how installers can make the most of their social media presence to raise their profile and boost business.
As well as all of the day-to-day product stuff, we regularly chat to installers about that thing called ‘social media’.
Most don’t have any aspirations to be the next Andy Cam or Plumber Parts, but do want to use social media channels to raise their business profile.
We know that getting a business off the ground is costly – that’s why Facebook is a great way to develop an online presence, without the need to invest in your own website!
The key questions we get asked are – ‘what channels should I use?’; ‘what does ‘good social’ look like?’ and ‘got any top tips for taking pictures?’
First off, we’d advise keeping your personal and professional social accounts separate – you don’t want a potential customer seeking you out and finding posts of your dinner or funny cat videos…
Show us your shower
Twitter is still a popular channel for installers, but Instagram is growing by the week – and it’s all about the imagery. Our current #showusyourshower campaign focuses on this; it’s a great chance for installers to showcase work alongside the manufacturer. It’ll increase your reach and, if it attracts some love or attention from us, it’s another form of endorsement (more of which, later).
‘What about photos?’ I hear you ask.
The good news is you don’t have to be the next David Bailey.
‘Before’ and ‘after’ shots are essential – this makes posts authentic, and lets potential customers see the full impact of how your work has transformed the bathroom space – especially if you’ve replaced an avocado suite or a shower that looked like it was off the Ark.
Dean Staniland from Pro Property Ltd, Sheffield (@deanproproperty) shows how before and after pics can demonstrate the striking results of what installers can do for their customers.
Our top tips for taking better pics would include making sure it’s well-lit; we hear from some installers that they even use work lights for those dark shower alcoves.
Chrome can show up all the marks, so give it a quick buff before you shoot – and check any reflections off mirrors or enclosures – we have all seen examples of how this can turn out!
To #hashtag or not to hashtag
One area a lot of people ask about is hashtags; how many, which ones to use? It can be a minefield, so my advice is ‘keep it simple’ – three hashtags per post is plenty – and use ones that manufacturers use. Tag them too – this will ensure they see your post and like or share your fantastic work.
Posts with a dozen or more hashtags just look messy and on Twitter they use up valuable character space!
It’s one thing to #showusyourshower; it’s another to have someone else say how good you are.
We mentioned endorsements from manufacturers, but what about an even better one – your customer? Ask them to post an image and recommendation on their own accounts; this is invaluable third-party endorsement – and avoids the need to sign up to the likes of Trustpilot, especially if you’re a new business and you could better spend this outlay on something else. This is free and authentic.
With a continuous stream of customer endorsements and the images to support this, your credibility will speak for itself.
What about which channel(s) to use? We know time is money and you can’t spend hours posting stuff here, there and everywhere. Perhaps don’t try and do all of them – focus on one or two and do them well.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery; if you’re unsure what ‘good social’ looks like, just go and see what the big influencers – and your local competition – are doing. What kind of posts get the most engagement – likes, comments etc? That’s a great indicator for what kind of content to post yourself.
Alternatively, what kind of posts don’t get any engagement? What doesn’t work?
When and how often?
This is the trickiest part – we’ve all signed up to social media accounts only to be spammed daily by a barrage of posts. In the end, you’ll just press ‘unfollow’.
The general rule is only post when you have something to say, not because you feel obliged. Don’t overshare; decide on your USPs (unique selling points) and focus on them.
The more you use social, the more natural it should feel, as you develop your own style and tone. And don’t forget – it’s a two-way street, so take the time to thank people for their comments and endorsements.

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