Facebook is dicey at best for HVAC contractors.
For the most part, people use Facebook to share stories, photos and information with other friends. That most likely means that consumers DO NOT necessarily want to connect with their local HVAC company. But, as long as we can act like human beings, there’s a great opportunity to engage with customers on a consistent basis using Facebook.
There are three key ways to help make Facebook a business success for your company. Here they are:
1. Tell Stories.
Simpson Air in Tampa, FL, consistently shares customer testimonials (see below) as well as on-site pictures from technicians showing problems that arise from a bad HVAC system check.
Also, sharing consistent educational information that doesn’t promote the company is a great non-selling tactic that positions your organization as the regional home comfort experts. SocialTract customer Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning out of Massachusetts regularly shares educational blog posts via their Facebook page.
2. Tag, Tag, Tag.
If you talk about a customer or local association on your Facebook page, how do you let them know that you shared their information? By Tagging. Tagging an individual or company lets those people know you are including them in the conversation, and they are then much more likely to share that information themselves. In the example below, Junta42 is letting Sprout Content know that they are sharing their post. Depending on settings, Sprout Content will most likely receive an email letting them know that Junta42 is talking about them on Facebook. To tag, when you are completing the description on Facebook, just use the @ button and a search list will pop up for you to choose the customer or company via Facebook.
3. Special Offers.
Of course, you can’t just do offers all the time on your Facebook page. It comes off as too salesy and not human enough. But, as long as you are doing the first two above, offers on occasion are a great way to drive engagement and sales. PK Wadsworth out of Solon, OH, promotes offers on a periodic basis, like this one below for a Heating Performance Check.
Some other keys to remember with Facebook include:
• Consider using targeted advertising with Facebook to your regional audience. Facebook offers a number of custom advertising programs. The best calls to action include a content offer (like a special informational white paper or electronic guide) or a special discount on services.
• Make it easy for customers to share your content. For example, all of your blog posts or informational articles on your website should have the Facebook “Like” button clearly available at the top of your post or article. From the example below, readers can easily share the content via Facebook, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn.
• Consider a Facebook splash page. Most HVAC Facebook pages just show the stream of content. You might want to consider a page like we have at Junta42 that gives some incentive for customers to actually “like” your page. When they click the “Like” button, now you have an ongoing connection with them.
• All talk and no engagement won’t do much for your business. Be sure you are commenting and sharing content from customers and other relevant influencers on a consistent basis. If you are just talking all the time and not listening, why should we expect anyone to listen to us?
Joe Pulizzi is CEO of SocialTract , the leading blogging and content service designed for service companies. SocialTract is part of the Content Marketing Institute , which runs the largest international content marketing event, Content Marketing World (Sept 6-8, 2011). Joe is also co-author of Get Content Get Customers, which details how companies can publish content to drive revenues. He will be speaking at HVAC Comfortech in Indianapolis this year. Joe can be reached at [email protected].