We’ve been talking to a lot of our tradesperson and builder clients recently about whether social media can help them advertise and grow their business.

Of course, the answer is a resounding “Yes”. And now’s the time to be doing it. Here’s why.

Old-school advertising

Many business owners still do their marketing using traditional media, such as sending out flyers and advertising in newspapers. While this kind of marketing can be effective, it’s not easy. Entire books have been written about creating marketing copy, and those who do it well are paid a lot of money for their services.

But this kind of marketing is still one-way. While your marketing may well speak to your potential customers, there’s no interaction. And there’s no real way to get immediate feedback on how effective it is, either. You’re just putting it out there, and hoping it reaches the right people.

Despite this lack of control (or perhaps because of it), this type of marketing can be very effective for some tradespeople, and a complete waste of time for others. My guess is the effective marketing found its way to the right people—probably through luck more than anything else.

Social media—a dream for marketers and advertisers

Twitter and Facebook both started out with very ‘non-business’ objectives. The founder of Twitter created it so you could tell everyone you were going to the shop to get some milk. And anyone who’s seen The Social Network will know about Facebook’s lowbrow origins.

But in recent years, savvy marketers and business owners have discovered how effective social media can be for communicating with the marketplace.

Let’s say your “perfect” customer is 30-45 years old, married, well-educated, and living within 30 miles of your business. Facebook (and Instagram by association) lets you target anyone matching these criteria and have your marketing appear in their news feed. You can even test which marketing advert is the most effective, and then have it automatically chosen for all future campaigns¹. Imagine being able tweak your marketing knowing the worst that can happen is you don’t get more business.

You don’t need to be an artist or analyst, either. Products such as Canva and AdEspresso make it easy to create and test your marketing material.

When you’re happy with it, you simply increase the amount you’re spending until you have the amount of work you want for your business.

Why using social media in your business is so powerful

Still not convinced your business should get involved with Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ or any of the other social media platforms? If that’s the case, let me ask you this: Don’t you want to know what people are saying about you, your business and even your industry?

By using social media management software such as HootSuite and SproutSocial, you can see at glance when people mention you or your brand, reply to your posts and messages, ‘like’, share, pin and retweet them, and so on. And most importantly it lets you respond, turning your marketing into conversations.

It’s always good to know what’s being said about your business and your competitors. Once you learn how to use it, social media gives you the power to do just that.

Time to become social media savvy

This article can’t teach you how to use these social media tools. There are entire books and even courses on how to use them, and I suggest you check some of them out.

I wrote this article to help you understand how your business can benefit from social media as part of its marketing mix. We know a lot of small business owners who are already using Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as an effective way to generate referrals and drive traffic to their website.

The question is no longer, “Should my business be using social media in its marketing campaign?” It’s now, “How should my business be using social media in its marketing campaign?”

If you’d like to know more about the power of social media, and how you can use it to supercharge your business’ marketing, get in touch with us today.

And we’ll see you online.

 

¹While this feature (known as A/B testing) isn’t free, it isn’t overly expensive either. You can start testing for as little as £50.

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