Three Easy Ways to Boost your Business with Social Media

Remember the days when you could promote your contracting business with nothing more than a few flyers and some word of mouth? While those tools are still valuable, the way the world does business online is evolving – and if you don’t adapt, chances are your competitors will. The good news? You can pull ahead of the curve and start boosting your business right away for next to nothing using social media. Here are three essential tips to get you started.

1. Come out of hiding

Dealing with an unsatisfied customer can be uncomfortable. Reading their grievances in an online forum can be even more painful. But the effects of ignoring those negative reviews can be detrimental. A recent study has shown that 92 percent of consumers read online reviews for local businesses before making a purchasing decision. While blissfully avoiding social media review sites may feel good in the short term, it could be quietly killing your business. The solution? Get comfortable with responding publicly to negative reviews. It’s as easy as writing a short sentence acknowledging the customer’s feelings, and then asking for their contact information to take the conversation offline. Talk to them on the phone or over email and try to make it right. Once they appear to be satisfied with your solution, ask them to update their negative review.

But it’s not all about putting out fires. To build up your list of positive reviews, focus on happy customers. Ask them to share their experiences of your company on social media. Because “general satisfaction” creates less of a knee-jerk reaction than outrage, it is less common for people to write positive reviews unprompted. A polite request can go a long way toward building up the good reviews that you’ll need to drown out the naysayers. But beware of the temptation to fake your own positive reviews. It can do much more harm to your business reputation than a single angry customer ever could.

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2. Paint a picture

Whether you’re looking to work with designers, property managers or style-conscious homeowners, sharing photos of recently completed jobs is a great way to spark new partnerships. Because each of these types of customers is actively looking for quality workmanship and color inspiration, you can connect with them more meaningfully and credibly in a visual forum.

Be careful: there is a fine line between sharing and shamelessly self-promoting. Make sure to caption your photo posts with softer, more humble language. For example, instead of writing, “Call me for all of your painting needs!” consider complimenting your client, “The Jones’ chose Catalina Green for their living room, and it works beautifully!” Make sure to get property owners’ permission before taking and posting photos of their property. Many will be happy to show off their newly painted digs, but asking is always the best policy.

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3. Give as much as you get

Think of social media as a party. You don’t want to be that annoying person who tries to dominate every conversation. Instead, reach for a balance of humble self-promotion and gracious cross-promotion. Like, friend, connect, endorse and link to other professionals in your area. The networking will not only show that you are a responsible and likeable socialite, but it could also literally bring you more business through referrals and added visibility among their followers.

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