THIS is such a big subject and there’s no A to Z tick-list for perfect results.
However, there are some definite commonsense rules to follow if you want to attract people to a SM post. Firstly, what do we mean by ‘viral’? In general terms, it means when a social media post is ‘shared’ and ‘liked’ by a larger online audience than was expected.
We can all think of examples where that’s happened involving large brands. Yet for a local chimney sweep, it makes sense to really think about who you are trying to reach. If your social media post is shared by a number of folk in Los Angeles, it probably won’t help your business based in Manchester.
If writing or running your social media, or creating visuals, isn’t your ‘thing’ – then consider getting some help from a freelance writer or online specialist.
Here are some pointers to consider:-
What attracts potential customers or existing customers to a chimney sweep’s social media profile and posts? Think about the subject itself: chimney sweeping. Is it interesting? Would someone prefer to read about chimney sweeping or something about their favourite film star, music group or TV programme? Entertainment naturally draws people. Tragedy is also attractive and that’s why newspapers carry so many negative stories – it sells more copies.
So… make chimney sweeping both entertaining and tragic. That’s actually easy because there are two factors which help: the cultural traditions associated with chimney sweeping (literature, Mary Poppins, etc) and serious facts: if you don’t have your chimney swept you could die from carbon monoxide poisoning or a chimney fire. People take interest in a post about entertainment and, arguably, they take even more interest in a post about a danger, which could kill them.
If you are a chimney sweep in Blackpool – you want to attract customers in your local area only. Be aware of local news (chimney fires reported by the fire service, town developments, etc) and share or comment on them. Make sure your posts fit with the local culture and the correct #hashtags are used. Some social media experts say don’t invite people to share your posts but it does no harm. Don’t forget that offers/discounts can be especially of interest to locals on your patch. Do take time to respond to any comments and make it clear how customers can contact you. Also, although many people from your local area will be on social media; don’t forget that not everyone will be – especially older folk. Your local online audience is a big chunk of your client base but that’s not exclusive.
Social media posts don’t work well unless there is a bright, vivid and appropriate image. People are drawn visually when browsing online because there is so much content. Having the right image is crucial to drawing interest. Even better, try and put some time aside to create your own videos. It’s easy to do that with smartphones or using tech such as WeVideo. Don’t forget the BurnRight consumer videos for your online channels Prospective customers will often check YouTube before making a purchase so make sure your own videos are accessible there as well.
There are a number of social media channels to use for your local chimney sweeping business. What channels are best? Practically, your customers are likely to be using different channels so it makes sense to have a presence on a variety. Also, bear in mind that each social media channel has a slightly different leaning when it comes to its online audience. Facebook seems to be a mainstream standard bearer and it’s a Must but it does require regular posts – two or three per week. Twitter only works well if you are tweeting 4 to 5 times per day. Tweetdeck and other planners can help you schedule ahead. Try and link back to your site and also remember to respond to other tweets as well. Googleplus no longer exists but make sure your details on Google My Business are up-to-date. LinkedIn is for businesses and could be a source for new work if you pitch the posts appropriately, to reach other businesses in your local area. Remember too that businessmen are also residents who are likely to have chimneys! Instagram and Flickr are image-driven and easy to use. You never know when a quick snap of a clean chimney will draw a customer! Pinterest is in a similar vein, allowing content and visuals to sit side-by-side in online ‘boards’. Periscope is a relatively new mobile app based channel and it gives you leverage to provide live broadcasts to your customers. Snapchat was originally used by younger people but it’s gaining an interest from older folk. Posts remain for only 24hours so do strategise for that in your content planning.
These are just some tips and no doubt you can think of a lot more. Social media is a great vehicle for attracting and maintaining interest in your chimney sweeping business – when used properly. Remember too that other methods of promotion can be just as effective.
Keep a look out for details of our new Business and Marketing course coming soon.