What is Social Media for HVAC?
Social media is a platform or app that allows users to create and distribute content and partake in social networking. For HVAC companies, social media refers to business profiles on Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms, along with shared content on the profile’s timeline.
Do HVAC Contractors Need Social Media?
By now, everyone should know how powerful social media marketing is and how much impact it can make for your business. And a lot of people will say that merely knowing is half the battle. But that’s not the case here.
The fact is that a well-crafted social media marketing campaign takes time and careful planning. It’s as much a thought process as it is a process of actions. So in today’s post, we will be walking all the HVAC contractors out there through how to plan and execute a successful HVAC social media marketing campaign.
Social Media Platforms for HVAC Companies
You’ve probably heard of the most popular social media platforms from friends or family members, and you may even be an active member yourself. However, when promoting your business online, these platforms play a different role than for personal use. Understanding which platforms are worth your time can save you resources and allow you to focus on the areas that can help your business thrive in 2021. Let’s look at some primary social networks for HVAC:
Facebook remains the #1 social media platform in the world with 2.7 billion monthly active users. HVAC companies can create a Facebook Business Page to reach potential customers. Back in 2018, Facebook’s algorithm update limited the number of organic business posts active users would see on their timelines. Obviously, the update encouraged businesses to invest in Facebook Ads to reach their target audience, since organic posts no longer worked as well. As an HVAC company, Facebook Ads are certainly an option, but posting organically is less valuable. Still, it is important to update your business information, upload recent photos, and keep your timeline recent enough to look professional.
Instagram nears 1 billion active monthly users and has emerged as one of the top social media platforms in the world. Owned by Facebook, Instagram is also part of the Facebook Ads network so Ads managers can run their ads on Facebook and Instagram, simultaneously. In addition, businesses can take advantage of Instagram’s visual nature by posting video stories and images. While Instagram is a little different from other platforms, as publishing a blog post is not possible, for example, it is a unique medium to keep consumers up-to-date on your company’s progress.
The long-time social media powerhouse, Twitter, has 206 million daily active users. Unfortunately, most Twitter business profiles lack engagement and exist as a formality. Still, a low-engagement Twitter handle remains necessary for businesses across the country. While you can’t expect new customers to come from Twitter, you can expect existing customers to look for you on the platform. They may even reach out for customer service needs through your Twitter DMs. With this in mind, it is critical to have someone actively manage your Twitter account, and link to your website.
With 756 million users, LinkedIn is the most professional social network on the web. While Facebook and others host personal profiles, LinkedIn hosts business profiles for prospective job seekers and employers. As an HVAC company, you are the employer, but that doesn’t mean you have to use it only for hiring people. There’s inherent value in publishing a LinkedIn Business Page, whether you plan to run job ads, or not. You can curate content on LinkedIn and connect with other industry professionals. You might even find some interesting insights on your timeline.
The popular video platform now has 2 billion active users on its platform, making it a must-have for HVAC companies. Every HVAC business can create a YouTube channel simply by logging into their Gmail account. While you might be hesitant to post video content on the platform, it is a great way to reach prospective customers. Think about it, 20 years ago you’d have to pay for a local TV spot in order to promote your business through a commercial. With YouTube, you can reach people organically by adding the proper tags to your video description. You can also invest in YouTube Ads to reach people while they are watching other popular videos about your topics.
HVACR Social Media Campaigns
For any marketing or ad campaign, you must take the necessary time to sit down and think about who your audience is and what you are trying to say to them. These two considerations should always be the inception of your social media marketing (or genesis) campaign.
So, for example, as an HVAC contractor, let’s say you want to make people in your local area aware of your business and the type of services you offer. Right off the bat, you will be targeting certain people in a geographical region.
Secondly, you will probably want to speak directly to homeowners. That further narrows your audience down in general to people in their early to mid 30’s to people in their 60’s or 70’s (the average age range of homeowners).
Now you have a general customer profile: customers in your area between 30 and 60. These are the people you will have to figure out how to reach through social media. Now, what will you say when you reach them?
Again, your goal is to make them aware of your business and what services you offer. But the message you send should be different depending on a more specific age range. For instance, your social media posts for new homeowners in their 30’s should be different than ones targeting established homeowners in their 50’s and 60’s.
New homeowners will be less experienced in handling HVAC problems and will likely not have a go-to HVAC company to call when a problem arises. For this younger group of homeowners, your HVAC social media campaign should be geared more towards knowledge-based content – infographics, tutorials, and the like.
For older homeowners who probably already have an HVAC guy they have hired before, your social media marketing campaign should be more promotional – how your services can help more than other people’s services.
This is a general breakdown of customer profiling, but it should give you an idea of how to start planning your HVAC social media marketing campaign.
Choosing your Platform
The next consideration is which social media platforms to post on. But this one is pretty easy because you should be present on all of them at the end of the day. Still, you may want to focus on some more than others.
For example, as of 2021, roughly 32% of all Instagram users are between 25 and 34, right about the age that people are buying their first homes. So Instagram would be a great platform to emphasize your HVAC social media marketing campaign to gain new customers.
Facebook is also still popular, and you should have an account for your business there too. But Facebook usage among people in that same age range is waning. Only about 25% of all Facebook users fall in the age range of 25-34.
Again, it would help if you were on all social media platforms, but depending on which one you are creating content for, your strategy should be different.
Now we get to the tricky part. How do you create engaging content for your HVAC company? But before we can rightly tackle that question, we have to rewind a little bit. The question is: what is the goal of your HVAC social media marketing campaign?
Yes, it should be to make people aware of your business and gain new customers. But as far as the social media platforms themselves, what’s the end game? It may seem trite but what you are going for are likes and shares.
You want people to interact with your company through social media. Social media interaction takes the form of likes and people sharing your content with others. The goal is to get your company name and content on the screens of as many users as possible.
So you have to create content that people will want to share. To do this, it may be helpful to see what some of your competitors are doing. And while you never want to plagiarize someone else’s content, it may be helpful for you to get your creative juices flowing.
Let’s start with Instagram. Instagram stories should be a major target for your HVAC social media marketing campaign. Instagram stories are viewed by 500 million people every single day. Instagram stories are pictures or videos that can include text and are only live for 24 hours.
Your Instagram stories can be about a recently completed job or maybe the recorded testimonial of one of your satisfied customers. You could also introduce your crew and share some interesting facts or anecdotes about them in your Instagram stories.
While it’s always a good idea to stay on brand, it never hurts to post something that’s just genuinely funny on an Instagram story. Remember, the point is to get people to like and share your content. Sometimes the best way to go about that won’t have anything to do with HVAC.
But in many cases, it will. This is why we should also talk about Facebook posts. Static Facebook posts (non-video and live video posts) can be very informative. Think about the HVAC problems/questions that many of your customers have had over the years.
Then turn those questions (along with answers to them) into helpful Facebook posts. Remember that you want to keep your posts as short as possible, though. The optimal Facebook post length will be between 40 and 80 characters. So keep it short, sweet, and to the point.
Video content should be part of your HVAC social media marketing strategy for platforms like TikTok and YouTube. For YouTube, you can get more in-depth with your knowledge. Consider posting simple HVAC how-to’s.
For TikTok, consider video posts that show your followers what their central air unit should look and sound like when it’s running optimally.
Once you have a good amount of content to share, it may help utilize a social media planning tool. A social media planning tool will make it easier to schedule HVAC social media posts, create captions, upload your content, and distribute it to various platforms.
HubSpot, Sprout Social, and Hootsuite are all examples of social media planning tools. With a social media planning tool, you can also keep track of post stats and see how many people interacted with a certain post.
This is very helpful for marketing campaign auditing as you will see what strategies are working and which ones aren’t.
It’s also important to figure out how often you should post. This is another tricky aspect of social media marketing because every business is different. If you post too much, you could risk inundating your audience. If you post too infrequently, your audience will forget about you.
But in general, you should only post when you have quality content to share. If you’ve got a great creative team behind you or you, naturally come upon genuinely funny, interesting, helpful, insightful, or informative content, great! Post that stuff as often as it comes up.
But if you don’t, please don’t force it. This is a huge mistake that some social media marketers make. Posting once a week or once a month is fine and infrequent posting is better than flooding your user’s feeds with dross.
Running Social Media Ads
Several social media platforms use an algorithm that discourages organic content from appearing on users’ timelines. For example, your HVAC company won’t get across to many people with simple Facebook posts.
The way to reach more people is through Facebook Advertising. The same is true of Instagram Advertising and, to a lesser extent, YouTube Advertising. You can still appear on YouTube without buying ad space, but it’s something to keep in mind for 2021.
Despite limited exposure with “free social media posts”, having a profile remains critical. Profiles serve as a citation like Yelp or Angie’s List. Keep in mind, however, that various forms of advertising create the most exposure.
Consider boosting your Facebook Post so that more users view the content. After all, impressions translate to conversions with the proper marketing strategy. Make sure to monitor your ad spend budget by setting a daily and lifetime limit.
Don’t Forget the Basics
Remember to stay on-brand with all your posts. How do you stay on-brand with a hilarious video of your cat sleeping on your head? Just make sure your company name/logo is present on the post. Your company name/logo should be on all your posts.
A link to your website should also be present on all Facebook posts, any YouTube video posts, and Instagram posts as well. Make sure that your company name/logo is consistent on all posts as well. This not only looks professional but will leave more of a lasting impression on your followers.
Using social media ads is also a great way to increase brand awareness. But remember to do your research. Keyword research can help you form your ads and make them more effective. Also, think about your most popular services or ones that you want to promote when creating ads.
Social Media Marketing Services for HVAC
Here at HVAC Webmasters, we specialize in HVAC social media marketing. We can help create content, manage ads, and much more. Talk to us today, and let us help you devise an effective HVAC social media marketing campaign.