Tips for Publishing Posts, Responding to Questions and Networking With Others
Building relationships is so important in the roofing industry — whether it’s connections with other professionals or with your customers. And while in-person interactions will always be one of the best ways to strengthen relationships, social media has made it possible to build meaningful relationships online, too. Here are some easy steps from ABC Supply about how to use platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn to develop and maintain business and personal relationships.
Build Business Relationships
1. Complete Your Facebook and LinkedIn Profile
The first step to building business relationships is to set up complete social media profiles with details about your company (e.g., profile image, company description, address, hours, link to your website). If you haven’t created a social media page for your business yet, visit Facebook and LinkedIn for step-by-step instructions on how to register a profile in your company’s name.
Important reminder: If you ever change information about your business (e.g., hours of operation, services offered), remember to update your Facebook and LinkedIn pages.
2. Make a Plan for What You’ll Post to Your Pages
Your Facebook and LinkedIn pages are extensions of your marketing, customer service and networking abilities. Let your connections know what you’re capable of and that you’re looking to spark conversations among your online community. Try to post about topics that your customers and fellow construction industry professionals want to interact with, whether it gets them to like, comment or reach out to you for more information.
There are a few important things to consider when posting to your social media pages:
- Maintain a consistent posting schedule. There is a lot of advice out there about how often businesses should post to their Facebook and LinkedIn pages. In general, it’s recommended that businesses do not publish more than one post per day. And it’s OK if there are days when you don’t post at all. The key is to keep things consistent, so start with a goal of three to five posts per week and adjust as necessary.
- Post about a variety of topics, including photos of completed projects, quotes from satisfied customers, construction trends that might inspire design decisions and sponsorships and community support efforts. You might even post about company culture or internal events that would help with recruitment or catching the eye of those millennials and job seekers perusing your social media pages.
- Schedule posts ahead of time, saving you time and making it easier to keep up with your posting schedule. On top of that, experiment with when you post. Try posting at different times of day to see if you notice a change in engagement. If you do notice a change, publish the majority of your posts around that time of day.
Important reminder: Check your spelling and grammar before publishing a post. Free online tools, like Grammarly, can help ensure you’re putting your best foot forward.
3. Interact With Your Followers
In addition to proactively sharing information, you’ll likely receive some questions, comments and potentially complaints from your customers. Responding to questions lets your customers know that their voices are heard and that you care about them and what they have to say. Consider creating a document that lists possible questions along with your recommended answers. This ensures that your responses are appropriate and consistent.
4. Establish Social Media Management Guidelines
If you have multiple people in your company managing or contributing to your Facebook or LinkedIn, you’ll want to make sure they’re all on the same page. ABC Supply recommends creating one document with social media guidelines that establish the direction and expectations for what can be shared on your company’s social media profiles. A mistake or online interaction that isn’t consistent with your brand image can damage relationships with customers, industry peers and companies.
In your social media guidelines, consider adding information about who can post to your page, the kinds of topics your company can and can’t post about, how often posts should be published, and responses to positive and negative comments.
Build Personal Relationships on LinkedIn
Having your own social media pages can help tremendously for networking with others in the industry and when searching for mentors. Check out these tips below for your personal social media pages.
1. Keep an Updated Page
Much like your business page, keep everything on your LinkedIn page up to date. That way, your connections are in the loop about new happenings, business changes, promotions, etc. It makes it easier to connect with someone or find something to chat about if you can find commonalities in their background.
On top of an updated profile with accurate resume information, photos and bio, you should also post on the site regularly. This shows your peers and potential mentors that you’re passionate about the roofing industry and looking to continue to learn and grow.
2. Reach Out to People in Your Network
After you have your profile looking professional and ready for everyone to peruse, you can really start networking. There are built-in functions on LinkedIn that help you find people in your network by spotlighting people you may know based on your existing connections. Use these functions along with the following tips to make the most of the platform.
- Connect with people on LinkedIn after meeting them at networking or other events. It shows that you remember them and a relationship with them is meaningful to you.
- Don’t be afraid to connect with someone if you’ve never met them in person. It never hurts to greet them and initiate a conversation about your shared interests in the industry.
- Regardless of the reason for connecting, always send a personalized invite. If you’re contacting a potential mentor, consider outlining your professional goals and why you’d like to meet.