How to make social media work for a cleaning business

Friday, November 30, 2018
By Lisa Macqueen

In a highly competitive (and oversaturated) industry, it’s hard for a cleaning company to get noticed. Gone are the days when a business service contractor could rely on obtaining its clients from just one channel. Today, it’s all about exposure and the best place a cleaning company can be seen is online.

Because that’s where the majority of prospects are looking for service providers. If a cleaning company doesn’t have a strategy for marketing itself online and leveraging social media, then it is in danger of being left behind.

But how can social media work for, and grow, a cleaning business?
Imagine scrolling through Facebook posts, looking at all the great food and travel photos, and pictures of cute animals and kids doing funny things. Then, the company post pops up – a before and after photo of a bathroom that was cleaned. Sure, the cleaning team did a great job. But, given the photo competition, it’s not compelling enough to stop Facebook users from scrolling past it, which is the whole point of the social media post – to get people to notice the company, take the time to read about its endeavours and interact with the business.

One of the biggest issues with marketing cleaning businesses online is that owners often think people are fascinated by the great cleaning results achieved. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but they are not. There is nothing sexy about the cleaning business. People don’t wake up in the morning excited about finding or hiring a cleaning company. All they care about is a clean business or facility. Once a business service contractor understands what people aren’t looking at, then it can market much more effectively than its competitors (who are still posting boring before and after pictures that no one wants to see).

So, what’s the secret to getting noticed?
It’s focusing on the client – their problems, frustrations and concerns. Knowing the company’s ‘ideal’ client is especially useful in this situation.

All cleaning business owners want to grow their client list because it translates into increased revenue. The main way to attract more clients is through effective and compelling marketing. Since marketing is expensive, it’s important to ensure the right message is conveyed to the people who are most likely to buy what the company is selling. These same prospects often turn into repeat customers, refer the business to family and friends, and spend more money than a ‘typical’ client.

The main reason a client chooses to do business with a particular company is to fulfil their (unmet) wants or needs. Accordingly, an astute business owner will find out what they are and how to best satisfy them. To do this, it’s important to ask questions and really listen to the responses. This will provide a clear, concise understanding of the wants and needs of the ‘ideal’ client, which is necessary to plan effective social media posts that are aimed directly at prospects for maximum impact online.

What is the ‘ideal’ client looking for?
This will obviously vary depending on the client. A facility manager, for example, is responsible for ensuring the building and its services meet the needs of the people that work in it, so a post on how to put a stop to restroom complaints will be well-received. The article not only focuses on their duties but tackles a real-world issue and provides a possible solution.

What is posted is not only important; the frequency is, too. If engaging prospects on Facebook and LinkedIn (the two social media platforms that should be used at a minimum), it’s ideal to post on each once per day, if possible. The ‘lifetime’ of a post is quite short, so posting just once per week won’t leave a lasting impression nor will it maximize engagement. On the flipside, posting too often runs the risk of becoming a nuisance.

But remember, content quality is more important than quantity, so don’t post for posting’s sake. Instead, create a realistic social media posting schedule, with specific days of the week and times that content will be placed online, and stick to it. If a cleaning business can remain focused on reaching and engaging its ‘ideal’ client, social media activities will soon pay off.

Lisa Macqueen has more than 20 years’ experience working in the cleaning industry. Her business, Cleaning Marketer, coaches cleaning business owners on how to attract more prospects, make more sales and keep customers longer using modern ideas and strategies specifically developed for the cleaning industry. Lisa is also director of sales and marketing at Cleancorp, a commercial cleaning company based in Sydney, Australia.

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