Many cleaning companies remain skeptical of marketing their business on social media; others may have started to navigate platforms like Twitter, but question its so-called value — keeping the Twitter egg avatar in place of a professional photo or logo. In a highly competitive industry, networking on social media is a great tool for keeping up-to-date with clients, while engaging prospective customers.
Cleaning marketer and entrepreneur Lisa Macqueen recently offered advice on what cleaning companies need to be doing on social media. Along with her husband Hamish, she turned their Australian-based company Cleancorp into a multi-million dollar international empire in a little over two years, using social media along the way. Here, she chats about best tools, ways to engage targeted clients and common mistakes.
What are initial steps for engaging a target audience?
Understand who your ideal client is. Cleaning business owners need to know who their target audience is and have their ideal client profile in mind. Who is it they serve at the highest level? They need to be very intentional and clear whom they are trying to market to. Do they understand what interests ideal clients and what challenges, concerns and hassles they have in their lives every single day. Once this is understood, companies can start to target in on that person. Start to “hide out” in ideal areas on social media where their ideal customer is going to be hanging out as well.
How do you grow a social media presence and get more followers?
Organically build a tribe on social media platforms. You can buy followers on any platforms, but I wouldn’t recommend it because those purchased followers won’t comment, like or share anything. Ideally, you want to have people who are interested in you, which can be tricky to get right. If you’re brand new to social media, go online and find each of your customers on social media and like their pages. Then, start sharing their content, liking or commenting on what they put out, and you will come to their attention. More importantly, pay attention to the person in the organization who is using social media; they understand that liking, following and sharing is all part of it. You can then begin to put together content on a regular basis. Write your own articles if you feel confident or curate content from other people. There might be a few blogs you really enjoy reading. Your customers may benefit from those blogs. When you share the content, you have an opportunity to add a little content of your own (with your share) and tag people.
How do you sell yourself without overselling yourself?
It’s called social media for a reason. The whole idea is to add value to people’s lives, create a community and share and comment. One of the biggest myths is making a sale on Facebook or LinkedIn after someone sees your post. Sure, that happens sometimes, but the main objective is to get your ideal clients to trust you. Social media is a fantastic way to do this. When the time comes for engaging a cleaning services company, they know you; they’ve read your articles and you’ve liked their stories. Having that trust factor, likeability and knowledge helps a cleaning business differentiate themselves from every other cleaning business in the world. If your ideal client is seeing you on their Facebook page, where they can look at your professional website, you will be the one who gets the opportunity and, more importantly, the job. That is where the sale is made. It’s not the immediacy of the sale; its building up overtime. We’ve used the strategy ourselves, and honestly it’s done amazing things for our business.
What is the best social media platform for cleaning companies?
Join groups that fit your particular niche. I’ve seen Twitter used quite successfully and I’ve seen Facebook used reasonably successfully. If you’re in commercial cleaning, LinkedIn is where you want to be. If you’re in residential, that’s more Facebook. I haven’t seen anyone use Instagram successfully in the cleaning industry, not yet anyway. I would say stick to LinkedIn and Facebook, and if you’re into tweeting on Twitter, do that as well.
Twitter can be really effective, especially in commercial cleaning. If your customers are tweeting regularly, you can keep up-to-date with them. Some owners who are out on the road all day long, may find Twitter to be an easy method.
With Facebook and LinkedIn, it’s really beneficial to join different groups, which are going to be advantageous to your particular niche. In the commercial industry, it might be a group for your town or a group for personal office managers. Join a social network of your ideal clients. Don’t sell in there or talk about yourself the entire time. Add value to their lives. Like, comment and share — that’s how you come to their attention.
Common mistakes businesses make on social media?
Get out there, look good, be present and be consistent. Businesses often have terrible photos and awful logos. People are very visual, and owners have to invest in having good quality visuals. If your Facebook banner is out of focus, it will look even worse to someone who doesn’t know you. There are tools that will help you make a banner for less than 20 bucks. Have a banner that is professional and clear, with not too much text, that will attract whom you want in your business.
Also, as business owners, we don’t put ourselves out in front of our customers as much as we should. Make sure you appear on your page so people can start to connect with who you are and what you stand for. If language is a barrier, it’s ok for someone to post for you to ensure proper grammar and spelling.
Why and how should businesses promote new offerings?
Engage other audiences. This is a great way to engage with your potential clients and prospects, but also engage other audiences. For instance, if a cleaning business just implemented new software into its system, it should announce this to the world on social media and talk about what the benefits will be for clients. First state what it is about, the benefits for customers, and then tag the company who can then like and share the announcement with their own followers.
Lisa Macqueen has more than 20 years of experience working in the cleaning industry. Her business, Cleaning Marketer (www.cleaningmarketer.com), 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. She is a sought-after speaker, consultant and mentor in the U.S., Australia, Canada and New Zealand. You can contact her on Facebook at Cleaning Marketer, Twitter @cleaningmktr or at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Q&A was modified down from an original phone interview with Facility Cleaning & Maintenance.