Can you imagine having over 1,600 Facebook fans, i.e. leads? Today we’re going to examine Platinum Pools’ excellent use of Facebook marketing. To help shed some light on how Facebook can be an effective tool, we’ll focus on branding, engagement and interaction.
First, let’s take a look at their custom Welcome page. What is a Welcome page? It’s a custom, designed doormat for a business page where a business can essentially brand themselves and deliver any communication message they want. You can do more than one custom tab page too, but let’s focus on the Welcome page for now. Take a gander!
One of the first things you see is the cute, little boy peeking over the graphic. Endearing, isn’t it? Pool moms LOVE this.
You’ll also see a mini-website navigation menu. These menu items link to the real web page on the site to help drive traffic where they want. There is also an instruction to “like” the page for updates. This helps in keeping Platinum Pools top of mind all year round because it will add them to their fans’ daily news feed.
Below the navigation menu, you’ll see an “About Us” write-up to help communicate their branding, an invitation to join their interactive community, or their blog, some quick links to their photo galleries and a giant map of their service area.
Ask yourself, what question didn’t they answer with the branded Welcome page? We sure can’t think of any. A potential consumer knows or has access to any piece of information they’re looking for, all within a few clicks from Facebook. They never had to step foot on their website to access this information. They found it all within Facebook. Click here to view some more of our custom, designed Facebook pages.
What do we mean when we say “engagement?” Take a look at Platinum Pools’ Facebook wall, and then we’ll discuss.
If you want fans but can’t figure out how to get any, first you need to take a step back and think about whether you’re offering anything worth looking at or interacting with on your page.
Your content needs to be relevant and consistent. If you want to be known as a service expert, post tips on how the maintain a pool. If you want to be family-friendly, like Platinum Pools, post content that a pool mom would be interested in that is backyard-centered.
Facebook isn’t just for talking at your fans. Facebook is for talking with your fans. Take a look at how Platinum Pools connected with one of its customers:
Interacting with your fans can further your branding efforts and transform your business away from just another name in the phone book. Your business can now become likable, literally.
Your fan interaction can also help position you as an industry leader. Share your pool knowledge and let your business come across as helpful and honest.
We at the Pool Marketing Site LOVE Facebook marketing and appreciate the opportunity to work with you even more. Please let us know if you need help or guidance in this process, and we’ll be happy to help.
Feel free to watch the video or read the article below. The choice is yours!
Everything in the web is now integrated to create a better consumer experience. You can access anything in the world through your home computer, laptop, mobile device and tablets. Today, your messaging needs to be rich and multi-platform in order to reach your customers.
Ultimately, any web traffic that brings people to your website will boost your search ranking results. If you think you can park your website on the internet, but not do any social sharing to bring people to it organically, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. Remember this: There is no front door anymore.
You may have heard the term, “SEO,” or search engine optimization, is the guaranteed way to drive traffic to your website. Companies may even promise to make your company number one on Google. Guess what? Google and Yahoo and all search engines have figured those companies out. The goal of a search engine is to bring up relevant search results for the consumer. When businesses began to plug in search terms just to get on page one, Google figured them out. When businesses starting building links just to make their website look important, or relevant, to get on page one, Google figured them out. At the end of the day, you can’t beat the system because the system will figure you out and change. The solution: actually produce relevant content on several networks to bring traffic to your website. It’s that simple!
In order to help explain the necessity of social media to achieve a total web presence optimization, let’s first tackle some frequent concerns among some of you. Please feel free to share with anyone questioning your innovation. Maybe they can take a few notes.
As a pool builder, you are not selling a hole in the ground. You are selling a lifestyle. Twitter is a tool to help you sell that lifestyle and push potential pool buyers to your website. It’s a soft-sell approach. Your tweets need not be all about you and your business, aka old school marketing that some still try to bully you into doing. People are sick of being talked AT. They have a voice now through social media, and you need to be in on the conversation.
Posting backyard entertaining ideas or DIY tips sells the complete backyard experience. It also gives your business a personable perception and credibility.
If you’re worried people won’t care about following you on Twitter, let’s put it this way. You’re not just a pool builder. You build experiences and create lifetime memories. That’s interesting, and perspective buyers will want to know what you have to say. Your potential buyers are essentially doing a $50k and up research project, and will need every level of comfort and knowledge you can provide. If you’re not putting yourself out there, you may give the impression that you don’t know what to say or what you’re talking about. Be the expert that you are.
Heard people talk about Twitter, but don’t know much about it? Watch and learn.
Your website is just the beginning. Consumers will then research everything about your company to make sure you are what you claim.
How does LinkedIn help? True, LinkedIn began as a business-to-business social network, but it has since evolved. You might even claim LinkedIn is the new Yellow Pages. If you’re not on LinkedIn, you’re not credible. As a consumer, I want to be able to read customer or sub-contractor recommendations. I want to see if you walk the walk and share interesting, relevant information. You can say all day long that you care about service after the sale, but I want to see it in your actions.
I don’t know if we even need to explain why Facebook is important, but we’ll humor those who feel it’s not.
Did you know Bing and Facebook are in a pretty serious relationship? Search on Bing, and all of your friends who have a relationship with a company will appear next to the search results. What link are you more likely to click on? The one a company paid a boat load of money for at the top, or the one your good friend suggested?
Facebook is your outlet to create your own network of local community members. You provide a service that creates an entire new chapter in their lives. By offering backyard tips, specials and promotions, contests and other engagement activity on your business page, you are fostering an environment of sharing and word of mouth marketing.
Turn your haters into fans by listening to them (usually the number 1 thing someone who bad mouths your brand actually wants) and responding to take care of their concerns. Turn your super fans into brand evangelists by incentivizing their support.
All Facebook activity ultimately boosts traffic to your website and buzz about your brand. We could go on and on with the importance of Facebook. In fact we do go on and on about weekly in our blog.
Just in case you don’t like reading a big, long article, watch our fun video instead.
Did you know Google owns YouTube? Talk about picking favorites! It’s also the world’s second largest search engine. Video that’s properly key-worded is one of THE BEST tools in your social regimen. Not only does video beautifully communicate your work, but it also exponentially boosts your website traffic and search engine presence. And if you’re worried about the pesky, relevant videos that pop up after your video is done, don’t worry. It’s a simple setting that you can turn off.
One of the amazing things about YouTube is that you can embed the videos you have posted right on your website without having to slow down your site’s speed. Your website essentially acts as a picture frame for the video content, and doesn’t have to house it anywhere on its back-end. How do you think we put the video above into this post?
We once had a builder who sold a pool from the “About Us” video on their YouTube channel. A couple was trying to narrow down their choices when their young adult son decided to do an internet search. The first thing that popped up in the search results was their YouTube video. After viewing this builder’s inspiring work, they did a little more research that took them to the builder’s website. The couple called the builder that same day.
Again, there is no front door anymore and people will find your business in a search that suits their personal preference, in this case YouTube. Are you there producing relevant and key-worded content, or did you miss out because you were afraid that having a YouTube channel would take people away from your site? If anything, having a YouTube channel will drive traffic to your site, and it enables you to embed your videos in a fast, shareable way.
Did you know Yahoo owns Flickr? Again with the favorites! Flickr is like the YouTube for photos. You can easily share a Flickr photo to your Facebook or email to a friend. You can keyword and tag, even geotag (your storefront – not your customer’s address) every photo on Flickr, which ends up on Google Places. It’s great to have your photos on Facebook, but also adding them to Flickr allows you to properly tag and get valuable SEO credit.
Flickr is cool because your customers who are “Flickr people” will post their backyard swimming photos to their personal Flickr. They can label who built their pool and share it with family and friends (or neighbors also looking for a pool). You can do Flickr photo contests to help your SEO tagging, to create awareness and to help build your customer community, so when those “Flickr people” are asked who they would recommend, your name comes up first.
Want to know something even cooler about Flickr? You can feed your Flickr photos into your website. Again, like YouTube, your website acts as a picture frame, so it won’t slow down the speed of your site. And, again if you’re worried about driving traffic away from your site, just make sure you find a web company capable of building out this integration for you.
It’s easier to shy away something you don’t understand than to think of ways to make it work for you. Watch and learn more about Flickr here.
Although blogs may not immediately come to mind when you think of social media, it should come to mind when you think of online social interaction. Pairing your blog with social media is probably the most important step in improving your search and social presence.
According to Social Media Today, 84 percent of consumers research products online as part of their purchase process. Another article from All Business, Your Small Business Advantage states, “You have to go where people are. If your customers or colleagues are on social networking sites, why would you not be there? It doesn’t make sense not to.”
Going back to the idea of you being a builder, not just a pool guy, let’s look at Lennar, the 2nd largest home builder in the US with $8 billion in assets. They are builders of lifestyles and memories too, just like you. These are the groups you need to look at, not the pool company down the street.
• Lennar has 31 local Facebook Pages with a total of 95,000 followers
• Lennar has over 30 local Twitter pages
• Lennar has over 300 YouTube Videos
• Lennar runs contests to drive excitement and sell homes
• Lennar has an online shop component for your home
Why would the 2nd largest home builder in America have all of this if it wasn’t important?
Don’t just take our word for it. We will never claim to be the be-all-end-all experts. We are savvy web marketers who make it our lives to stay on top of everything going on with the web. For us, it’s fun! Check out some of these articles and the ones below to see for yourself. We just started doing this every month by the way on our blog. Feel free to subscribe so you too can stay up-to-date on what’s really going on.
We at the Pool Marketing Site are big on education. As a pool professional, you should feel empowered after working with a marketing or website firm, not confused and jaded. Please always feel free to visit our blog and YouTube channel for regular educational posts geared specifically for the pool industry. Pool mom marketing is what we do and what we love. Get empowered today.
Stats and Proof
Now that summer is officially over, what is your plan to keep your potential customers engaged with your business? Do you have one, or do you just need a break? While we can certainly understand why you would feel pretty exhausted after a long summer, now is one of the most crucial times to cultivate leads.
If you checked out our “Headlines” post last week, you noticed some pretty awesome examples of how social media helped small businesses. Facebook in particular is where your business needs to be. An infographic by Mashable stated that the average U.S. Facebook user spends 7 hours and 46 minutes on Facebook each month! How much do you think they engage with the Yellow Pages or a newspaper ad? You need to be where your audience is.
Fully utilizing your Facebook page can take time and resources away from you. It may be a “free” online communication tool, but it’s certainly not free when it comes to your time. Plus, some of you may not be all that comfortable managing Facebook when you’re not particularly in to Facebook yourselves.
That’s why we’ve created our Social Media Posting Service. This service will generate 20 days of Facebook posts for your business that are pool industry-related and customer-friendly. The posts are strategically designed to strike up a conversation among your Facebook fans in hopes to increase your “talking about this” rate and the potential for sharing and exposure to new leads. Plus, it helps keep your company top of mind during off-season months when people aren’t generally thinking about pools. When they are ready to revisit their backyard ideas, you will want to be first on their list.
Although this service will help you in the time it takes to come up with what to say for your business Facebook status, you will still need to be active on your page to field questions and comments from your fans.
Take the guess work out of Facebook and let us partner with your on your page management. We’ll be happy to help!
Open the infographic to get the latest statistics on Facebook usage, such as the average U.S. Facebook user spends 7 hours and 46 minutes on Facebook each month! Are you on Facebook to be able to communicate with them?
In order to be able to engage and connect with your audience, you need to understand the different personalities that are out there. What personality are you?
Sharing photos instantly generates interest in your brand. See how visual imagery (pretty pool pictures!) can stimulate leads for your business.
If you have a Facebook page but haven’t quite seen its potential, or if you don’t have one and don’t see what the big deal is about, check out these success stories.
See why we do what we do with these real world examples of successful custom Facebook pages. Interested in getting one of your own? View our Facebook gallery.
Learn from one of the best users of social media, Scott Monty of Ford Motor Company. Here he analyzes when humor is appropriate and when it’s not with real life examples.
Another goodie from Scott Monty: Although Facebook has still yet to roll out Timeline, get an inside look at the new changes and what it means for profiles. And don’t worry, we’ll keep you posted on any news regarding any updates to Facebook business pages as it comes to light!
Those of you who are retail stores may be interested to learn about Facebook Commerce. Read this candid and informational article to get some inspiration for your business.
Get the basics on social media marketing for your business, brought to you by the Pool Marketing Site!