Social media has turned into a massive communications tool. There are very few spaces remaining where social media hasn’t played some kind of role in marketing and customer service. We only have to look at the political scene today to see the role social media is playing in our lives. Within a moment, one Tweet, photo on Instagram or video on Facebook can go viral. Don’t you wish your HVAC field service reach was going viral? Opening up new connections with possible customers across a large area?

A recent study by Trimble found that 51% of field service businesses think social media is an effective tool to help manage customer relationships. However, HVAC field service businesses still don’t know how to leverage that tool. It’s not enough to just post a few times a day if you really want to connect with your customers. And more and more customers are turning to social media platforms to get information on businesses and learn about service. So, perhaps it’s time to look at your social media strategy and take steps to engage your customers properly.

Step 1: Select Sites That Matter

Among US small to medium business, social media is extremely popular. However, not all social media platforms are built the same. And they don’t reach the same audience. So, your first step in building an HVAC field service social media strategy is to see where your customers are located. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn are widely popular for professionals to use. But you need to decide if one, two or all of those are where your customers are living.

That’s because controlling multiple social media accounts can be challenging. And the more you have, the more strategies you need to come up with. You can’t run the same campaign on Facebook as you would on Twitter. The same can be said with Instagram, as the focus is on images and photos and not words. And LinkedIn is for professionals, so your content needs to be geared towards that audience. Older customers tend to stick with the classics, such as Facebook and Twitter. And younger customers are looking at Instagram. So, aim your social media strategy at the platform that aligns with your customer base and builds up your presence.

Step 2: Post Valuable Information

Sometimes the things that go viral are the things you don’t want to go viral. The Internet can be funny sometimes in what they will grab ahold of. What you should remember though is that what you post on your social media feeds will be there for a long time. Possibly forever. So, make sure the information you post is valuable information. Considering we live in a world of #FakeNews, it’s very important to be seen as a reliable source of information. Consumers of social media don’t want daily updates on mundane activities. They want breaking news, interesting advancements in HVAC field service and they want a return on investment for their time to read your post.

For those HVAC field service businesses in the small to medium business space, it’s important to share content that has value. And not just to you, but to your customers as well. Perhaps it’s knowledge of new technology or ways they can save on repair costs. Give them a reason to want to keep reading, because attention spans are getting shorter and you have to grab people in with useful and reliable information.

Step 3: Focus on Your Customer

Consumers don’t like to be sold products. They like to be educated. So, when coming up with content for your HVAC field service social media strategy, focus on the customer. That means less branding and advertisements and more quality information. What you are trying to do is make a real connection with your customers. Firstly, by understanding their on-going problems and troubles with equipment. Secondly, offering a solution to them, which may or may not even include your service. And finally, following up to see if the solution helped.

For small to medium business, making personal connections with your customers is more valuable than any advertising campaign. Social media makes those interactions with customers very simple. For example, on Facebook, on your company page, it will tell customers how fast you respond to inquiries. If someone is looking after the account and can answer questions immediately, there is a greater chance someone will reach out with a question. And more HVAC field service businesses are looking at social media as a way to bring in new customers and schedule service calls.

Step 4: Develop Your Social Media Voice

Finally, HVAC field service businesses need to develop their strategy for social media and how they will sound. The best social media strategies don’t act like massive commercial businesses. They act like people. And customers make a better connection with people than they do commercial businesses. It’s like putting a face to the name: people trust the person they know more than an entity that could be anyone.

That means you can adopt a fun personality and engage potential and current customers with humorous content. Be careful, as you don’t want something you find funny to go viral for the wrong reasons. But developing a social media personality will have people coming back to your accounts time and time again. Think of it like your technicians in the field. The customers form a relationship with them and trust their judgement. It’s the same on social media and you are trying to create a bond with your customer through the content you published each day.

Develop a Social Media Strategy

So, you may not go viral and have everyone in the world picking up your story. But with metrics today, you can go viral in the places that matter most, such as where your customers are located. Small to medium businesses in the HVAC field service industry need to have a social media presence. It may be new to your business, but social media is quickly turning into the voice of the next generation. And you don’t want to be left behind when everyone else is going viral and you’re still trying to figure out what a Tweet is.