The Importance of Social Media For Refinishers

Social media is an ideal place to begin establishing your brand in your market. It is also a place where you can connect with a large number of potential customers. In this article, we will discuss the why, what and a little bit about the how of social media marketing for refinishing professionals

Social media is a great place to demonstrate your refinishing skills because it lends itself to pictures and videos.  It can be used to highlight the great refinishing work that you do for your clients. It can be used to communicate your value. Posting your work and customer testimonials about your projects makes you relatable to your audience. This showcases your work, your people and your pride. This puts a very human face on your refinishing business brand.

Social media is one part of a larger marketing strategy

Your social media activities will leverage a common set of marketing assets for your refinishing business. These assets include your brand name, logos, marketing messages and tag lines. They also include information about you, your bio, and your expertise.

Your marketing assets also include common content. This content includes the same messages, stories and photography that will be shared across your website and email campaigns. Your social media content and emails will include links to connect your target audience back to your website with calls-to-action. In this way, you are capturing every possible lead.

Social media helps you tell a simple story about who you are, what you do, and the value you provide to your customers – and that is extremely valuable to you and your business. Social media is one piece of a unified marketing strategy.

Social Media Marketing

Choose your target audience

Many refinishers primarily work with residential homeowners. Others work more often with multi-unit housing such as hotels and apartments. There is also a segment that has a strong presence in military bases and dormitories.

You may have more than one target audience for your refinishing business. Each audience has its own pattern of social media usage. Each will have different platforms they prefer. They will differ in the way in which they interact with social media. There are five primary audiences for your services.

  • Residential homeowners
  • Property managers
  • Hotel managers
  • Real estate investors
  • Residential realtors

Strategies for Generating More Referrals

Choose your social media platforms

Many people who find you may do so via word of mouth or web search. Social media provides you with other tools to build awareness and connection with all your audiences. Here are their usual sources of social media content:

  • Residential homeowners will primarily find their information on Facebook, Instagram and sites like Houzz.
  • Property managers and hotel managers will often look to social media platforms Instagram and Google business pages for their information.
  • Real estate investors and residential Realtors will often find contractor information on Facebook and Instagram.

Whichever platforms you use, you must commit to being present, keeping your content fresh and engaging with your audience. It is better to do fewer platforms well than to be everywhere and not well organized or maintained

Once you have chosen your platforms you can focus on building out your brand’s presence and engaging your audience.

Optimize your profile and Profile Content.

No matter which platform you are using, your profile is an important place to highlight your business and tell your story. Your profile is effectively your homepage on that platform. The things that you should include in your profile include your company name your logo, contact information and a brief bio. Your profile page will also include a statement about the purpose of your business and how you help your clients. You should include an engaging call-to-action, such as “Call us to find out how you can love your bathroom again!” – along with a button to take them to your webpage.

This call-to-action encourages interested prospective clients to reach out to you for a quote or a discussion. Your profile will also include some connections to your web page and other social media content.

Optimize Your Bio

It is important to remember that when people choose to work with your refinishing business first and foremost, they are doing business with you. It is important to tell them a little bit about yourself as a person. Let them get to know you and your story. If you can briefly share your journey in the business, how you do it and why it's meaningful for you, that will be meaningful to them. Allow your bio to help them understand the depth of your expertise and training. Help them to understand your success in helping many others have great-looking bathrooms and kitchens.

Before and After Pictures

The single most powerful marketing tool you have for your refinishing business is pictures. They give prospective clients a clear (and usually dramatic!) visual representation of your work. At the top of each of your social media platforms or perhaps as part of the profile, you should show before and after pictures of your projects.

To highlight your skills, find an especially awful-looking tub with discoloration, cracks and chips. The worse looking it is, the better it will illustrate the transformation your work achieves. Then, right beside that awful tub, show the beautiful, completed project. Your audience will see that you transformed that awful-looking tub into something that looks brand new for a fraction of the price of a new tub. That will be a breathtaking example of the amazing work that you can do. Almost nothing you can say will be more influential than those pictures.

Kitchen refinishing before and after

Kitchen refinishing completed by Nathaniel Rasmussen of Resurface FL LLC

Tell Stories

Some of the most impactful tools in marketing are stories. As you show the beautiful before and after pictures also tell a brief story about how you delighted the customer. When people see your social media story, they may see a bit of themselves in that person you helped. This is the power of stories. When they relate to it, they relate to you.

Call-to-Action Buttons

One of the ultimate purposes of your terrific content and your beautiful photography is to attract leads. Your compelling call-to-action buttons are how you capitalize on that interest and capture the leads.  On each of your social media pages, you will include a button or a link. That gives interested customers a way to engage with you.

There are several different calls to action that you may find effective. One call to action is “Click here to learn more about how bathtub refinishing is the right choice”. Another one may be “Click for a short white paper about the cost advantages of refinishing over replacement”. Another one can be “Click here to schedule a call to find out what we might be able to do for your bathroom”. In each case, the call-to-action includes a space to capture their contact information, their name, email and phone number.

Follow-up on Leads

One of the cardinal rules in marketing is following up on your leads quickly. When you get a lead you should be prepared to send the appropriate follow-up. If they ask for a white paper, send it immediately. If they ask for your pricing or a quote get back to them quickly. If they ask you to contact them, you should send a follow-up email and make a follow-up phone call within minutes after receiving the lead. The reason for quick follow-up on leads is simple: the closer you are to the moment when they reach out and ask you for something, the more likely you are to capture the lead as an opportunity.

Your follow-up should be quick, polite, professional and provide them with what they ask for.

Create and Moderate Your Own Groups

When it is possible, feel free to initiate an interest group of your own on Facebook or other platforms around the topic that is relevant to your business. The topic or title of the group could be related to refinishing, bathrooms, kitchens or home remodeling. If you decide to launch an interest group you also need to be prepared to add content, ask questions of the group and start discussions. It can be some work in the beginning, but as you begin to attract more members to your group, others will begin adding content. This can create a great snowball effect, and you will get credit and visibility as the moderator of the group. It is a great way for you to build relationships for your refinishing business. You may also pick up clients directly from the group.

Post Fresh Content Each Week or Even Daily

Regardless of which social media platform you choose to participate in, all social media are content-driven platforms. When you establish your presence, you are establishing your brand and making your profile a strong statement about who you are. You are introducing your business and the value you bring.

The way you keep your presence fresh and relevant is by adding new content. The great part about your business is it is ideally suited for generating new content. Each time you finish a new project, with the permission of the owner, you can feature before and after photographs. You can also tell stories about what the owner was aspiring to and how satisfied they were with the final product.

You can also create content about the cost advantages and benefits of refinishing over replacement. You can author a short article on the range of coating colors and finishes available in refinishing. You can write an article about the training and the profession of refinishing to raise your professional stature.

Your ability to create new content is only limited by your imagination. The most important rules for new content are:

  1. It must be relevant to your audience and
  2. The content and pictures must be of high quality.

If you're showing pictures, they must be high-quality, high-resolution pictures. If you are writing an article, it should be well-written and edited with proper grammar and no spelling mistakes.

Content Strategy

Create a Content Strategy & Schedule

Once you start developing your social media presence you may feel a great deal of pressure to continue to develop and place fresh content. That pressure can feel a bit daunting at first.

One strategy to make that more manageable is repurposing content. Repurposing means when you use a piece of content on your website or one social media platform, you can repurpose that content with little or no editing on another social media platform.

It’s also helpful to establish a schedule. If you choose a 2-hour time block each week to develop content and a one-hour time block for publishing content, you can typically stay current.

Choose the cadence and the type and depth of content you post. Build your content around your schedule and your business. Again, the key is consistency – stay with it.

Create Followers by Following Them

A strategy that works especially well with commercial and multifamily opportunities is to find the social media of all the hotels and property management firms in your area. Pay close attention to when they post or repost something on their social media. Use that as an opportunity to like and comment on the content that they posted. You will begin to notice that the more consistently you follow them, the more consistently they will follow you. This also serves as an ideal opportunity to drop in and introduce yourself.

Share Expert Advice, Give Away Your Secrets

An important part of winning a new customer is trust and credibility. One way in which you establish your credibility is by sharing expert advice. Don't be afraid to give away your secrets. When you find someone who has asked a question on social media, you should be eager to provide them with a knowledgeable answer. You can use your social media platform to share insights tips and tricks on how to maintain the beauty of tubs tiles and countertops. As you provide well-written, thoughtful advice and expert insights people will be attracted to your expertise. This will make them more likely to reach out to you for business.

Leverage Customer Testimonials

While it is true that before and after photographs may be your very best marketing tool because they are so visually attractive, a close second is customer testimonials. Customer testimonials provide social proof. It does not matter how wonderful you think you are or how passionately you explain the quality of your work – thoughtful testimonials from your actual customers are much more meaningful. The more testimonials you can feature on your website the better. It is ideal when you post some new before and after photographs on your site and then post a testimonial from the customer who benefited from your work. Customer testimonials are gold.

online reviews

Email Marketing

Email is not a social media platform, but it plays an essential role in your overall social media strategy. Your call-to-action buttons can allow prospective customers to send you an email from your social media site. When you receive a contact from your social media site, you will likely have pre-written emails to respond to them. Email plays a critical role in follow-up. You should think carefully about your follow-up strategy and develop emails to support each type of customer.

Branding and Brand Image

Branding is an important aspect of your social media strategy. Each of your social media platforms and your websites must have a consistent scheme of colors, fonts, logos, and brand messages. Consistency is the most important thing. When each of your marketing assets has a common look and feel it magnifies the impact each time somebody engages with you. They will recognize your business. Your content and your brand will seem more familiar to them. This increases their trust in you and the quality of your work.

Start Small and Build

If you do not have a well-developed social media strategy, fear not. The easiest way to do it is to start small and build. Start by looking at what your competitors are doing. Get creative ideas for how they are telling their story. You can begin with a Facebook company page. You may start with Instagram. In either case, just focus on putting up a profile page that has good content and good pictures and you've made a great first step.

Good luck!