Social media have changed the way customers buy! With over 3 billion surfers in the world, pool professionals have to be online to stay visible, contact new prospects and sell pools. If deploying a social media strategy is an opportunity, there is an art in using social media for business. Cofounder of Siècle Digital Valentin Blanchot explains how at Piscine Global Europe.
Questions you should ask yourself before heading out on the social media
- What is my story? Firstly, define your editorial policy. For example, are you going to feature pictures of pools you have built? Give advice on purchasing? Give news about your company?
- What do your clients want to find? To create the appropriate contents, a precise analysis of your target group is essential to understand the questions to which your prospects are trying to find answers.
- What are your objectives? Social Selling, generation of income, boosting traffic on your website, uncluttering your After-Sales Service, developing your image as an employer or to fill in off-peak periods… There are 1,001 reasons to use social media for your pool business, but it is only by defining your personal roadmap that you will get measurable results.
- How much do you want to spend? Getting the right tools, recruiting the right person and planning sponsored posts budget — all cost money. Whether your social media budget is monthly, quarterly or annual, you have to include it in your total marketing spend.
The best way is to start small, then adjust your Social Media strategy progressively. It is better to do a little well than a lot badly!
Which social media platform should you use?
Be strategic. Each platform has a cost, is a challenge and requires a precise strategy. Pool professionals should not go on social media so as to be seen everywhere. Companies without a lot of resources should focus on the platforms used by their target audience
Valentin Blanchot, cofounder of Siècle Digital
The ideal B2B platform for Social Selling (sales development on social media). It also makes it possible to build your image as an employer with a view to recruiting new talents or building your brand image with other companies in the swimming pool sector (Branding).
More conversational, this social network makes it possible to chat with your audience, including people you don’t know. It is a good social network for promoting your customer service because it is the main platform consumers use to post their complaints!
Based on photos and videos, this network recently introduced new features for businesses, making it possible to link web pages to a post. This is valid both for traditional publications and Instagram stories: you can, for example, use them to feature your most beautiful pools.
Used in B2B as well as B2C, Facebook has a powerful monetization and promotional tool. The tool can be linked to your website and makes it possible to target your interest group with precision among the 2.7 billion platform users. It is particularly useful to collect reviews about your services, which will be visible by all your audience, or simply to start a chat with prospects!
Basics for using social media as a pool professional
Identify your target group
It sometimes happens that the audience you get is not what you expected, which prevents getting your message across. This can be due to problems of characterization, the relevance of the contents or inadequate posting schedules, which is why you should refine your strategy by checking the statistics tools each platform provides.
Create an editorial calendar
Events occur in the life of all pool professionals — shows, company anniversaries, installations of top-of-the-range pools… These moments must be reflected in your editorial calendar to break site monotony and prepare for big campaigns.
Be active on the social media
It is essential to keep your site alive and not to automate everything. Take 10 to 20 minutes every day to answer questions, look at your publications which provoke reactions — and check out what your competitors are doing too!
Use the right tools
You can begin with each social network’s internal tools to follow the statistics, but you will enhance your performance with dedicated tools like Agorapulse, Sprout Social, Buffer, Keyhole, Socialbakers or BuzzSumo.
Some advice for pool professionals from Valentin Blanchot
- Take part in the chats!
- Study your competitors to detect good practices.
- Test innovative formats: 360°Facebook videos, etc.
- Stay current: read specialized articles to keep your own contents relevant.
- Invite your audience to join your site: you create interest and develop your visibility among their other contacts.
- Do not try to create a buzz: you must protect your brand. Never answer a customer in an ironic way or join in a chat that does not concern you.
- Involve your personnel so you can reach their own network and transform them into ambassadors for your firm.
- And finally, do not get locked into your initial strategy.
Is it better to subcontract or recruit new staff?
Working with a freelance controls your budget and brings welcome expertise. However, the diary of a freelance is not elastic: when the right moment comes, you will have to subcontract to an agency with a greater strike force, or recruit someone dedicated to promote your pool business online.
The social media are great for pool professionals as they provide new opportunities to build their image vs. the competition, add visibility and, what you really want, sell more pools and pool products!
© Photo credit: esthermm / stock.adobe.com