01.09.2014

Facebook for Building Designers

Verity Campbell believes you should be on Facebook if you wish to authentically communicate your brand and engage with your audience

Your business should be on Facebook if your customers are. And they are. According to Facebook, 12 million Australians use the social network every month.

That’s not to say they’re all actively engaged or even looking for a building designer. But if you play the game right, you can end up in the right spot at the right time. Your business can be the one people discover, like, remember and refer. Success is harder to achieve on social media but the rewards are greater when you get there.

So what does it take to stake an effective claim on the world’s largest online social network? Talent, time and tenacity – no surprises. You won’t get far if you don’t try new approaches, update regularly – at least daily – and stretch your engagement with and understanding of the medium. Your goal is to authentically communicate your brand and engage with your audience. The following tips can get you started:

Tip 1 – It’s not about all you.

Posting project updates is a trap many building designers fall into. That’s not to say you shouldn’t post updates about what’s happening in your business, but they should be a small part of the mix, not the whole mix.

An image from Hubspot’s excellent guide to Facebook sums it up (www.hubspot.com):

Hubspot
Hubspot

Tip 2 - Create useful content

One of the most successful Australian Facebook pages in the home design space is the life creative (https://www.Facebook.com/tlifecreative) with 12K likes. That’s 12 thousand Australians who want to hear what the Life Creative has to say.

What is their secret? They create content that helps people. Their readers want eye candy for a new kitchen, info on interior paint colours, tips for renovating. What useful content could you create that your customers would appreciate and share? Tips, checklists and fact sheets perhaps. This is where the talent comes in: conceiving and creating useful information.

Here’s an example from Moss Building & Design (https://www.Facebook.com/mossbuildinganddesign; 2K likes):

 

Moss Building & Design
Moss Building & Design

Other content that works well on Facebook is anything that puts a human face to your business and shows people who they’ll be working with if they hire you. You want to give people an insider peak into your company to make them feel special. Profile employees, happy customers, things that happened, design inspiration and more. Stay connected with public affairs. Be relevant and timely.

Humour is important too. I am architect’s Facebook page has reached 34K in under 8 months. Impressive.

(https://www.Facebook.com/pages/Iam-Architect/)
(https://www.Facebook.com/pages/Iam-Architect/)

Tip 3 – Make it discoverable

This is obvious but surprisingly overlooked. To have people arrive at your Facebook page, they have to be able to find it. Do you have social plugins on your website? Is Facebook advertised on email signatures, invoices, receipts, on your office door? Have you invited your contact list – past, current and prospective clients, friends, family, builders, glaziers, painters – anyone you do business with?

These days, you also need to consider buying Facebook advertising. Facebook itself is saying that the overall organic reach of Facebook posts is in decline. You probably have to start paying to ensure your business posts are seen. More info available at Facebook Ads Information Guide.

Tip 4 – Use images/video/graphics

Facebook users love visual content. According to Facebook’s research, photo albums generate 180% more engagement than plain text. So, photos, video and graphics whenever possible. You can create compelling graphics freely and easily with online tools like Australian start-up Canva (www.canva.com).

Tip 5 – Treat your Facebook page like part of your business

Do it well or perhaps not at all. Having few likes is acceptable – especially when you’re starting out – but dated posts can make your business appear neglected. Make time to respond to comments on your page.

With Facebook you can capitalise on after-hours engagement. To generate the best likelihood of your posts being read, your Facebook activities should ideally mirror when your customers are online and using Facebook. Automate your posts to occur at these times.

Good luck. Plan your strategy before you start, measure efforts and learn from other people’s success.

Writing, marketing and communications for design businesses. Join Verity Campbell’s weekly newsletter for new ideas, tips and advice for your building design practice. Sign up at www.veritycampbell.com.au/newsletter

Verity Campbell Communications: www.veritycampbell.com.au