In the last decade the use of social media for businesses has sky-rocketed with networks like Twitter and Facebook pages being a key element of industry marketing strategies. You may think that social-media users tend to be from younger generations but this is changing. Electronic job management company Okappy recommends that you get started now; that way you’ll be ahead of the age trend and ahead of your competitors.

Social media can be an inexpensive and quick way to market your business. Today 71% of customers who have had a good service experience with a company via social media are likely to recommend it to others.

Okappy is offering advice to tradespeople interested in creating a social media presence. Here are five key ways social media can improve your company and how you can utilise social media effectively.

Brand-building and getting visual

Brand personality is important and social media can open up the space to showcase the voice and vision of your company. Clients are keen to hire a company that they like and can relate to. Social media can allow customers to get to know you and what you're all about.

Think hard about who it is you’re targeting. If you're targeting a local area, sharing some images of local interests could give a personal touch, add authenticity to what you are doing and improve your level of approachability to customers.

Your social media branding should be easily recognisable, professional, and consistent. It’s important to think about the tone you want to come across. Focus on keeping the same style when it comes to your chosen images, videos, fonts, logos and slogans.

Visual content is more than 40x more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content. Carefully curated visual campaigns on Instagram incorporating eye-catching imagery and brand logos can be particularly effective in building up your companies brand personality.

You could even mix up your content strategy with live video streaming or Instagram stories where you don’t need to worry about over posting. Successful jobs can be documented with pictures which can then be posted online as evidence of good handiwork. However, but be sure to get the permission of any homeowner you are working for before posting pictures of their property online.

Participation with the sharing economy

In recent years, global economics have shifted from a model of ownership to a model of sharing. This culture of sharing was very much initiated by the way social medias enabled the tools of production to become democratised consequently unlocking a new market of producers. This had ground breaking ramifications for how various industries were structured.

Engaging with the culture of sharing includes engaging with your followers and posting content onto various social media feeds on a regular basis. Keeping a blog on your website linked to your social media outlets to share expert industry knowledge, relevant articles and related content is a great way to improve your business. This can help your business establish authority in the industry as you build yourselves up as, not only providing a great service but, having a great reputation as industry thought leaders.

Sharing your expert knowledge will help to keep clients engaged and further build their trust in the excellent service you provide. You can also use social media to share and promote company news, special offers, new employees, partnerships and events. Every time you post, also share it your other social media platforms to keep customers clicking over to your site and increasing traffic which can help grow your business.

The #hashtag low-down

What are hashtags and why should you care? Hashtags enable social media posts like tweets and Instagrams posts to be categorised and therefore more easily searchable. When someone clicks on a hash-tagged word they are linked to other posts that have used that hashtag. For example, using a hashtag like #londonplumbers alongside your company name will optimise the expansion of your client base and increase interest.

Gaining authentic feedback

Social media is a great way to acquire personalised comments on your services.

Tweets expressing positive reactions can be shared and re-tweeted providing an authentic source of client feedback. This can help your company get referrals to further grow your business. Putting your social media name on your invoices or business cards can be an easy way to let your clients know about your company and is a subtle way for you to ask them to leave feedback.

Optimised mobility

There are 1.65 billion active mobile social accounts globally with 1 million new active mobile social users added every day. Social media and smartphone apps allow your business to operate remotely as they can be actively monitored whilst on a job. Social networks are useful ways to keep in contact with clients on the go. A number of drainage companies have even started receiving bookings from clients through snapchat.

There are many time-saving apps and websites to save you time if this all feels too complicated. Schedule posts for Twitter using Tweetdeck or Hootsuite or automatically post to your social media after a blog post using If This Then That. There are many time saving apps to help out both your social media presence or your business as a whole.

If a client were to contact your company through Facebook or Twitter whilst out and about, you can quickly add a job through social network and mobile job management software apps like Okappy. Okappy combines social and market network technology to communicate and collaborate with employees, subcontractors, across different sites and with different clients.