Field service companies often face unique challenges when it comes to their core operations. But on this count, at least, they share much in common with just about every business around: how to leverage Twitter and other social media outlets to boost revenues.
Well, a Southern California-based termite control company appears to have figured it out. The company, BugOut, has a tiny presence on social media — 600 Facebook fans and nearly 300 Twitter followers — and yet claims to have generated almost 100 leads in the first half of July by connecting with users on social media. How? By capturing the interest of local real estate agents, a potentially rich source of referrals since all homes sold in California must undergo a pest check. Bug Out turned its Facebook and Twitter pages into must-reads for information on household pests.
Mashable this month reported on BugOut’s success, but took the story one step further: the news blog turned to Blagica Bottigliero, a social media marketing analyst at marketing firm Zlato Digital, to offer insights on what BugOut is doing right — and what it’s doing wrong — with its social media presence. Bottigliero’s critique could apply to just about any field service business:
Narrow Your Audience
As impressive as its social media ROI is, BugOut still stumbled by also trying to cater to an audience of consumers instead of focusing on realtors exclusively, says Bottigliero. Lesson: identify which customer segment is the greatest source of new business and target that audience exclusively.
Bottigliero found BugOut’s Twitter strategy to be somewhat weak. She suggests the company assign one intern to spend a day on Twitter, researching the competition and identifying conversations that BugOut can join.
She also advises BugOut to follow as many relevant Twitter users as it can. “However,” writes Mashable’s Todd Wasserman, “bearing in mind that a wildly disproportionate follower-to-followed count on Twitter can undercut your legitimacy, she suggests showing a bit of restraint.”
Allocate Money to Direct Targeting
Bug Out has a $1,000 monthly budget for social media. Of that, Bottigliero suggests earmarking 70 percent to Facebook and 30 percent to Twitter.
The termite company should focus on frequent posts and offer consistent content on both Twitter and Facebook, says Bottigliero. Once it has figured out these two sites, the company should consider expanding to other social media platforms like Pinterest and Google Plus.