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Social Media for Roofing Contractors

Brand awareness, lead generation top goals for contractors

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American Metal Roof's Facebook page.

When it comes to social media in today’s marketplace, the opportunities are endless. As a metal roofing contractor though, what are your best options to put your business out there and gain more customers? Do you have a Facebook page? A Twitter account? A YouTube page? LinkedIn? Maybe even Pinterest or Instagram? Are you on Houzz? We spoke to some social media-savvy metal roofing contractors to find out what works best for them and to provide some tips for those looking to take advantage for their own business.

Finding an Audience

Social media provides companies with an easy and effective way to reach their customers. From posting photos and sharing relevant local and industry-related information, social media is a great way for companies to build relationships and increase their brand image and awareness with clients and customers.

Each social media platform has its own purpose and intended audience. Knowing who your company’s clients are and what you’re trying to achieve with social media, will determine which platforms are the best option. For McHenry, Ill.-based Metalmaster Roofmaster, graphic designer Kallie DiTusa says the goal is to interact with their clients, which are general contractors and builders.

In June 2017, Mark Zuckerberg reported that Facebook reached 2 billion monthly active users. With this type of reach, Facebook is the place where every company wants to have a presence. It is also the social media site that has the greatest potential to engage with your audience, whether it’s current or future customers, clients and other companies you are currently working with, and even your own employees.

LinkedIn, as a professional platform, is a place where businesses connect with one another and current and future employees. It also provides a place for businesses to reach out and connect with its clients while promoting themselves as an option for new business partners. As of April 2017, LinkedIn reported having a total of 500 million users. 

Twitter has reported a total of 328 million monthly active users, while YouTube has 1.5 billion logged-in monthly users as of June 2017. Instagram has 800 million monthly active users, and Pinterest crossed the 200 million monthly active users as of September 2017. Houzz, which is an online community, directory and marketplace for everything related to home design, has 40 million monthly users.

McCarthy Metal Roofing in Raleigh, N.C., is very active on social media and has profiles on a variety of different sites, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Houzz and Google Plus. Timothy P. McCarthy, president of McCarthy Metal Roofing, notes that one of their posts on Pinterest keeps getting reposted and has generated some interest, while driving traffic to their website.

The people you are trying to reach are on these social media platforms, but not everyone will be on every site. It’s important to figure out where the majority of your customers and clients are, and aim to be active on those sites.

McCarthy Metal Roofing's Pinterest page

Utilizing Facebook

While their overall strategy has been awareness, McCarthy says they’re recently started looking at social media as more of a means to generate leads. Working with Joan Aldrich, founder and creative director at Junction Creative Studio in Greenville, S.C., McCarthy says they’ve decided to focus more on Facebook as a way to capture leads and generate more business for the company.

Jim Anderson of Alfred Anderson Marketing, Flint, Mich., handles social media for Flint-based American Metal Roofs, whose target audience is homeowners aged 50 and up. Anderson notes that American Metal Roofs’ social media strategy has the primary goal of lead generation with a secondary goal of building brand affinity.

Overall, Facebook seems to be the best way for roofing contractors to reach prospective and current customers. There are a number of different ways to utilize Facebook, depending on what your overall goals are. For example, American Metal Roofs uses paid Facebook advertising for lead generation, while Metalmaster Roofmaster engages with their customers by regular posts on their company Facebook page.

Every opportunity you have to increase your brand visibility is valuable. An active social presence is critical because it simultaneously makes you more accessible to new customers, and makes you more familiar to existing customers. Each of your social media profiles is a path leading back to your site, and all content syndicated on these channels are opportunities for new website visitors.

Joan Aldrich, founder and creative director at Junction Creative Studio in Greenville, S.C.

Aldrich says that she and McCarthy regularly evaluate the performance of different channels and types of posts so they can determine where to focus efforts for the highest impact. “With limited resources to devote to social, we prioritize what produces the best results,” she explains. “Lately our focus has been on highly targeted Facebook campaigns with conversions as the primary objective. We utilize custom audiences and lookalike audiences to put [McCarthy’s] messaging/monthly specials in front of homeowners most likely to be interested in his services, and direct users to carefully worded lead-capture pages to collect their information and start a conversation about what McCarthy Metal Roofing can do for them.”

Anderson says expectations have always been fairly low when it comes to lead generation from social media since the goal of these platforms was never overly commercial. “At best, we looked at social media as necessary, but lower in priority than our traditional media and paid digital advertising,” he explains. “So we never really expected them to work as major lead generators. When we did participate, we always felt it best to concentrate on platforms that were most popular with our target market. Why bother presenting our products to audiences that we know are only rarely interested? Better to post where we know our customer is congregating.”

Now, Anderson notes that, “For American Metal Roofs, Facebook has now overtaken [Google] AdWords in terms of lead generation results from paid advertising. The power of Facebook advertising is something we didn’t see coming—our lead generation results from Facebook as social media were negligible until they opened up advertising opportunities.”

Metalmaster Roofmaster's Twitter page

Crafting Content

When it comes to promoting your company on social media, the key is to not hit people over the head with a sales pitch. Instead, share a variety of different types of posts with your followers to engage them and build a larger community. 

Determining how often to post on social media sites is another challenge contractors face. Anderson says for American Metal Roofs, they post multiple times a week on Facebook with both paid and organic (non-paid posts to their Facebook page). They also post Twitter updates a couple of times a week, and post pictures of their work weekly to Instagram. Additionally, the company posts to YouTube as it develops new videos and twice a month to its blog on its website.

Once you’ve come up with a plan as to how often you’ll post on the various social media sites, it’s important to come up with a variety of different types of posts to share with your audience. Here are some suggestions for the type of posts to share:

  • Photos of a company event/holiday
  • Job-site photos
  • Industry news and events
  • Relevant code updates
  • Mentions of subcontractors/clients
  • Interesting articles
  • Behind the scenes photos
  • Community and local events/information
  • Create a hashtag to share and promote your company
  • Company updates, announcements and news 
  • Employee profiles

For Metalmaster Roofmaster, DiTusa says posts that give a face to the people who work at the company are the most effective, especially  because they are shared by the employees themselves. “When people in the office see themselves on the page, it’s a really good way to boost morale, while helping us to reach more people,” she says.

And, DiTusa adds, “People like to know who’s doing the work, and who’s behind everything going on with the company, and that means a lot on social media. It’s a huge outlet for us, as a way to relate to people.”

Sharing news or things that are happening within the industry, whether its surveys or random facts, also tend to engage their community more. “It’s also nice to give a shout-out to the contractors that we are working with,” Ditusa says. 

For American Metal Roofs, Anderson notes that content that explains product benefits, or shares customer stories, or pictures of its work, along with brief videos, seem to work best.

Using Hashtags

While DiTusa and Anderson both said they haven’t really used hashtags in their social media posts, Aldrich notes that while not a critical part of McCarthy Metal Roofing’s social media strategy, she does find them effective at bringing new eyes and engagement to Instagram posts in particular. 

“Most of the hashtags I use on McCarthy Metal Roofing's Instagram are either location specific (for local engagement) or popular home inspiration and home improvement hashtags,” Aldrich explains. “With the latest Instagram algorithm update, getting likes and comments on a post early can have a significant impact on Instagram's perception of the post's value, and therefore how often it displays said post to your followers—using hashtags to get the post in front of more people helps with generating that needed engagement early.”

Getting Started

If you’re looking to expand your company’s use of social media, Anderson offers up some advice. First, find our which platforms are used the most by your target customer and focus on those. Second, make sure you have a clear company policy on social media posting for your employees. Third, monitor all social media mentions of your company, and respond accordingly. Along with that, Anderson says to be careful not to battle with an angry customer on social media, and try to resolve any disputes offline. Lastly, Anderson says short videos can be your best content. He suggests learning how to make short—1 minute or less—videos and post them regularly.

“Engage and show your connections,” DiTusa suggests, “by tagging other companies you are working with, giving credit where it’s due, announcing what’s going on within the company, etc. People like to see more than just a sales pitch, and it’s a great way to interact.”

And, as Aldrich notes, “Every opportunity you have to increase your brand visibility is valuable. An active social presence is critical because it simultaneously makes you more accessible to new customers, and makes you more familiar to existing customers. Each of your social media profiles is a path leading back to your site, and all content syndicated on these channels are opportunities for new website visitors. The more quality content you share, the more inbound traffic you’ll generate … and more traffic means more potential leads and sales.”