Social media has revolutionised advertising, particularly for small businesses. Where before a company would have to pay substantial amounts to receive even a small amount of publicity in the press, a savvy tradie business can now get their name out around the world if that’s what they want. More importantly, locally it is a superb way connecting with your old clients and attracting new ones, creating a brand and giving it an image. For this reason, it’s crucial that you pay attention to your social media presence and appearance. Just as a well-designed social media page can draw in customers, a poor quality or out of date one can turn them away. Most potential clients will judge you on the quality of your social media pages; naturally enough they feel that if somebody can’t be bothered to pay attention to detail there, they might not be trusted to pay attention to detail in the real world.

There is no doubt that using social media can provide your business with a huge boost and if you use it effectively you will start to see profits rolling in. However, you could lose all those profits in the blink of an eye through a simple mistake or accident that leaves you liable for someone else’s medical bills, rehabilitation, and compensation. Insurance for tradies can protect your business while you continue doing what you do best!

Instagram is often regarded as simply a place where people show photographs and boast about their perfect lives – that’s all it is, right? Wrong, research has shown that more than 4/5ths of visitors to Instagram are looking to find goods and services. Instagram certainly does have many shots of “ideal” homes and gardens, so if you are in any business that involves designing or renovating interiors or exteriors, get photographs with your work out there. If people are already looking at gardens, for example, it probably means they are thinking of having some work done on theirs, and you can catch them right at the point when they are receptive.

Twitter is another good platform for promoting your business. Have a look round for searches for areas related to your business in your local region and see how you could piggyback promotion on top of them. For example, if somebody posts a picture of the garden saying they would love one like that, offer a courteous reply saying that you would be capable of designing it for them. If you’ve got photographs of a similar project, so much the better. Remember, Twitter is famous for aggression and arguments; keep your business profile out of these, you don’t want to put people off just because they don’t agree with your politics. If you want to enter into debate, have a personal account and keep it separate from your business account.

Facebook completes the trio of social media giants that you should consider using. As with the other two, it’s completely free to set up your own page and you are more or less at liberty to choose any look and content that you like. For tradie businesses this can double as a landing page to talk about your business or any promotions you may be running. As well as taking full advantage of what you can get for free on Facebook, you might want to consider paid advertising: it’s relatively cheap and you only pay a small sum to the company if somebody clicks on your advert through to your website or Facebook page.

Your presence on all of the above platforms, and on your own website, has to be consistent. Use the same colours, the same fonts, the same slogans, and the same company names and logos. Don’t confuse customers by having a different presence on each platform, make yourself instantly recognisable and easy to find. On all social media make sure that you provide links to your website and contact numbers.

One of the most important things with promoting your business on social media is to make sure that you post regularly, preferably at least once a week. Nothing looks worse than a Facebook page or a Twitter account that has lain dormant for months: essentially it looks as though the business has

shut down. You might know that the reason your pages haven’t been updated for so long is because you have had so much work, but potential clients don’t. If you can’t find the time to do it yourself, consider getting someone else to do it. This doesn’t mean you have to employ a professional social media expert, but if you’ve got a media-savvy teenager in your family or neighbourhood, why not slip them a few bucks to keep your pages updated for you? Another thing to consider about posting is what sort of times of day, month, and year will be most effective? Market researchers have suggested that you get the most views on Facebook if you post between 1 and 3 pm on Thursdays and Fridays, and on Instagram on weekdays between 11 am and 1pm and 7 pm and 9 pm. You should also think about who will want what when, for example when the heat comes on at the start of summer, that might be a good time to advertise your swimming pool servicing offers; when the rain comes, perhaps you should be advertising gutter repairs.