Is your company new to Facebook or even still considering a Facebook page? Or maybe you’ve had a Facebook page for a while, and are now wondering what you should be doing with it? Here are a couple basic thoughts about how to view Facebook and how it can work for growing your contracting business.

Generally, local residential service businesses similar to yours turn to Facebook to get the phones to ring. Companies want people in their community to “Like” them so that they can communicate and build relationships with those people. The people who “Like” those companies represent an engaged group of potential customers. Further engaging this pool of customers can lead to more business and referrals, as well as expanding brand awareness to “Friends” of those people who are also likely to be members of that community and therefore potential customers.

Asking other HVAC contractor companies, either from Nexstar® or other business or trade organizations, to “Like” you from their company page doesn’t meet the goal of marketing to potential customers because they are probably not located in your community where your potential customers live. That said, if you are trying to reach the number of “Likes” needed to get a vanity URL (i.e. www.facebook.com/NexstarNetwork) or if you are just starting out and want to look more popular so others will “Like” you too, then asking peer contractor companies to “Like” your company Facebook page may be a good tactic.

If your company brand on Facebook is incorrectly set up as a personal profile rather than a business page, and you “Like” other contractor pages, their posts may appear in your newsfeed. Your personal newsfeed is where your “Friends” as well as potential customers who have “Liked” your page may see this posting activity from other businesses as well as how you interact with them. You need to ask yourself, will this communication exchange be meaningful or annoying to them?

If you and another contracting business “Like” each other acting as company pages then the posts each company makes won’t appear in your personal timeline unless posted directly on your wall or if you are tagged.

Facebook does have a ranking algorithm which involves engagement on your posts and content.  So, once you and other contractors have “Liked” each other, if you all then start “Liking”, “Sharing” and “Commenting” on each other’s posts it increases the number of people talking about you. It would also have a positive impact on whether your posts are shown on the newsfeed of other individuals (hopefully customers in your area) who “Like” you — which is a good thing. But you would need to consider if this type of activity/content would be engaging to your potential customers or would they be driven to “Unlike” you?

Your business’s Facebook and other social media content also contribute to overall reputation and search rank on the Internet. If you are focused on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your company’s website, which I highly recommend you are, then your activity on Facebook will contribute to that success. For more SEO basics, take a look at the Nexstar column in February’s Reeves Journal, where I outline the top concepts that contractor business owners should understand to maximize their online search results.