Our intern Jessica has been doing a great job helping me get ready for a series of HVAC Social Media seminars. Here are just a few of the lessons she learned along the way.

This week at the intern’s desk, my job was to do more research in social media. Lorraine is working on a series for companies in the HVAC industry and how they can increase their social media involvement. From sifting through what seemed like hundreds of company Facebook pages, I’ve found what makes a good one (or a bad one) in the home service trade.  These Facebook fan page strategies will apply to most businesses, regardless of industry.

Show involvement in your community.

Sappy people like me care that your company sponsors a Little League Baseball team. Pictures of little kids in t-shirts with your logo on their uniforms are a great addition to your Facebook page. If you’re donating to a local toy drive, snap tons of pictures and post them as well.  Encourage other participants to share the images of the event too. These types of contributions show your company’s personality and morals. You never know what might be close to someone’s heart, and it could be the thing that motivates them to give you a call.

Give your company a face.

No one wants to do business with a system if they can work with a person. Especially in small businesses, face-to-face recognition and interaction set your company apart from the big names. On your Facebook page, highlight your employees. Post pictures of someone on the job or at an employee cookout. Again, personality is key here. I’m more likely to choose a company with fun pictures of employees on a Facebook page over someone else who just posts about their prices and services.

Give helpful hints to your customers.

Mix a helpful blurb or two in between your business-driven status updates. When it’s a million degrees outside, I appreciate the tips on my news feed from an A/C company on how to better circulate the air in my house. Not only does this advertise your skills and knowledge, but it also makes peoples’ lives easier and people are bound to be appreciative.

Make coupons and promotions available.

When I’m scrolling down my news feed I’m going to pause at a coupon. Doesn’t matter what it’s for, if I have an opportunity to get a good deal I’m going to look more closely. The problem is, I rarely come across a coupon on Facebook. Some businesses don’t understand how easy and effective it is for customers to just click the “print” button and take a step toward action. I’d rather do that than scrounge for some scissors to cut a coupon from the newspaper.

Facebook is image-inspired. Going back and scanning the points above, three out of the four involve photos or something that visually attracts the eye. I think the saying “a picture’s worth a thousand words” is an understatement on this social network. Take advantage of it and post them.

Think about what you like seeing in your own Facebook news feed and then implement it. What moves you to call a company or get more information about a service? This should be a part of your overall social media strategy.