With today’s busy lifestyle of having to balance work, children and the home, mobile home service providers offer consumers a way to more easily manage their day-to-day responsibilities, providing them with increased flexibility and less chaos. Mobile franchisees have built businesses that offer consumers a variety of home services including lawn and landscaping maintenance, mosquito control, house painting, home renovation, senior relocation, and even pet grooming.
While the growth potential is big for mobile franchises offering home services that aim to improve the quality of life for homeowners, for many years, these franchisees have been challenged with how to effectively market their services to their target audience. Today, this is changing. The proliferation of social media is enabling mobile franchisees, specifically those that focus on home services, to promote and grow their business like never before.
So, why can social media help a home services mobile franchisee build brand loyalty, raise local awareness and ultimately drive new customer acquisition? Because social media is increasingly becoming one of the biggest influencers of consumers’ purchasing decisions.
According to Social Media Today, 30 percent of all time spent online is now allocated to social media interaction. These interactions are personal, in real-time and can have an immediate impact on the success of a home services mobile franchise.
Social media instills trust in a provider through customer reviews and experiences. Sharing and recommending services through platforms like Facebook and Twitter has become today’s word-of-mouth marketing. According to Market Force, 81 percent of US online consumers’ purchasing decisions are influenced by their friends social media posts while 78 percent are influenced by the posts of the brands they follow.
Customers interested in a home service will turn to these social media platforms to see what other people are saying. When customers are happy with a service, they often use these platforms to let their followers know. Conversely, they will let their followers know if they are unhappy.
For home services mobile franchisees, implementing a social media strategy is paramount to the success of the business. Without a traditional store front, mobile franchisees must rely on their online presence to build brand loyalty, engage with the community, and with current and potential customers. Creating an online presence can include a variety of tools depending on the business from building a website, joining social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to overseeing discussions on sites including Yelp and Angie’s List.
According to Mosquito Joe’s CEO, Kevin Wilson, “Not being on social media can negatively impact a brand and perception of a company because, most likely, competitors and a majority of customers and potential customers are active in the space. They are participating in conversations, and if you are not involved then you can’t be a part of that discussion or have any influence. It is extremely important to maintain an open line of communication when you work in the service industry, and social media is one more place where you can offer a positive customer service experience.”
Home services mobile franchisees can leverage social media to create a sense of community and cultivate bonds among their customers. Online recommendations, especially for home services, not only will win new customers but also elevate a mobile business’s brand among competitors. Fostering trust through superior customer service will ultimately help grow the business’s online presence and further extend its reach into the target market.
Social media can also be an important tool to help home services mobile franchisees engage with the people that they serve the most; those in their local communities. By leveraging these platforms to create content that reflects the interests of the people in the area they live and work, and to become involved in the local neighborhoods, franchisees can engage as a community citizen rather than just being associated with a company name.
According to Steve Kwon, Vice President of Franchising, Strategic Franchising Systems, “In today’s digital culture, it’s vital that franchisees understand the impact of social media. When potential clients see a picture of a franchisee in an area of town they recognize, possibly even recognizing the client served, on the same medium they use to communicate with others, the franchisee becomes associated with the familiar. This in turn creates a sense of trustworthiness. When paired with a reputation for superior customer service, the franchisee discovers a winning combination that is invaluable for their home services enterprise.”
Leveraging social media to market a home services mobile franchise should become an integral part of a franchisee’s long-term business strategy. Social media can have a dramatic impact on the success of home services mobile franchises by offering franchisees direct contact with potential customers seeking their service that hasn’t existed in the past. When properly utilized, these platforms can create long-lasting customer relationships and community ties. And, as the lifestyles of consumers continue to become even busier, their reliance on these platforms and mobile home services will only grow. Getting involved now in the discussion will ensure success in the future.
Eric Bell has 15 years of franchise industry experience and currently serves as General Manager of Franchise Gator. He began his career in 2002 as a Hollywood Tans franchisee in Atlanta where he also served as area manager and helped develop the Atlanta territory. Eric is a member of the Southeast Franchise Forum and is a Certified Franchise Executive.