Facebook Tips For Pool And Spa Professionals

photo of Amsterdam Printing facebook pageLet’s face it. When it comes to Internet, we know anyone who is anyone is on Facebook, which is why it’s the perfect place to find new customers who are ready to buy.

As traditional marketing such as newspapers and phonebooks fade in influence, you must find new and clever ways to attract customers. This is where Facebook becomes a great big pool of new and returning customers (pun intended). As long as you understand it and know how to use it, it can be very beneficial to your bottom line.

The Logic of Facebook

Millions (now, billions) log on to Facebook every day. I, for one, log on every morning! I run through my News Feed to catch up on what’s going on. I have bands I subscribe to who post new concert updates and I have businesses that are always offering new and exciting deals.

Users on Facebook are not actively looking for a solution to a problem. They are casually browsing interesting things other people and businesses post on their walls. With that said, the key is to be interesting and useful so that people will stop and take a look at what you have to offer. 

It’s very similar to grabbing people’s attention when advertising in the newspaper or a magazine. They are there to read the articles, not look for your ad. You need to have something that will jump out at them and make them want to learn more and buy more.

The big difference between Facebook and a newspaper or magazine, is that you start with 0 readers. So, the first thing you must do is to build a group of loyal followers for your business.

1. Spread the word about your Facebook page

The first thing you should do after creating your page is to let your customers know how to find it. There are a few ways you can let your existing customers know that you have a Facebook page:

? Add it to all your employees’ business cards.

? Add it to all your employees’ email signatures.

? Add a Facebook button or widget to your website.

? Use the Facebook URL (ex. www.Facebook.com/yourCompanyName) in all your print advertising.

? Print your Facebook URL on the bottom of your receipts.

? Put signs up in your stores to encourage people to “like” your page.

? Include a Facebook postcard with each water test results or purchase.

? Create a sticker with your Facebook URL and add it to your brochures.

? If you have a company newsletter, send it out in your next edition.

There are a ton of ways to let your customers know you have a page. That’s that first step. Letting your customers know and having them “like” your page will help to entice their followers to do the same. It’s word of mouth advertising, online.

Now, you might be asking yourself, “Who is going to follow my swimming pool company?” In fact, that’s the million-dollar question. Sit back and think about this for just a moment: What would make you want to follow another company? Let’s remove ourselves from the pool industry for a second.

Let’s say you love to cook. You may not be actively searching for recipes or cookware, but if you saw it in passing, you would stop and take a look.

Now, let’s say a company like Williams Sonoma (a cooking supplies company) decided to start a Facebook account (which they did). Chances are you might “like” their page because you happen to be into cooking. However, you would be even more likely to “like” them if they offered you something for doing so. 

2. Get Facebook “likes” by offering something of value

In order to start building a strong group of repeat customers, you must first hook them in with an incredible offer.

For example, you could block all users from accessing your wall unless they “like” your page, but perhaps you should offer them something for doing so. Using an app called Static FBML (which stands for Facebook markup language) you can create a custom HTML Facebook landing page in which you could offer a great deal for “liking” the Facebook page. 

For instance, for “liking” your Facebook page, you could offer:

? a free downloadable PDF coupon

? a free PDF how-to guide to taking care of your pool

? access to special content on your site, like videos

Here is a perfect example of a company using an offer to get “likes”:

Amsterdam Printing is using its Facebook page to attract more customers. The company created a special HTML landing page and is asking people to “Press the ‘Like’ button above.”

They suggest clicking the “Like” button to unlock a 20% off coupon. That’s exactly what I’m talking about.

3. Start using Facebook everyday

Now that you’re on your way to building a big group of Facebook friends, it’s time to start communicating with them. No one wants to “like” a page and get nothing out of it, even if it means just written content. You want to start conversations and engage with your customers on a friendly level.

The more you engage, the more the word about your business is spread. For example, you can write a small Facebook post asking your customers a question:

“It’s that time of year again to get your swimming pool open. Do you plan on doing it yourself or hiring our company to open it for you?”

Hopefully you’ll have people comment on the post. Who knows what they’ll say, but what we do know is that when those people post a comment, it appears in the Facebook ticker that all of their friends see. The more they engage with you and your content, the more there friends will be notified about that they did. That exposes you to more customers. You just have to write and post really engaging content, and the key is consistency. 

Constantly let your customers know about new products, events and sales. Why not hold a contest for the best swimming pool picture to get people to share photos? Everyone loves photos. 

Swimming pools are all about having fun. So why not take this approach to promoting your business online? 

In Conclusion

Facebook is the biggest social website on the Internet, and it’s not going anywhere any time soon. My suggestion would be to find someone in your organization dedicated to running your Facebook marketing campaign. Create coupons and how-to guides. Help your customers solve pool problems by answering their questions. Make your Facebook page a friendly environment for customers to share stories and ideas. 

The more you make your page enticing for people to engage with, the more customers you will gain. 

Matt Giovanisci is the creator of Swim University and has over 15 years of experience in the swimming pool and hot tub industry. He is also an award winning web designer and has been featured on Martha Stewart Radio as a pool & spa care expert.

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