Social Media has become increasingly invaluable to the business world. Thus, it is crucial for the smallest businesses and the newest entrepreneurs to tackle social media and utilize its unlimited potential. The goal of any business is to create revenue and moreover to measure which element(s) generates the greatest return on investment (ROI). The world of social media is moving at high speeds and may be a bit overwhelming for a new business owner. In order to successfully implement a brand on social media, the platform(s) for the campaign must be based on the target audience.
My brother is a Master Electrician in a rural area of Wisconsin. He started his own business, South Fork Electric, about two years ago, in addition to his full-time job. Currently, he is focusing his efforts solely on growing his business. This is a great opportunity to introduce his business to social media and increase his brand awareness to generate more revenue.
As a side note: As of April, 2014, WI law dictates that an electrical contractor business owner must be a state-level master electrician or employ one. All electricians must be licensed and registered with the WI Dept. of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS). Master electricians must supervise most electrical projects to be sure the project is up to code. Since the number of Master electricians are a small percentage of total electricians, not every electrical contractor is known to follow the law, so it’s best to verify a company’s credentials and licensing first.
His current Soft ROI excludes social media so he utilizes the following:
• Brand awareness via business cards, personalized hats, and eventually truck labels.
• Word of mouth via referrals and repeat customers.
• Engagement via initiating conversations.
I plan to address a marketing strategy based on the Share of Voice indicator. The objective is to determine the total mentions of his brand + the competitors. When we divide his brand mentions by the total mentions we can calculate the frequency of his brand mentions to the rest. This becomes the share of voice.
I researched competitors on the online yellow pages. The yellow pages are a common resource in his locality, in addition to referrals. I found 13 electrical contractors within a 30-mile radius and only one business sustains a website. The creation of a website could potentially increase his brand awareness on the yellow pages from 1/13 = 3.6% to 1/2 = 50% share of voice, if a customer links to the website. As a Master Electrician he was one of four found on LinkedIn (1/4 or 25% share of voice). A Facebook search within a 60-mile radius located zero.
South Fork Electric’s share of voice on social media is limited because the brand is currently only established on LinkedIn. So the first part of the marketing strategy is to create a Facebook page. The potential share of voice with just a business Facebook page is 1/1 or 100%, because few electrical contractors are using social media, at least in his neck of the woods. Facebook’s Ads Manager allow us the opportunity to utilize “measurements and insights” to track connections, demographics of audience and click-through-rates. The potential for brand awareness on Facebook to generate customers is incredible because competition on this platform does not exist.
The next strategy involved is the creation of his brand website. Customers must be able to locate the business with ease. Without a way to be linked to your business, a client will move on to the next. Between Google, Yellow Pages, and Facebook, South Fork Electric could potentially win the “best achievement” award for (local) electrical contractors in social media.
When measuring return on investment for the Facebook page and website (domain and web host), the costs are minimal. If I figure in his recent promotional costs with the website and an hour of his time weekly, the costs from investments equal $800 for the first year. If his net profit for the year is 35K and we subtract the $800 investment, then divide by the costs, the ROI is 4,275%! Oh, the possibilities!
South Fork Electric is a terrific example of the potential of social media for building a business. The time and financial investment is a minimal cost. In the future, perhaps other platforms may play a role in the brand’s social media strategy. South Fork Electric is headed for success and I’m happy to play a role in it.
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