How Water Labs Can Use Social Media for Marketing, Hiring, and Beyond
According to Statista, 90% of U.S. businesses now use social media to interact with customers and market their services. And it's not just the big consumer brands engaging with customers online. Millions of small and medium-sized businesses are getting in on the action, including water labs that are using online platforms to improve areas like marketing, customer service, and hiring.
With that in mind, here are three practical tips for using social channels for success in those core areas, as well as how to connect with customers — current and prospective — right where they are online.
1. Marketing Your Services
Social media is a powerful tool that's helping companies increase brand awareness and engagement, ultimately attracting more customers to their business. It's also a critical promotional tool for content marketing, a strategy that involves businesses sharing helpful information with prospective customers searching for answers through blogs, articles, videos, and more. These efforts can help companies build up their credibility and drive traffic back to their main websites.
But which social platform is best for water testing labs? It depends on the audience you're trying to reach. Facebook is where you'll find individual consumers. For instance, if your company specializes in well water testing services for private homes, Facebook might be a good place to market those services. When marketing to businesses, alternatively, consider focusing your efforts on LinkedIn. Twitter is where you'll find both consumers and business-to-business prospects.
You can market your expertise and services on these platforms by sharing insightful content, connecting with prospective customers, and running ads to boost your visibility. A good rule of thumb is to share more informative content that's focused on your audience's needs than promotional content focused on your own company. This best practice is essential to building authority and shows you understand your audience's unique challenges.
Water labs can earn points with consumers and showcase their expert knowledge on social media by sharing:
- Public health information, such as water quality warnings.
- Environmental articles that educate people on water issues, like outbreaks of Legionella pneumophila.
- Regulatory news related to water testing rules, such as the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System.
- Best practices on how to collect water samples properly before sending them to the lab.
Start your social media efforts off with answering questions you get a lot. For example, discuss whether or not customers should be testing their water after an outbreak, and provide insight on how to get the testing they need. Go a step further by entering keywords — frequently searched phrases — and hashtags related to your testing services into Twitter's search tool to see what people are asking or talking about.
2. Providing Customer Service
More and more, social media is becoming the chosen method for people to seek customer service and to share both positive and negative experiences. Twitter, in particular, is a popular destination for consumers to engage with brands in this way.
While your corporate accounts are probably just as likely to pick up the phone over a customer service issue, you should monitor your Twitter feed for any issues if you offer water testing to individual consumers. Bad news spreads like wildfire online, so it's especially important to stay on top of these things when providing customer service on such a public platform.
But that doesn't mean it needs to be a tedious undertaking. The principles of customer service are still the same on social channels: acknowledge the problem, empathize with the customer, and do your best to make it right. In the end, customers will respect your company more if it handles problems with exceptional customer service — whether it's online or in person.
3. Attracting New Talent
According to the Society for Human Resource Management, 84% of companies now use online social channels for recruiting, including to target passive job seekers willing to switch jobs for the right opportunity. LinkedIn is the top site to reach job seekers, with data from the Pew Research Center showing that roughly half of college-educated U.S. adults are users of the platform.
Water labs can take advantage of LinkedIn's popularity and attract qualified candidates to their organizations. First, you'll want to make sure your company has a robust LinkedIn page by providing information on your lab, highlighting what makes yours different from others in the relative field, as well as the tests you specialize in.
You can also post current openings here, in which applicants can find and apply to your job post with just a few clicks. And when considering their application, this platform gives you easy access to all of their connections, recommendations, and job history. Have your employees fill out their own LinkedIn profiles with information about their current roles at your lab, and ask them to share the job posting with their networks.
Other platforms can work well for attracting and vetting candidates, too. For instance, Facebook has a feature dedicated to job posting for businesses.
Social media can seem overwhelming in the beginning, but don't give up. Consistency is the secret to success, so start with small steps, celebrate your wins, and make time every week for creating or curating content that's worth sharing.