Trades, we know time is something you could always use more of! Here’s a quick rundown of the pros and cons of each social media platform for trades & some things to think about when choosing your platform. So you can make the most of your time and not waste it on social media platforms that aren’t for you!
Factors to consider when using social media as a trade!
We and you know how busy trades can get! So always consider if you have enough time to invest in posting on social media. If you’re strapped for time or find yourself consistently busy, it’s best to focus on doing one platform well rather than having lots of different profiles. We would always suggest that less is more! Having one social media platform that you’re able to post on once a week is better than having 5 social media platforms that have an infrequent posting schedule.
Where are your customers? 🗺️
With over 45 million active social media users in the UK, it’s a huge market but you’ve heard this before so let’s break it down.
Age is going to play a huge factor in your business as a trade you will know the usual age of your customers. If you fit wet rooms for elderly customers they might not be on social media but their sons or daughters will be. The younger your clients the more likely they are to be on social media with 95% of 16-24-year-old on social media declining down to 21% for those aged 75 and older.
Each social media platform will favour a certain age group. As a trade you’ll want to match your choice of social media platform with the age of your customers; those under 24 are moving away from Facebook towards Instagram and TikTok. However, Facebook remains the most popular social media platform and is actively used by the 24 to 34 age group. TikTok, though new, is especially popular with gen Z and individuals aged between 18 to 24.
Is your trade visual? 👀
If you’re involved in a visual trade such as home improvements, decorating or carpentry you’ll want to be taking lots of photos of your work! Then display them on the most visual social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok which favour high-quality project pictures!
Sorry Heating Engineers!
A post-power-flushing pic might not appeal to your average customer. Meaning you might have to get creative with your shots or videos if you want to use Instagram or TikTok as your platform!
The Pros and Cons of each Social Media Platform for Tradesmen
Facebook for Trades
✅ The largest social media platform – more people = more potential clients.
✅ Favoured by Trades – There are large trade communities pages on Facebook allowing you to promote your services to other businesses that may use subcontractors.
✅ Local & Small Business Focus – Facebook has a strong local focus compared to other platforms so it’s a great social media for small businesses & those trades that carry out their services in a smaller local area.
❌ Time – Creating and updating your Facebook with posts & engaging content is tough especially when your a trade already juggling being on the tools & running a business.
❌ Negative Feedback – A Facebook business page offers customers opportunities to provide feedback! This can be both positive and negative as a trade you need to be mindful that a disgruntled customer could leave a scathing review (we’ve seen a few that taught us some language 👀)
Conclusion: Facebook is a great starting point for tradesmen beginning to craft their online presence; it allows you to find customers in your local area while being able to promote your services. We recommend starting with Facebook then using it as a gateway to see if social media is the right route for you
Instagram for Trades
✅ Visual – Great for ‘visual trades’ but also good for doing before and after, finished projects, videos, pictures of the team or nice infographics on your services.
✅ Great Features – with reels, IGTV, posts & stories Instagram has fantastic features that allow you to engage with your audience in a far less corporate way than Facebook.
❌ Not great for non-visual trades – Sorry electricians & heating engineers I love a good fuse board upgrade or boiler installation as much as the next guy but customers might not find these posts as engaging! This doesn’t mean it’s not for you though it could be a great way to show off you and the team, your van or to give visual updates on the business!
❌ Less organic reach – Instagram isn’t made for small businesses it has less of a local focus than Facebook and fewer options that allow for the conversion of traffic to your business
Conclusion: Instagram is great for showing off those good looking projects you’ve worked hard on; it allows you to give customers a uniquely visual way to see your work.
TikTok for Trades
✅ Satisfying Videos – if you do a job that is very satisfying such as screeding take a video of it and it could go as viral as idealflooring who have over 2.5 million followers.
✅ Humorous Content – or you could go the route of rdaviselectrical who keeps the banter going between plumbers and sparky’s.
✅ Viral potential – Unlike Facebook and Instagram TikToks algorithm will allow new accounts to go viral very quickly!
❌ Only for brand awareness – TikTok Trade accounts are still few and far between and tend to use their profiles for brand awareness rather than direct advertising of their services.
❌ Limited by filming/ editing skills – for many trades remembering to take a photo of a project is tough. Now to add becoming a pro editor & videographer into that and you may be piling too much onto your plate!
Conclusion: TikTok has great viral potential but the time constraints & extra skill constraints could make it a hard social media to get into if you’re an already busy trade
Twitter for Trades
✅ Rewards High Engagement – Twitter pushes posts with higher engagement to the top of the newsfeed so getting likes & replies will help your tweets do well!
✅ Brand Identity – With the limitation on content twitter-like TikTok is great for creating a brand identity but may limit certain more sales-based marketing posts.
❌ Negative Criticism – Replies to your tweets are more visible on Twitter meaning that negative feedback can be far more visible than on other platforms.
❌ Very Time Sensitive – Unlike other social media platforms tweets can get missed very easily so timing your tweets is key when using Twitter (to find the best times to tweet we use Twitter Insights or search ‘best time to tweet’ on google to find a rough idea).
Conclusion: Twitter is a large platform and if used well can grow a brand identity very well. However for a smaller trade business it does pose some limitations; the 280 characters means that there’s a slightly higher barrier for doing well and engaging customers; it also has limited options for encouraging local businesses when compared to platforms like Facebook.
LinkedIn for Trades
✅ Great for corporate or business clients – Do you do a lot of work with commercial or industrial clients? LinkedIn is for you as it will allow you to connect with more business/ commercial clients!
❌ Very Corporate – LinkedIn can feel corporate to the extreme and when writing posts language is generally far more formal than is possible on other social media platforms.
❌ Insights at a price – Unlike other platforms, some insights on your users/ potential clients come at a cost.
Conclusion: LinkedIn is built for business to business interactions. There’s very little room for personalities to show through on accounts. Therefore unless your target audience is commercial/ industrial clients we’d save your time & focus on other social media platforms.
Our Picks and Recommendations
So which is the best social media for trades?
We’d suggest that trades start with one social media platform and build from there and our pick for most trades is Facebook. Why? Facebook offers a huge range of advantages for businesses focusing on a local area that is perfect for most trades. It also allows for a balance of posts, where you can show off the culture of your business as well as interspersing some promotion of your services.
Where would we recommend going from there?
Once you’ve ‘conquered’ Facebook your next choice will depend on your business for most Instagram would be a good option if you like taking pictures of your finished projects or if you can think of good ways to promote your business in 280 characters Twitter might be for you.
We’ve tried to highlight that doing all these things well will take you time! Not only to carry out the work but to build the expertise. At BUILT we specialise in giving trades time back including setting up social media for trades. Take a look at how we can give you your time back today!