Through our work with global workwear brands and companies in the construction sector, we’ve learned that tradespeople are getting savvy when it comes to social media. It’s an important part of a digital strategy. From Facebook groups to social influencers, we lift the lid on where to find – and engage with – tradespeople, companies and industry insiders on social media.
Find their communities
Tradespeople love social media, and you’ll find a wealth of places where they congregate across different channels.
- Facebook groups – One of the first places to start is with Facebook groups – simply search for the specific trade you want to reach and refine the search to ‘groups’. Even if they don’t have huge numbers of members, it may still be worth collaborating – there are lots of smaller, but very active groups that will help you reach a targeted audience. Many groups are open to running brand giveaways via their groups or trialling products and posting reviews in the group. Some of the groups we’ve worked with include Bricklayers Talk Group, Plumb Chat and Woodworking UK.
- Twitter accounts and hashtags –You’ll find lots of active accounts and hashtags on Twitter – access them and you can listen in to get a good understanding of what matters to tradespeople or join in if you have a meaningful way to engage directly. Check out @bandofbuilders, @onthetoolstv, @TradesTalk, @PlumbersHour and @decoratorsforum – most have associated hashtags you can find and follow too.
- YouTube –more than just silly videos on building sites, today’s YouTubers are getting serious about their video content. Visit the channels of On The Tools, Plumber Parts and The Restoration Couple to give you an idea.
The down-to-earth nature of tradespeople means that it can be hard to strike the right chord as a brand or business when you’re targeting them. These are a few of the strategies we’ve used to embed real tradespeople at the core of our social output.
- Build a group of ambassadors – the best way to reach more tradespeople? Through tradespeople themselves. Starting with a small group across different trades such as joiners, electricians and plumbers allows you to work with them closely, provide them with the right products to try out and help them post about them on their social channels. This tactic gets the brand name into their circles and also gives you real life content to replay on your main channels.
- Use real tradesmen in campaigns – glossy model shots rarely look realistic or convincing – the models are too beautiful and the clothes too clean! Invite real tradespeople to be used in photography and videos and your brand will be more authentic.
- Women work in trades too – you only need to look at the many social groups just for female trades to see that this is a growing industry for women, too. Check out @BuiltByBoth, @GetHerTrade, @Stopcocks, @wamt_uk and @passthewrench on Twitter to get a better understanding of women in different trades and to engage with them directly.
Know your channels
As with any social media account management, the best strategies approach each individual channel differently. Depending on what your business or brand has to offer, you’ll find different in-roads that suit you best, but here are a few of the learnings we have gathered…
- Slick products work best for Instagram – being a highly visual channel, Instagram is the best place to post slick brand imagery. If your company has a bold, well-recognised logo, this can also work well in imagery. Encourage users to post their own images and videos of your products and curate them under your own hashtag so you can reshare the best.
- Converse and interact on Twitter – want to talk? Head to Twitter. Dip in through the accounts mentioned above, being sure to follow, like and RT as you go.
- Use Facebook for giveaways and offers – if you’ve got products to giveaway, this can be a great strategy to reach wider audiences on Facebook – and to grow your followers. Many brands run ‘follow to enter’ giveaways, helping to grow your community and increase brand awareness. You can also target micro-communities by running partner giveaways on Facebook groups.