“If It Ain’t Fun, I Ain’t Doing It!”
Hi, my name is Stephen Byrne and I’m Super Heat & Air’s resident “web guy”. I write the blog posts you can’t get enough of (like this one, wink-wink).
I also do a lot of the in-house graphic design work for Super Heat & Air. Many of those offbeat videos you’ve seen from us (like the one below), I put together when I had spare time. I also update the website and do all of the social media posts for this amazing air conditioning company you know and love!
Oooh Oooh. Look at Me! Look at Me!
This blog post is not meant for me to toot my own horn or to tout my accomplishments and how incredibly cool I am (or at least think I am). No, this post is more about the importance of creating interesting content, especially for an air conditioning company. And everything I mentioned in that first paragraph has to do to with just that: creating content!
I’m not going to lie, creating interesting content for an HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) company is no easy task! HVAC stuff can be boring to those who don’t have a passion for it. Most people who aren’t in the HVAC business don’t really care about what we do unless we’re fixing their ACs. I mean really, how many people besides HVAC people really give two (beeps) about how a condenser coil works? Probably not too many. The bottom line is if your content (HVAC or otherwise) isn’t interesting, nobody is going to look at it.
Social Media is a Must
It’s no secret that everybody and their dog is on social media these days. If your business isn’t on social media, you might as well do business with The Flintstones! (That’s a Stone Age joke, wocka wocka!) It’s also no secret that there are countless AC companies in the Greater Tampa Bay area, with seemingly a new one sprouting up every week. (No seriously, I do research on competitors and at least once a week I spot a vehicle from a company I never heard of!).
We’re not only competing for the same dollars in an oversaturated market, but we’re also competing for your online attention! As the competition increases, the challenge of getting people’s attention gets harder every day.
So what does a guy tasked with getting online eyes on the product do to stand out from the rest of the local AC companies? The simple answer is to have fun with it! Look, I could write about “boring” technical HVAC stuff all day long (and I do sometimes), but I’m going to keep it real: hardly anybody reads it! However, when I post something fun like “Gasparilla Parade 2017 Tips”, our web traffic gets a nice boost and my friends (translation: “Facebook friends”) are more likely to Like and share it!
Why Waste Time on “the Boring Stuff”?
HVAC stuff is never boring to us. It’s our passion, our livelihood and we love to talk about it! Unfortunately many people don’t care about it like we do. So why write technical content about air conditioning that nobody is going to read? The simple answer is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Articles about air conditioning maintenance and duct cleaning contain keywords like … well, “air conditioning” and “duct cleaning”: keywords about our business.
Adding these posts help tell the search engine (translation: Google) that our website is an air conditioning website. Which means when somebody searches for an air conditioning company in the Greater Tampa Bay area or AC-related information, our website is more likely to show up in the search results due to its relevant content. And if somebody visits our blog, they could see us as a subject matter expert when it comes to hiring an HVAC contractor. My approach to the more technical posts is to keep the language simple, keep the visuals interesting and maybe throw in a bad pun or two! People might read it. People might not. But it has its purpose and I do my best to make it fun!
Why the Non HVAC Stuff?
The fun, non HVAC Stuff like the aforementioned “Gasparilla” post or “Thanksgiving Day Fun Facts” serve a different purpose. In the case of Gasparilla, it’s the biggest annual festival in the Greater Tampa Bay area (the area we serve). Which means when January comes around, people in the Greater Tampa Bay area (translation: our target audience) searching for information about Gasparilla may come across our post. And if they click on the link to that post: BOOM! They’re on our website! Which means they might stick around after reading it to find out more about us. And then maybe call us if they need AC service, or refer us if they know somebody who does (brilliant!).
The same applies to posts about popular holidays. Does Thanksgiving have a damn thing to do with air conditioning? No. But do people who celebrate Thanksgiving (who doesn’t?) also have air conditioners (again, who doesn’t?) that may need servicing? YES! You get the point. By occasionally giving people something other than HVAC stuff like a fun post to read about a popular holiday, we can put eyes on our product!
Mix Things Up
My Facebook friends are probably sick of seeing me share content about Super Heat & Air. You know what? I don’t care! Because I’m proud of the content I produce for this great company! And I will share every piece I produce, because I believe in the company I work for. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t work here, much less share any of our content! But if all I ever do is post HVAC stuff from Super Heat & Air, my friends list would quickly dwindle down to just my coworkers.
So on my personal Facebook page, I post 2-5 other non-work related updates in between sharing Super Heat & Air posts. I would do this anyway because it’s my personal page and not the company’s page, but that’s exactly the point. It’s my personal page and I’m proud of my work! Because if you don’t love the company you work for, will you really have any desire to promote it, even if you wrote it? (See what I did there?)
Counting on Friends
When part of your job is social media management for the company that pays your bills, you want to get as many eyes on the product as possible, including your friends. So by posting Super Heat & Air content to my personal page, I have 400+ sets of eyes that could potentially look at it! Obviously not all 400+ friends are locals to the Greater Tampa Bay area, and not all of them are going to look at the post, but I know at least a handful will.
If a friend, a coworker, my girlfriend or my dad likes and/or shares a Super Heat & Air post I shared, their local friends will probably see it too! Also, I’ve had friends ask me about the company when they or somebody they know needs AC service. If my friends get sick of seeing Super Heat & Air posts on my personal account, too bad! A lot of them still follow me because I entertain them with other stuff in between. And when I do post about Super Heat & Air, I keep it fun!
One really cool thing about sharing Super Heat & Air posts on my Facebook page is that whenever my friends see a Super Heat & Air vehicle around town, they text me about it. That means they’re paying attention! Which means they might think of us when they or somebody they know needs AC service!
People like variety. So if all you ever post about on social media are sales pitches and specials, people will tune out. This is where the video editing and graphic design come in. If your last post was a sales pitch or special, your next one shouldn’t be. After I share a special, maybe I’ll share a blog post next. After a blog post, I might create a new video and share that next. After that video, maybe I’ll create a cool infographic on Photoshop and post that. It could be an educational #WednesdayWisdom post, who knows? Then I’ll share another special. Maybe follow that up with a funny meme.
Variety in your social media content helps keep things interesting. And if you don’t have fun on social media, then how can you do it effectively?
Yes, we want to sell our services, but if all we do is “sell sell sell” all the time, who’s going to want to view our content? As I mentioned before, it’s incredibly challenging to get people to look at HVAC stuff. So I just have fun with it, then put it out there and see what works. Some of it does, some of it doesn’t. But you have to feed the beast!
Less is More, More or Less
Keeping your business noticeable online requires constant content production. But like I mentioned before, you don’t want to bombard people with your content. When I see too many posts from a business on my news feed, I unfollow them. It’s always a good idea to space things out. We try not to bombard people with our content. So while we produce a lot of it, we also take a break from it. The last thing we want is for people to unfollow us. For example, I post on Super Heat & Air’s Facebook page once or twice a day, but not every day. It’s good to give your followers a break.
It’s also a good idea not to obsess over the amount of Likes, Shares or Views a single post gets. Take our videos, for example. Some of our videos have a measly 30-something views. But some of our other videos have more than 1,500 views! That may not seem like that many, but it’s not too shabby for a local air conditioning company. And I don’t see a video with only 36 views as a failure, because if even only one person watches it, it’s one set of eyes on the product. Plus, when you take all those videos with small amounts of views and combine them with the better-performing 1,000+ views videos, you still get a lot of eyes on your product! As of this writing, all of our Facebook videos combined have more than 14,000 views! (Woo hoo!) And that’s not counting YouTube views.
Does it suck when I put together a video and only 30 people watch it? Maybe. But even all of the low-performing content combined puts eyes on Super Heat & Air. So I just keep churning it out and I have fun with it no matter what!
Another thing to keep in mind when doing social media for your company is to not spread yourself too thin. We don’t have to be on EVERY SINGLE social media platform out there, but we are on at least 5 of them (including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, G+ and Pinterest). Facebook is a must and is still the biggest social media player out there. But we’ve found that Instagram often outperforms Facebook in social media engagement. Seriously, if your business is not on Instagram, stop reading this post now and get an Instagram account!
Show Them the Money!
Organic reach on Facebook is not what it used to be. As more and more air conditioning companies sprout up, less and less people are seeing our posts organically. In order to get a larger reach on Facebook, you now have to pay to boost posts. It’s unfortunate, but the good news is that it’s relatively cheap to boost a post on Facebook. You can dramatically increase your reach with a budget of $30 and set a target audience for your boosted post. And the best part about it is you can now cross-promote your post from Facebook to Instagram by checking a box! We often get a lot more Likes and engagement on our Instagram posts than we do on Facebook. Everybody is on Instagram now, period, so get on it!
Humanize the Company
The last thing about having fun with HVAC stuff I want to say is that you have to humanize the company. This applies to any company really, but people want to put faces to the business. So every once in awhile I’ll post pictures on social media of our barbecues, our technicians or our office staff being silly. People like to look at people. Real people! So it’s a great way for potential customers to see the fun bunch of people Super Heat & Air employs.
Nobody really likes to talk to sales people anymore, and nobody likes to be treated like a sale. People want to be treated like people first, so anything I can do to humanize the company and put faces to it is a good thing!
We can never say this enough but happy employees create happy customers!
Super Heat & Air has a lot of loyal long-timers (like me) who have stuck around because we love what we do and the company we work for. And with the creative freedom I’m given around here, I get to have the most fun out of all of them! After all, who gets to have more fun than the guy who writes the blog posts, edits most of the videos, gets to play with Photoshop, goes to networking events and gets paid to be on social media as part of his job?! (Na na na-na naaaaaaa!!!) – Stephen Byrne, Web Content Manager (aka The Guy Who Has the Most Fun) at Super Heat & Air