So much of marketing today is meeting your potential customers where they are. Last month, we talked about authentic outreach at sustainability events. Having a social media plan that’s consistent and shows off the best aspects of your solar installation company is another great way to reach new people. In addition to going out to events, you’re also meeting them where they are.
Does Social Media for Solar Matter?
First, let’s look at how people are using social media today to better understand how and where your solar company can reach them.
According to the Pew Research Center, 73% of people aged 50-64 and 81% of people aged 30-49 use some form of social media. This is the prime age group not only for home ownership, but for investing in the home. What’s more, 78% of people who make $75,000 or more annually are using social media, primarily Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.
So what does this data tell us?
When you sit down to create a social media plan for your solar company, this information helps you decide what social media platforms to prioritize and will inform the type of content you create. In other words, you might not need to spend time learning TikTok if the people you’re trying to reach are watching videos on YouTube.
So let’s dive into how we create a plan:
Create a Calendar
An editorial calendar isn’t the most exciting part of a social media plan, but it’s arguably the most important. Begin with a calendar template that includes the post text, media (image, video, etc.), the date it will post and where it will post. Also include how the post will drive people back to your website–are you sending people to a blog post? Landing page? Contact us?
Sit down once a month to write posts for the weeks ahead, keeping a healthy mix of posts about people, the work you do, project “wins”, special promotions and your company culture. You can then upload them into a social media scheduler, like Meta Business Suite, Buffer or Hootsuite, or just post directly to your chosen platform when the date arrives.
Highlight Customer Relationships
Seeing testimonials and images of happy homeowners is the next best thing to word-of-mouth. It builds trust in your company and helps the homeowner see themselves within the project.
Don’t just focus on the homeowner and the finished product, show other parts of the process as well. Former solar company owner Kevin Eigel said showing the sales processes helped put his customers at ease as well.
“It was actually good to see customers in the pictures talking to a sales person and with some kind of anecdote about their installation,” said Eigel. “We always got a better response when we showed people.”
Get to Know Your Staff
Speaking of getting people in your social media posts, think about showing your staff.
“People wanted to get to know our employees,” said Eigel, noting that at his former company, Ecohouse Solar, they would often show employees doing things like riding a bicycle to work or recognizing someone’s new certification.
This is a great opportunity to use video, as well. Tap into the folks in your target audience who are watching YouTube or Instagram Reels. Use video to talk about what solar panels are made out of, how to maintain them, and the steps of an installation.
Delegate Social Media
Some solar companies are passionate about staying connected with their audience. But for others, posting to social media is just one more thing to do at the end of the day.
Eigel admits that he struggled to keep up with social media when he first started Ecohouse. He tried a few things to improve consistency, like handing it off to an intern, but found that the social media posts still failed to represent his company well.
“It didn’t get good until we started working with an agency that got us really focused,” said Eigel. Using the ideas and strategy, Eigel then shifted the work back in house. “Then I assigned someone at Ecohouse to do social media and it got really good.”
Eigel recommends that any company that wants to do better on social media can greatly benefit from a little professional advice and a knowledgeable person dedicated to the task.
“Somebody’s got to spend some time on it, know how the technology works, and make it look good,” he said.