Social Media Marketing

Social media has revolutionized the way companies communicate with potential and current customers and the public at large. Whether it is to present new services, share success stories, or compare products, social media are the fastest and most flexible tool to position your company. Some of the benefits of social media for solar businesses may be: connect you to new prospects, spotlight on your content, keeps you in touch with past customers, engage with the community, attract visitors to business's website, build trust in the market.

The Solar Foundation is committed to assisting local solar companies to develop and grow into successful and sustainable firms in the solar ecosystem of Puerto Rico. No matter what role within the solar industry your company plays in Puerto Rico: residential installs, commercial PPAs, design, utility-sized solar permitting, and or a wholesale distributorship, your company will benefit from a marketing and client acquisition plan. To take greater advantage of social networks, it is advisable to develop a social media plan. An SMP's complexity can vary depending on the importance of social networks in your marketing plan and the time available for networks. Here we present a simple model of an SMP for easy execution.

1. Define your social media goals: Your company's objectives define these goals—for example, company differentiation, promotion of offers, brand awareness, among others.

2. Fine-tune your audience: Social networks like Facebook allow you to define your audience geographically or by demographic groups.

3. Choose your social media: Determine your selection, taking into consideration where is your target market? There are several social media options like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Some are more effective in sharing company images, content, and information. As a general rule, Facebook may be more effective in attracting residential and small business markets. LinkedIn may be more appropriate for business-to-business interactions and for direct connection to the commercial market.

4. Know your competition: Examine other solar companies' pages in your region to differentiate your offerings. You can also visit other pages of companies outside of Puerto Rico to get ideas of how they communicate their benefits and operation of the equipment they offer.

5. Developing educational content: We know that many potential solar customers are well educated in technology, but spending time creating content on general solar energy concepts, product's technical specifications, installation process, and system operation will provide your audience with extra information for their purchase decision. Also, it is an excellent opportunity to show all your knowledge of solar energy. Another quick and straightforward option is to share news from well-known sources about the benefits of solar energy, technological advances, public policy, and the solar industry's growth.

6. Content consistency: Make sure your content is consistent with the technical facts and strategy presented by the manufacturer of the solar equipment you are offering. Reach out to the manufacturers to obtain equipment and process specific marketing information and technical comparisons that will allow you to integrate into your SMP.

7. Maximize the use of visual images: A picture is worth a thousand words. Integrate photos of your work in your social networks; nothing presents your work's product better than an image of the finished PV system.

8. Integrate the voices of your customers: Yes, an image is powerful, but if a testimonial from a satisfied customer accompanies it, it can be the element that convinces your audience to contact your company for a visit and quote.

9. Keeping the conversation with your audience: One of the biggest mistakes companies make is not responding to their audience's inquiries or comments. The social network pages are dynamic and require feeding them with content and a quick reaction to your audience's feedback.

10. Grow your audience: This strategy is more closely related to brand awareness. We know that followers will not necessarily become clients, but it is extremely important to promote the company and its offerings. Invest in posts by paying for their promotion and boost its exposure.

11. Schedule your posts: This tactic is widely used by Social Media Experts. You can prepare content in advance, such as product promotion, energy efficiency tips, industry news, testimonials, and offers, and post it on a specific day. For example, every two Monday post a promotion, every Tuesday publishes energy efficiency tips. This will help you maintain an active and dynamic page while organizing your social media management.

12. Monitoring your results: After all the planning, content development, photos posted, it's time to evaluate the results of your efforts on social media. Examine the traffic on your page, new followers, comments, and leads you obtained after your posts. Identify which ones produce the most positive reactions from your audience. In this way, you will know which are the most effective strategies for your business. We hope these tips will help you maximize your company's social media presence and achieve your growth goals. We are available to review and provide industry-validated feedback on your SMP, reach out to us so that we can schedule an appointment.

References:

Bera, D., & Goel, S. Social Media for Utilities: Developing a Satisfying Customer Experience. Cognizant. Retrieved from https://www.cognizant.com/industries-resources/energy_and_utilities/Social-Media-for-Utilities-Developing-a-Satisfying-Customer-Experience.pdf Curren, E. (2016, February 4).
Solar Power World. https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2016/02/how-to-create-a-social-media-plan-for-a-solar-business-in-six-steps/
Payne, K. (2020, November 2). How To Create A Social Media Marketing Plan. https://kevintpayne.com/how-to-create-a-social-media-marketing-plan/