Electrical contracting business Platinum Electrical was founded in 2004. In the ten years since, the business has grown from a team of just two, to a state wide operation incorporating 54 full time employees. A highly diversified contracting business, Platinum Electrical services consumers in the greater Brisbane area, as well as delivering large construction contracts throughout Queensland.
After watching social media gain prominence is business operations globally, General Manager Aaron Cluff incorporated social media into the business’s marketing strategy to complement existing marketing activities and give a less formal voice to their customer communication.
“We try to keep on top of all potential outlets that can connect us with potential customers, so we are continually looking into what others are doing, and thinking of the implications of implementing these technologies in our business,” said Aaron.
“I wouldn’t say that we are industry leaders in using the technology, but we are ahead of many of our competitors.”
After researching the available platforms, the team at Platinum Electrical decided to take their first steps in social media with a Facebook account.
“Taking a course in social media was prohibitive for us in terms of both time and cost, so we decided to use a platform our management and staff were most comfortable with, and went with Facebook,” Aaron said.
“From there, we realised the need for a more in depth knowledge of social media, and did a lot of research into communication strategies in general.
“We then applied what we had learned to Facebook.”
With their fan base growing, the team at Platinum decided to integrate Facebook into their long term communication policy, and developed their approach to posting on the channel.
“The Facebook Guidelines proved particularly helpful in creating our Facebook strategy; they had plenty of information on how we were and weren’t allowed to use the account,” says Aaron.
“From there, it was about making sure our posts were having their intended effect.
“We now regularly track our posts to see which ones get the most activity, in an attempt to understand why our fans enjoyed them.”
After careful analysis, Aaron realised it was more about what was posted, rather than the time it was posted. Fans reacted well to posts that engaged them in their everyday lives, not just their dealings with the electrical industry.
“Our most liked post since creating the account wasn’t even related to our work; it was for State of Origin.
“We changed our profile picture and cover photo to support the Maroons, and our fans loved it.
“We got more likes and subsequent follows that week than any other.”
But challenges still exist in administering the account. The team regularly discuss their Facebook activities and their place in the overall marketing strategy.
In an aim to better service their clients’ needs, Platinum Electrical have made the conscious decision not to use Facebook as a selling tool; rather, they use it to build brand recognition.
The channel provides Platinum with a chance to use a much less formal voice than in their traditional marketing activities. At the same time, they use fun and engaging posts to plant the “Platinum idea” in the minds of their users.
“We try to get into their mindset; they’re sitting at home, on the train, waiting for the bus, and they’re sitting on Facebook,” says Aaron.
“Essentially, it’s about getting them to think of you in their down time so they think of you at the right time; when they need you.”
Aaron continues to research Facebook and other social media channels to keep up to date with changes to their technology.
He advises other business owners to choose a platform they’re comfortable with, and experiment with posts to create a unique product mix that their followers will enjoy.
“You don’t need to jump in and use all social media platforms at once. Take it slow and develop a strategy that works for you.
“We find our clients are more engaged with Facebook than Twitter or Instagram, so we have made the decision to stick with Facebook.
“We advertise the account on our business cards, vans and website, and are seeing good organic growth.
“It takes a bit of time to gain traction, but with any other marketing strategy, it’s about trial and error.”