One of the best tools available to business owners to get more referrals is Facebook. There are actually several very good strategies to use Facebook to get more business (referrals and otherwise) but in this article, we are going to focus on my favorite strategy for getting more referrals.
I call this method the “Helpful Share”.
How you set this up depends on your business or industry. Some businesses are more geared for the Helpful Share tactic than others, but I have yet to find one that it won’t work for at all. If you are not sure how you would make this work for your business, let me know … I might have some ideas for you.
How Home Service Businesses Can Use Facebook to Get More Referrals
Let’s look at home services first. Let’s say you are a fence company or a solar energy company (these are two of our most popular industries we serve). Here is how the Facebook Helpful Share strategy would work.
- At the earliest stages of the project you connect with them on Facebook. I recommend the very first day you begin working on the project. You can tell them that sometimes it is easier to get you that way. I cannot stress enough how important this is. It’s also a great way to grow your Facebook audience.
- Fast forward to the end of your project … as you are wrapping up the project, you walk with the customer and show them the work that has been done (as you probably already do).
- You take photos of key portions of the work (for your records) as you are walking around.
- You ask them to get in the photo. Now, a big key to this is that you scouted out the photo in advance … knowing exactly where you wanted them to stand and cleaning up the background to make sure you got a great photo. The QUALITY of the photo is a big key here! Note, we are including some examples of great photos below so you can see for yourself how this might be done.
- You then comment what a great photo it is and that you’ll share it with them. You already have their Facebook info, so it’s an easy process to share this photo with them. Comment what a pleasure it was to work with them, how you hope they enjoy their new fence or solar panels or whatever.
- In most cases, they will be happy to show off the photo on their timeline so all their friends can see their new (whatever). This is why the quality of the photo is so important!
- Congratulations, you have just received referrals to every one of their online friends!
How Professional Service Businesses Can Use Facebook to Get More Referrals
Make sure to read the steps above because a lot of the same concepts apply to you. The difference is that your photo will be different. Here are a few ways to get a client to jump into a photo and be happy you shared it with them on their timeline.
- You can position them in front of your company (indoor or exterior) signage.
- You can jump into the photo with them selfie style or have a colleague snap the photo.
- You can use a series of props that are related to your business that they are holding or using. (examples of this below)
The Secret to the Facebook “Helpful Share” Tactic
The “secret” to the success of this referral program is that YOU took charge. You took the photo. You posted the photo … and by doing so, you forced the referral without any objection from the customer. They’re probably not even aware of what you just did.
Again, a huge piece to this is to have the Facebook connection worked out on the front end. If you fumble around trying to find them to share the photo at the end, a large percentage of people will tell you to forget about it or ask you to text it to them instead. HUGE wasted opportunity!
Examples of Facebook Helpful Share Referral Photos
Details matter! If you want to succeed with Facebook referrals, you need to spend time thinking about and perfecting your specific strategy and execution. Here are a few example photos which may inspire your creativity:
Photo Example 1
Fence Contractor: positions customer with baby and dog in front of the fence … this is social media gold!
Photo Example 2
Electrical Contractor: positions customer so the lighting shows behind the customer. Great photo, attracted a lot of attention. Remember to keep the customer as the focus, not your work! Otherwise, the photo might not get shared as much!
In this photo, we had developed a great relationship with the client (the older gentleman who is speaking), so we asked him if he would be OK having us just shoot a couple photos as my team consulted with him. This was the best possible case because not only did we get a great photo to share on facebook, but it turned out to be a great photo for our website.