Follow our guide below to plan the right mix of social updates for your solar company
Social media channels are a key source of engagement for solar dealers and installers. They are useful for presenting your brand and personality, and highlighting your points of difference in a crowded market.
Content to Share
There's a range of content to be shared including:
- useful information, such as
- tips for people researching solar
- resources on how to select the right system
- what to look out for and avoid
- topical issues
- Government policy
- subsidies and tariffs
- technology trends
- news items
- guides and ebooks
- case studies
- special offers
- company updates (eg a 'behind the scenes' look around your showroom)
- seasonal topics (eg heatwaves, Easter, Christmas, New Year, Halloween))
- local topics (eg events happening in a local area)
- daily thoughts (eg if it's a particularly sunny day, a timely post about the weather)
- content on other sites (eg articles from SolarQuotes, Solar Trust Centre, Energy Matters, Solar Citizens, Renew Economy, etc)
- memes and humour
Aim to include a mix of these content items.
It's important to have a clear understanding of the Content Voice for your solar company. Make sure you prepare a Content Voice plan.
This ensures your social posts are consistent and give a clear perception of your offering.
It's no surprise that beautiful images and quick videos get the most engagement on social platforms.
Some quick tips:
- when sharing videos, aim to include captions (some studies have suggested that more than 80% of users on social have videos muted)
- avoid stock images if possible, and use real images from your installs
- include your branding if possible (eg include your vehicles - if they have your logo on them - in the edge of photos of installs)
How often should you post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc?
The question of frequency is important. In an ideal world you'd have so much content you'd be able to post daily or even multiple times daily.
However - for most solar companies - the best of intentions rarely match the real world, and being able to post daily is a real struggle.
With that in mind, we usually recommend aiming for a minimum of 2 social updates per week.
Sounds easy right?
In our experience, getting enough relevant content to share twice a week can be a struggle for most dealers - they are so busy preparing quotes, designing systems, managing installs and providing support, they run out of time to take photos and videos to share.
By the way, there's no maximum number of updates. In years gone by, when social posts received a lot more traction it was possible to post too much (ie your followers/fans would see too many posts from you). Those days are gone, and the fight for attention is very competitive - don't be concerned about too much posting.
How Your Installers Can Help Prepare More Content
Ask your installers to do this daily:
- take a quick photo of the install
- take a quick video of the install
The install doesn't have to be complete - it can be a work in progress.
Ask them to send the photos and videos to a shared company folder (eg Dropbox or OneDrive) or if you are working with an agency simply SMS the files to your agency contact (eg if you are working with the XEN Solar team you'll have a main point of contact to send things to).
It should only take them a few minutes each day to take the photo/video and send it through. Make this part of a daily routine.
With this practice in place you'll have no shortage of content that your marketing person (or agency) can then tweak and turn into social posts.
Ensure you have the customer's permission
Note: you may need to ask permission of the customer that it's OK to share on social (most solar dealers have this in place as part of their contract anyway).
Scheduling your Social Updates
We recommend preparing a monthly schedule of content in advance and then using a social management platform (eg HubSpot Marketing Pro, Buffer, Agorapulse) to post it.
These platforms allow you to prepare all the social posts in advance and then 'set and forget'. They also provide consolidated reporting once the posts have been published.
A big advantage of this approach is you can easily ensure you have the right mix of content throughout the month, without it being too heavily skewed in one direction.
It also means you can schedule special campaigns and offers in advance and coordinate those with paid advertising campaigns at the same time.
Aim to have 90% of your posts scheduled in advance, and then add some ad-hoc posts throughout the month if appropriate (eg a special news item or particularly time sensitive post).
One final benefit of this approach: if you have internal approval requirements (Eg you need to get the boss' approval for the posts), they can all be checked at once, saving you and them time. Efficiency FTW!
Where to Post
- Facebook Page
- Google My Business