House Cleaning Service Providers and Social Media Marketing
Social media is everywhere, but is it important for house cleaning service providers, janitors and maids?
Yes. When we are young they teach us that reading and writing are the gateway to our future – and let’s add editing photos and videos as new survival skills. Without those skills, it’s tough to navigate the ever changing landscape of social media.
Is social media a business tool or a toy? That’s up to you, but today we will assume that you are operating a house cleaning or maid service business, with limited time and resources. We will also assume you’re using social media to drive money into your bank account. But why social media?
Because that is where everybody is.
Should I pay for social media ads to promote my house cleaning business?
You can but in the beginning I don’t recommend it. If you are new to social media I recommend building out your social media platforms first. Fill in your profiles, get some good head shot photos, and start building your brand. When and if you do run ads, and drive traffic to your social media there will be brand content waiting for them… not just a few cute cat videos and a picture of last Tuesday’s lunch a Appleby’s.
The key to social media is using free resources to build your business.
Here are some of the most popular social media platforms with quick suggestions of how you might use the free elements to build your business.
Disclaimer: There is no such thing as free social media – it takes time to do it correctly and time is money. As a small business owner, you have a limited amount of time. You run your business, your family and your life – oh and can you stop to learn social media along the way? By the way, if you don’t know what you are doing, you can waste a lot of time and not generate any business.
If you’re house cleaning where do you find the time to learn social media?
The good news is you can focus on social media in small spurts, a few minutes here and a few minutes there. When a client cancels their house cleaning – spend that time learning social media. Spend twenty minutes every morning learning social media. Spend twenty minutes at night when you get home after you’ve closed out all your accounts for the day. There is no right or wrong way to do it as long as you do it.
Personally, I listen to social media “how to” podcasts on my way to the gym in the morning. Monday I learn about Facebook. Tuesday I learn about Twitter. Wednesday it’s LinkedIn. Thursday I’m learning Pinterest. Friday it’s Google+, Saturday = Periscope, Sunday = Instagram, Monday back to Facebook. Then when I have a few minutes here or there, whenever I can fit it in, I try to implement what I’ve learned. It’s not a fancy system, but it is a system, I am consistent, and it works.
Here’s my list of my top Podcast Favorites for house cleaners, maids and janitors. (Updated 5/12/2016)
Where is the best place to start building a brand for house cleaning?
All the social media platforms have a “profile page”. Go back and look at all your profile pages. Do they represent the best version of you and/or your company? If you are just getting started in the house cleaning business and you don’t have a website – guess what? Your client’s are going to look for you on social media. They want to see pictures of you, with your family, and what interests you. They can get a feel for who you are, and what you value, based on what you pin, post, tweet, scope, blab or chat.
Realize that you are asking prospective clients to invite a perfect stranger in their home, and trust you with their family, their pets and all their valuables. Trust me, they will look you up. And as your business grows and you hire employees, your employees will look you up as well. Make sure that you highlight the best you offer on social media.
House Cleaning & Facebook
Have a great profile picture that looks like you’re capable of cleaning houses. If your profile picture is you in a prom dress from ten or twenty years ago – it will be hard for your prospective clients to imagine you with a mop in your hand. Paint a picture they can visualize.
List House Cleaning as your Business
Your profile page should have a quick blurb about what you do and how you help others. On Facebook in the about section there is a place for work and education. Here you can list that you clean houses and put a link to your cleaning business website. (If you don’t have a website, create a Facebook business cleaning page and link to that, or your LinkedIn profile.)
Join house cleaning Facebook groups – or start your own
On Facebook, join a couple of house cleaning groups. The groups you belong to are visible on your about page. Belonging to groups in your industry shows you care about what you do.
This is a closed Facebook group. People can see that you belong to it, but they can’t read the contents.
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A closed group is helpful because it keeps the contents private from non-members. Here you can vent, rant, ask questions and troubleshoot your house cleaning business with other house cleaners – support each other.
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Ask questions behind closed doors. Ask your peers if you are thinking about trying something new in your house cleaning business. Suppose you have a difficult customer, or you want to raise your prices – this is a great place to get feedback from others just like you.
This particular house cleaning group encourages you to post cleaning blogs, pins, posts, blabs and scopes you’ve created to the site, which in turns showcases you as an expert in the cleaning service industry.
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You can respond and take part in the conversations which helps others in the group get to know and trust you. Rhenate Heyward – a house cleaner in this group works in Rock Hill, South Carolina. We know her because she is active in group conversations. My business doesn’t go as far as Rock Hill, but if I get a call for that area guess who I’m going to refer? You guessed it, Rae. Because even though I’ve never met her in person, we’ve shared ideas in our Facebook group. People do business with people they know, like and trust. And it costs me nothing to pass along referrals I can’t work.
“Like” some house cleaning and organizing books
People can also see the movies and the books you “like” on Facebook. So add a few business books to your Facebook page so you at least look interested in house cleaning. Recommended Reading List for House Cleaners You can read them and “like” them too.
Twitter to grow your house cleaning business
Twitter is a great place for you to market your business on social media. Even if you don’t spend a lot of time on Twitter, lots of your clients do. You should definitely have a “Twitter” presence.
Same rules apply for profile pictures – have a great one. State in your profile what you do and link back to your website or business page. Make it easy for your clients to follow you on Twitter.
Join a Twitter chat or create your own
Think of a Twitter chat like a school class. There are several classrooms in a school and they all focus on different topics or subjects. www.TweetChat.com is a school with rooms of different topics. To gain access to a room, you log in to www.TweetChat.com with your Twitter account. Once you’ve logged in you will type a keyword with a hashtag in front of it. In this case, where the red arrow is, I typed in #housecleaning (See the picture below.)
A room opened and you will see in the RED ARROW a URL www.tweetchat.com/room/housecleaning
Twitter chats have active (tweet chats). But if you visit a class room when no class is in session, you can still cash in on the conversation. This is still useful information. Here’s how to use it:
Each twitter chat is specific to the hashtag used. If you type in a different hashtag, the topic will be about that. So read some of the ideas about house cleaning, and pick ones that resonate with you and then retweet them. In the bottom right corner of every tweet in the twitter chat, there is a like, a retweet and reply button. Now you have content for your twitter feed. Booyah.
Listed in the picture:
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The person who posted the tweet
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The topic or title of the post (in this example it’s a blog about removing pet stains)
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We tagged @MerryMaids in this post since they are the ones who created the content. By tagging them, you give them credit, and a chance for your Twitter followers to follow them as well.
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This is a bitly link where you can find the blog post on removing pet stains (bit.ly is an app that shortens the URL’s of blog posts and websites so you can fit more content in 140 characters. Twitter limits tweets to 140 characters.)
Create a Pinterest Business Page
Pinterest is cool because it allows you to create a business page you can use just for your house cleaning. This is a picture of my business Pinterest page for house cleaners. You can create something similar.
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You see a company logo and business name.
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Here is a CTA (Call to Action) It is a free e-book on How to Start Your Own House Cleaning Company
Pinterest like the other social media platforms gives you one URL. Use it wisely. Send people to your website, your email list, your private Facebook group etc.
The catch is you only get one URL for this page, so this is a good place to showcase another avenue of your business.
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These are business related Pinterest boards where your clients can follow and find out more about you. I think of them as bookmarks. When I find awesome pins, I repin them to an organized board. When I need that information again, I just log in to my Pinterest account and clicking on the appropriate board. Want to cheat? You can go to https://www.Pinterest.com/SavvyCleaner and you can follow my boards and you can cheat off my boards as well. Don’t you just love Pinterest? Woot Woot!
Share House Cleaning Tips on Instagram
Something as simple as house cleaning tips on an Instagram page can build credibility. Prospective clients who find you can see that you know what you are doing. The secret to Instagram is to post regularly. A tip a day is a good rule of thumb. You don’t want to be all over the place with your pictures. Strive for consistency in your pictures and brand, which suggests consistency in your work. Clients who hire you LOVE consistency, because they know they can count on you.
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This is your profile picture. Again, make it look like you could clean house. No photos of you and your dog here or of your latest tattoo. Make your profile picture flow with your brand.
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This is the name of your business. When it is sandwiched right next to your profile picture, people associate your photo with your company name – again, it’s great for branding. I do recommend on Instagram to use your face as your profile picture rather than your logo.
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You get one URL in Instagram as well – this is a good place for another Call to Action. This one shown offers a free sign up to a house cleaning tips newsletter.
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You get a sentence or two to tell people about your instagram page and your business. Why should they follow you? Who are you and what do you do? And what are you offering? Not much space so you have to get really creative. This one says:
Angela Brown @SavvyCleaner #TheHouseCleaningGuru Trains #HouseCleaning and #MaidService business owners. Free tricks & time saving hacks savvycleaner.com/tips
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Use great photos that back up what you are saying. If you offer house cleaning tips, you don’t want your tips on top of pictures of waterfalls or sunsets. While those are awesome elements of scenery, they have nothing to do with house cleaning tips. Do your best to keep your photos on topic with your tips. Waterfalls and sunsets are great if your tips are about hiking or camping.
Keep your hashtags on topic
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Evey picture on Instagram has a place for text – this is where you put your house cleaning tip. We recommend the use of hashtags in Instagram. They connect you to other people who share similar interests. Technically every word in your tip could be a hashtag – but what good does that do? Think of hashtags as breadcrumbs, you leave a specific trail for people and the search engines to follow. Instead of scattering breadcrumbs (hashtags) in the wind, make a focused trail that leads back to your business. Only use hashtags that are on topic with your brand. This will narrow your niche and help you rank higher in the search engines.
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After you leave a tip, find ten or twelve topic related hashtags to add into your sidebar. This will attract people interested in similar topics who may start to follow you.
NOTE: After you’ve created a great Instagram post – repost it on Google+ for more search engine optimization (SEO juice).
Connect with your current clients on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the business hub of social media. Here you will find laser focused business owners and employees. To make LinkedIn pay off for you, you have to work it.
Make sure you have a great profile picture, and a great business title that includes what you do and how you help others. LinkedIn is a HUGE search engine that will pull from your profile, and try to connect you with others who can benefit from knowing you. Under your profile picture there is a “view more” bar. Click on it and fill in the boxes. These include volunteer opportunities, honors and awards you have received. You can highlight courses you’ve taken. Showcase projects you are working on. List schools you have attended. Mention jobs you’ve worked or positions you’ve held. Connect to places you’ve lived. Spotlight skills you have mastered. Link to publications that feature you, or books you have written. Languages you speak, and groups you belong to etc.
You can even add your blog posts and YouTube videos to the publishing section of LinkedIn. If you’re an expert – showcase it here.
Your clients are probably also on LinkedIn. This is a great place for you to connect and learn more about them and what they do in their companies. They can learn more about you too – and with an awesome profile, it makes it easy for them to recommend or endorse you.
Join targeted industry groups on LinkedIn
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In this group there are 25,344 professional members. Imagine the impact you could have if you take part in group conversations and become an industry expert?
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This is the name of the LinkedIn Group, in this case it is ISSA – The Worldwide Cleaning Association group. You do not even need to be a member of ISSA to join this group – but they do offer membership discounts to group members.
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Conversations and jobs available within this group
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Members can post blogs, articles, tips, questions, discounts, event notices, book release notices, etc.
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There is a discover button where you can discover similar groups to join.
The key to success with groups is you will only get out of them what you put into them. If you sign up and join a group, and then you don’t check back in for a year – it will do you no good. If you invest fifteen minutes each day, and check in with your group, you will be able to see what’s trending in the cleaning service industry. What are the recent changes to the laws? What are current concerns? Who is coming up with good answers to questions asked in your groups? Who wrote a blog yesterday that is exactly what you need to hear today? What conferences are coming up that you can attend? What new books do you need to read? What new podcasts are out that you can listen to on your way to clean your next house? Would you make a good guest for a podcast interview? LinkedIn is a good place to connect with those industry professionals.
The Wonderful Search Engine of YouTube
- Over 1 billion users used YouTube regularly (as of 4/21/2014)
- 4 billion YouTube views per day (as of 1/23/2012)
- 6 billion hours of YouTube watched per day (as of 4/21/2014)
- 300 Hours estimated new videos uploaded to YouTube EVERY MINUTE (as of 12/02/2014)
- 323 days worth of YouTube videos viewed on Facebook every minute (As of 7/09/2014)
- 1 billion average YouTube mobile video views per day (as of 10/27/2013)…
- And a bunch of other stats that are terribly out of date – can you image what the current stats are? Double this, triple this?
- In 2014 YouTube was the second largest ranking search engine in cyberspace
How are you using YouTube to build your cleaning brand?
Here’s a 15 second video I created just for you to show you that you don’t have to be fancy with your videos. There is music, but no microphone, and no words. There is a place when you upload your video to YouTube where you can type in your tip and keywords that will help your video rank. (This tip suggests after you put dirty, stinky clothes in the wash, wipe out the laundry basket. When you put your clean clothes back in the basket, the basket will also be clean.)
Once you’ve uploaded your video to YouTube, YouTube assigns your video a URL (A link). You can copy the video link and paste it into Tube2gram.com where you can transfer your YouTube video to an Instagram video. Get twice the viewers for your video work. Post the same video on YouTube AND Instagram. Booyah!
Your YouTube video in 178 Languages
We won’t go in to specifics here, but check this out if you talk in your YouTube video, like if you’re giving audible instructions on how to do something. Through the “Video Manager” settings on YouTube, there is a built in app that starts and pauses your video as you go – while you type in the closed caption text. Once the closed caption has been added, YouTube will automatically translate the closed captioned text you just added – into a whopping 178 languages for a global audience.
Here’s a no brainer – all that text is also indexed in the search engines.
Promote your business through Google+ Search Engine
Google is the world’s largest search engine. So it stands to reason that as a house cleaner, you would want to create a free Google+ account and plus your marketing efforts. Fill our your profile, add a profile picture that is in line with your brand. And then every time you write a blog, pin, Instagram etc., copy it to Google+ where it is indexed and linked back to you. When you do a Google search for your brand, everything you’ve added to your Google+ account helps bring your brand to the top of the search engines.
Here’s a no-brainer brand booster for Google+
When you read a blog like this and you see the share buttons on the top, side or bottom of the post, click on the Google+ or the +1 button. Your Google+ account opens and repackages the blog you are reading on a small card like the one above. On that card in the top left corner is your profile picture or logo linking you to that topic. So theoretically, if you share a bunch of house cleaning related posts and blogs, then Google will index you as being active in the house cleaning industry. You’re welcome. 🙂
Periscope for Your House Cleaning Business?
I wish I could say I love Periscope for house cleaners – but I don’t. Yes it’s live streaming, and yes it’s popular right now – but as a small cleaning business, you have limited time and resources to create your social media content to build your business. Everything we’ve talked about so far I’m going to call sticky content. While it has a life span, most of it can be recycled and repurposed again on the same, or various platforms. You can also store forever on your website that content where new visitors will find it ten years from now.
There are plenty of social media automation services available now, like Hootsuite, Buffer, TweetJukebox, MeetEdgar, and more. Automation allows you to schedule your social media pins, tweets, posts, and blog posts that don’t go out of date (which is referred to in digital marketing land as “evergreen content”.) Periscope and Snapchat are both new kids on the block and both of them have a black eye for small independent business owners. The content you work so hard to create today, is also gone today – never to return.
I’m opening a can of worms, because die hard fans of both Periscope and Snapchat will argue that they are getting amazing results from their efforts – so let me explain:
You only have 24 hours in a day, during which time, you have to eat, sleep, and raise a family. You have to maintain your own house, find new clients, and clean houses for your existing clients. You have to confirm tomorrow’s appointments, and go bid new jobs. You have to go grocery shopping and pick up cleaning supplies. You’ve got to mow your yard, go to your kids soccer games, do your laundry and your social media. When are you going to find time to create content that gets zapped into the ether as soon as you post it?
And why would you want to?
If you’re in business less than five years, please spend your time creating evergreen content that can be indexed back to you and your business, and help you monitize your brand.
There are exceptions
Debbie Sardone is a Periscope exception. She is the founder of an amazing non-profit organization called Cleaning for a Reason, which provides cleaning services to women undergoing cancer treatment. She also owns one of the largest and most successful cleaning companies in Texas and she does a lot of business consulting for cleaning companies in expansion. She also owns SpeedCleaning.com which is a company that provides cleaning supplies to companies around the globe. Debbie has been in business for three decades and the scope of her audience is worldwide, not just one neighborhood over. Debbie keeps reinventing herself and she’s earned a huge following on Periscope. I’ve watched a few of her scopes and she’s brilliant at what she does. One particular scope, she took us on a tour of her cleaning supply warehouse and then her call to action was a discount code for anyone who ordered products over the weekend.
So there is a time and a season for Periscope – but I do not recommend it for house cleaners starting out. If you have the urge to make a video and you want to post it, do it on YouTube and then drive traffic to it for the rest of your career. Reposition that video on your website and share it with your private Facebook group. Post a fifteen second version on Instagram and so forth.
Note: Periscope is live streaming, in real time and it CONSUMES GOBS OF MOBILE DATA. I recommend holding off on Periscope until you have an unlimited mobile data plan.
These are some ways you might use social media to build your house cleaning brand. Of course we’ve only scratched the surface of the endless possibilities for brand promotion. I’d love to hear your tips – what are you doing to boost your cleaning business through social media?