Trey Driver, owner of Big Buck Mowers and Equipment in Bonham, Texas, is a big believer in social media. When he first started his business three years ago, he knew he needed to build an online presence to grow awareness for his company, which is located in a rural area.
Driver spoke with friends and acquaintances about how to foster business growth through social media, and many told him it could take up to five years to start seeing success. He was determined to make it happen much faster. In just three short years, Driver's company has accumulated over 13,000 Facebook followers, attracted more than 800 YouTube subscribers, surpassed 4,500 Instagram followers and garnered more than 300 Twitter followers. The work has paid off handsomely. Driver reports that nearly 90 percent of Big Buck Mowers and Equipment's business is coming from Facebook and YouTube.
"Social media is a great way to attract business," he said. "It's faster than word-of-mouth because with social media, the message hits a larger group of people quicker."
Though Driver got off to a fast start with the company's social media channels and gained followers faster than he and his colleagues thought possible, he says that growing an online presence is not something that happens overnight. It takes a great deal of diligence and experimentation.
"You're not going to get results right away," he said. "It's like practicing a sport, you have to understand that this does work. It just takes time, effort and consistency."
For example, Driver found that YouTube has been an ideal platform for equipment demonstrations. Customers want to see a product in action before they purchase. Big Buck Mowers and Equipment has seen a lot of customers come in ready to make a purchase after they’ve seen videos of a product on the company's YouTube channel.
"These are real, potential customers. Social media is a way to attract business, and it's faster than word-of-mouth because, with social media, the message hits a larger group quicker."
Driver also said the company got good results from paying to boost posts, especially on Facebook. It has been able to target the specific demographics that are most likely to engage with Big Buck Mowers and Equipment and provide them relevant content. A boosted post also comes with analytics that show how many views, likes and shares the post received, which helps Driver ensure his company’s content is compelling and resonates with his audience.
Though these digital tools help the business, Driver cautions against getting caught up in the social media numbers game and instead advises that companies focus on the people behind the screens.
"It's important to keep in mind that there’s another person on the other side of social media," Driver said. "These are real, potential customers who are interested in engaging content that is relevant to them."
Trey's five social media tips can help you springboard your online presence: