How to Build Your Social Media Presence

Generate quality leads from social media with these 6 tips

Tell the painters on your team to pull out their phones and get on social media. No, it’s not a distraction or a waste of time on the job. In fact, savvy social media skills can save your business time and help you land more jobs and make more money.

Kassity Moore, founder of Ohio City Painting in Cleveland, Ohio, says she never spent a penny on marketing when launching her business. She built her customer base almost entirely through social media. Today she estimates 95 percent of her estimates come through Instagram.

“The value of my customers and the value of the jobs I’m getting have enhanced dramatically from showing people who I am and what I do on social media,” Moore says. “I’m getting clients who want me specifically. I’m selling myself before I ever show up to an estimate. So my success rate on estimates has been so much higher now that I’m really present on social media.”

Moore and Jordan Simmons, founder of Alista Media, explain how they built up Ohio City Painting through social media—and how you can do the same for your business.

  • Craft your virtual business card. Create an account on your social media platform of choice—Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are all great options these days—then focus on your profile. Research says you have about seven seconds to grab a potential follower’s attention. Choose your words carefully. “Your profile is your primary real estate,” Simmons says. “Make sure to tell people who you are, who you help, how you help them, and how they can take action.”
  • Collect content on the job site. Snap pictures, record videos, and think of content ideas while you’re working. It’s easy to say you don’t have time for that—but the reality is, once you get the hang of it, it takes one to two minutes tops. Just pull out your phone and record what’s already happening; if an iPhone camera is good enough for professional filmmakers, it’s good enough for your social media account.
  • Create time lapse videos. Apparently, there really is an audience for watching paint dry. Time lapse videos perform extremely well on social media and can be a great way to expand your audience. These videos can require a bit more work—between finding the time lapse feature on your phone’s camera and choosing a place to position your camera—but the results can be spectacular. Moore says they perform so well that she makes setting up a time lapse camera part of her process on almost every job site now. You can film either an entire room or just a small section of wall; in Simmons’ experience, 4’ by 10’ sections perform the highest in terms of engagement.
  • When in doubt, copy others. You don’t have to be original to be successful on social media. Many trends, like TikTok duets, are actually based on copying what others have done before. Find accounts you’d like to model your business after and post the types of content they do. The results will be less similar than you think, Simmons says: “No one else does it the way you do, and that’s special. You’re going to laugh differently, create a different caption, look different, be more professional or casual, and all those details matter. That’s how your target community finds you.”
  • Respond to (almost) all feedback. “You should respond to just about every comment that you get. It shows your community that you care,” says Simmons. But there’s another hidden benefit to replying: “It also shows the algorithm you care. If the algorithm sees you’re posting and interacting with people, it will reward you [with a larger audience].” What about negative comments? “I only remove the really toxic comments. The ones that are just critiquing us? Leave them. More often than not, your community will come in and rally behind you or answer questions for you. And that can be a really cool experience.”
  • Consistency is king. The important thing with social media is to be consistent. Whether that means posting once a week, once a day, or several times per day, pick a rate you can maintain and stick with it for 90 days before you try to ramp it up or throw in the towel.

Creating compelling content at regular intervals—and sticking with it—will ultimately set you up for long-term success. Notice that phrase: “long-term.” Social media success is rarely immediate. It rewards commitment over time and a willingness to try things out and see what works.

“Social media is trial and error,” Moore says. “Have fun with it. Put things out there. See what works and what doesn’t work. It won’t be quick. But within a year, I started to see a lot of feedback. If you stay consistent with it, you can grow pretty steadily.”

For more tips from Moore and Simmons, check out the PRO+ Business Training Series webinar on “Social Media.”