81% of UK electricians aren’t sure how to use social media effectively

Social media has transformed businesses in all industries, but despite helping many tradespeople get more work, a staggering 85% say they don’t know how to use it effectively.

New research by IronmongeryDirect has explored how trade businesses currently use social media and how many are currently missing out on its benefits.

Almost half (47%) of tradespeople say that having a social media presence helps them get more work, with Facebook being the main platform (22%). This is for several reasons, including the ability to build stronger client relationships (15%), get ahead of competitors (15%) and interact with community groups (22%).

Such is the power of social media, one in six (16%) tradespeople believe it is now just as important, if not more, than traditional word of mouth. Because of this, 45% now actively advertise on at least one social platform and more than one in 10 (12%) use social media as their only form of marketing.

However, despite recognising its importance, the vast majority of tradespeople say they are not using social media effectively. Nearly nine in 10 (85%) don’t know how to get the most out of it, with plumbers the least likely to maximise its potential (90%). Joiners are the most social savvy of all the trades, yet 79% still don’t know how best to use their channels to help their business. Electricians are just behind, at 81%.

The trades most likely to get more work by using social media are:

  1. Builders – 66%
  2. Bricklayers – 53%
  3. Landscapers – 51%
  4. Painter/Decorators – 46%
  5. Electricians – 45%
  6. Plumbers – 45%
  7. Building Surveyors – 37%
  8. Carpenters – 33%
  9. Joiners – 33%
  10. Plasterers – 25%

On average, female tradespeople dedicate the most time to social media promotion, with over half (51%) pursuing leads online, compared to just 41% of men. They are also more likely to ask customers to leave reviews online (28% vs 23%) and such digital feedback is growing in significance.

Over 20 million business reviews are posted on Google every day and they can have a huge impact on a company’s performance. A recent study found that businesses with positive scores on review sites can earn up to 58% more revenue.

Overall, a quarter (25%) of trade businesses ask for reviews and a similar amount (26%) believe that positive comments can directly lead to more custom. However, more than a fifth (21%) of tradespeople worry about receiving negative reviews and the impact that might have.

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