Time to read: 4 minutes. Amanda Kinsella is a one-woman marketing department who is selling dozens of heating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and service contracts each month on Facebook. Plus she’s tracking the return on investment to the penny. She’s actually turning a profit on her investment in everything she does on Facebook and her blog. Do I have your attention? Ok… here’s how Amanda is doing it and how you can too. Check out this social media marketing HVAC success story.
Amanda works for Logan Service, a small business selling heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems and service contracts.
Logan serves residential customers across a 2-state region from their home base in Dayton Ohio. Like so many of us do at first, Amanda fumbled around for a year or so with social media marketing. But today she’s generating so many leads with her social selling system that she’s stepping up her investment in it. Plus she’s having fun doing it!
Before all this success Amanda’s big problem was one that you might relate to: Heating and air conditioning systems are not impulse items. People don’t buy HVAC systems very often. When they do they take their time to decide on when and what to buy. After all, HVAC systems have large price tags.
“We’re definitely not selling an impulse item,” says Amanda who points out that most of her social media leads are unlike those coming from traditional, local advertising partners. When customers find Logan Services on Facebook or its blog, it’s often not because they need HVAC products or services.
“They need advice,” she says. “And our job becomes one of shepherding them… leading them on a journey to discover that we have valuable solutions to their problems.”
So, her challenge was clear: Apply social media marketing in HVAC to locate, qualify, nurture and close business with people who take their sweet time deciding to buy.
Amanda had “been there, done that” when it comes to getting Liked. Of course, she noticed that darn few people were interested engaging on Facebook with an HVAC company. It was not something they had any reason to do. But that’s when Amanda took a breath and stopped reacting to Facebook. She started thinking creatively about what she already knew worked with finding and winning over customers.
Amanda stopped trying to reinvent marketing and fell back on her instincts.
Amanda quickly decided to get back to basics and test out a give-away contest—on Facebook. Logan Services would give away a free furnace to the most needy family during the winter season. Amanda decided to dangle a carrot but not without a clear purpose. Her design was to generate sales leads.
First Amanda advertised the contest in local newspapers and on local TV and radio spots—driving people needing a new furnace to her Facebook page. Once potential customers landed on her Facebook page they learned about the catch. Nobody would win a new furnace unless a minimum of 200 people entered the contest.
Contestants needed to spread the word about the contest to as many of their Facebook friends as possible. Otherwise the prize would not be awarded.
Now, remember, Amanda designed this to happen. She knew contestants wanted Logan to give this furnace away. They needed it! So she put them under incentive to help make sure Logan got what it wanted—leads!
This is how Amanda grew her database of qualified leads well into the hundreds. Once hopeful contestants spread the word (and reached the minimum threshold) they were given a chance to enter the contest right on Amanda’s Facebook page.
To enter, contestants simply Liked Logan’s Facebook page and filled out an application. The contest form data captured valuable insights… stories on why this person or family needed a new furnace so badly during the holiday season.
Here’s the icing on the cake. After customers filled out the contest application they were presented with an opportunity to get a quote from Logan on the contest “thank you” page. On average, 20 percent of all contestants were requesting quotes.
In essence the prospects Amanda tapped into were realizing, “hey we need a furnace sometime soon.. and we probably won’t win.. so why not check out Logan’s prices anyway?”
This is the power of good design and this is why you should know people like Amanda Kinsella.
Of course, not all of Amanda’s leads need a new furnace or AC system “bad enough” in the near term. Some do but a lot don’t. That’s just fine with Amanda’s sales team who is pleased to talk to them about a service contract for their existing system. When following up with leads Amanda’s sales team aims to get a foot in the door with new customers.
Service contracts don’t make Logan much in terms of profit. But they do initiate paying relationships with customers that can be grown over time.
Today, Logan is cranking up the social media marketing HVAC volume with two “ethical bribes” for customers. They’re giving away two systems: A furnace in the winter season and an air conditioning system in the summer. Why? Because it’s paying them back in spades.
Amanda continues to pile on traditional advertising dollars to drive customers to her Facebook page. Because she knows exactly how profitable her advertising investment can be under this kind of direct response lead generation design. She is putting a direct return on investment to her advertising dollars and the costs she invests in giving away her products and services.
Let’s consider what this case study in social media marketing for HVAC teaches us.
This is just a short sample of how Amanda is creating leads at Logan. I go into more detail regarding her use of blogging in the first chapter of How to Make Social Media Sell for You available free here.
Photo credit: Paul Goyette
Jeff Molander is the authority on starting conversations with busy people. As founder of Communications Edge Inc. he teaches a proven, effective communications technique to spark buyers curiosity in sales outreach & marketing messages. He's a sought-after sales communications trainer to individual reps, teams of sellers and small businesses owners across the globe. He's an accomplished entrepreneur, having co-founded the Google Affiliate Network and what is today the Performics division of Publicis Groupe. Jeff served as adjunct digital marketing faculty at Loyola University’s school of business. His book, Off The Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You, is first to offer businesses a clear, practical way to create leads and sales with technology platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and blogs.
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