Social Media Marketing in HVAC: How Logan Services Gets SALES

Social Media Marketing in HVAC: How Logan Services Gets Leads & SALES

  • By Jeff Molander

social media marketing hvac

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. social media marketing hvac

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.

Shepherding Customers

“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.

Get Back to Basics

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.

social media marketing hvac

Designing Social Media to Sell for You

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.

Game on!

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.

Leads a Plenty

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.

Nurturing Leads to Sales

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.

Measuring ROI to the Penny

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.

The Secret Sauce in a Nutshell

Let’s consider what this case study in social media marketing for HVAC teaches us.

  1. Amanda’s Facebook strategy uses an ethical bribe that leverages practical needs of everyday residential HVAC customers.
  2. She uses local advertising to drive people to her Facebook page for a specific reason—a contest that gets a focused conversation started with people who she knows have real need for her products and services.
  3. Amanda also designs her ethical bribe (contest) in ways that gets people hungry to enter (and win) to go out and DO something that helps them (increase chances of winning) and creates more leads for Logan.

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

About Jeff Molander

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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  • Robert Crowe says:

    I like the idea of using facebook as a way to promote hvac system. It’s very interesting. Thanks for sharing the idea.

  • Jonathan Gover says:

    Hello I am an independent HVAC efficiency consultant in Ontario Canada. You’re right, HVAC is not an impulse buy. So why did I just spend 7 days in a different city. Canvassing doors to do so. Because the company that just hired me told me. ” Trips like these get sales people focused. Here look at these checks” I said that checks don’t impress me because i did not earn them. The checks where for anywhere from $5’000 to $11,000 for one week. So I went with four other people. Reality check. No one made a sale. No one. So I am starting my own social media campaign. Any suggestions? I started a Facebook site, twitter, and hash tag. I am working on the LinkedIn site. Anything else? I meet with a newspaper ad guy tomorrow. I know I can start small for my part of Ontario. Then advertise across Ontario using this local paper.
    If this is possible then I can do it.
    Thank you Jonathan

    • Jonathan, the essence of what Amanda practices is this: Buy eyeballs in traditional media and drive it to Facebook. Hook them with some kind of promotion. But the promotion (eg. giving away a unit) must pay for itself. Amanda does this by making sure she gets a minimum number of leads (“no winner unless I get 100 entrants”). On Facebook this is all about getting people who arrive to sign-up and then tell friends to do the same — sign-up. The rest is mainly announcing the winner on the Facebook page (again, giving people a reason to Follow the FB page) and, also, encouraging them from time-to-time to talk about themselves. Look at Logan’s FB page and notice the promotions where she’s giving away gift cards — and generating leads in comments. See how she’s doing that? Just by giving an incentive to talk about their home improvement plans she nets leads. $50 give-away and $13k in business sometimes!

  • Excellent advice, but especially the idea of developing a relationship with customers long before they need a new HVAC system. If you can answer questions about residential air conditioning repair or new commercial HVAC systems, you’re building a quality reputation with your heating and cooling customers. Thanks!

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