Though traditionally a ‘hands on’ sector, Screwfix is predicting a ‘social revolution’ within the trade as almost half (48%) of tradesmen reveal they are winning new business through social media channels.
Tradesmen are increasingly turning to social media sites to reach more customers and increase their brand awareness. Eight out of 10 tradesmen use social media as a free way to reach more customers and two fifths (43%) believe having a page on a social media site makes their business look more established.
With a quarter of tradesmen now using sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to promote their business, the channel is set to become even more popular. Sixty-three per cent of tradesmen say their social media use is more than last year and a third (33%) believe they will use it more this year.
This upward trend supports a recent study from the Internet Advertising Bureau UK which found that nearly 80% of consumers would be more inclined to buy because of a brand's presence on social media. And for small firms, knowing how to capitalise on this is crucial.
John Mewett, marketing director at Screwfix, said: “Technology is empowering consumers. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are today’s equivalent of the telephone directory - members of the public are now more likely than ever to go online to find and research local tradesmen in their area.
“As tradesmen increase the amount of business tasks and transactions they undertake online, social media should be seriously considered as a cost-effective way to market themselves to more and more customers.”
Interestingly, a third of tradesmen (32%) also use social media to check on their competitors and what services and prices they are offering.
Mr Mewett added: “We know tradesmen are increasingly using smartphones and laptops during the working day to communicate with colleagues and clients as well as speeding-up the purchasing of essential products and tools.
“The use of social media for business is set to continue – the Screwfix Twitter page has more than 16,500 followers, our Facebook page has over 76,500 fans and we have more than 1.2m posts on our forum."