For decades, portable sanitation & dumpster rental businesses have relied on radio, TV, or print ads to give their marketing a shot in the arm. Obviously, there’s still an opportunity to reach potential customers on those traditional mediums, but you might be surprised to learn that these days the best return on investment from advertising can come from social media. On Facebook, in particular.
The problem is that few portable sanitation businesses really get social media right. When it comes to social, it seems like operators lose sight of their bottom-line goals.
On Facebook, just like every other marketing channel you invest in, every effort you make needs to be aligned with the goals you think about every day:
- Winning more repeat business from old customers
- Getting new customers
You can use Facebook to achieve both of these goals, but you need to know what will work and what won’t. On all social platforms, especially Facebook, it’s easy to put a lot of effort into marketing that generates zero calls and zero business. Don’t let that happen to you.
If you follow the advice below, there’s a good chance you’ll be successful enough on social media to think about spending less money on the traditional marketing channels that aren’t working as well as they used to.
Here’s our advice on how to accomplish your top two business goals on Facebook.
Building a Portable Sanitation Business with Facebook Advertising
1. Earn Repeat Business from Old Customers
As the owner of a portable restroom or dumpster rental business, one of the biggest challenges you face is customers taking an out of sight, out of mind approach to their tank. Maybe you saved the day for them four years ago, but they haven’t thought about you since that day.
What’s the best way to gently but effectively remind them that a portable toilet or dumpster is not a once-in-a-lifetime job?
If you laid the groundwork properly the first time you serviced the customer, Facebook could be a very powerful tool to win them back later. By ‘laying the groundwork,’ I mean you either got them to like your Facebook page or you got their contact info (phone number or email address) the first time around.
If they already follow you on Facebook or if you have their email, there are a few ways you can almost guarantee that they see your reminder.
- Create a Facebook post explaining how often a toilet should be serviced, and then boost that post
- Create a Facebook ad and only send it to a custom audience based on an email list or phone number
Boosting a post and sending out an ad to a custom audience both cost money. Maybe you’re thinking, ‘hey, why do I need to pay to get people to see my stuff on Facebook? Don’t my followers already see it every time I post?’
I’m sorry to tell you, but no they don’t. Recent research has shown that, on average, a business’s posts only get sent out to 6% of their followers. That number has gotten smaller and smaller, with many predicting it will eventually get to zero.
The good news is that boosting a post or advertising on Facebook can be affordable and effective when used properly.
Here’s what boosting a post looks like:
Depending on the number of people that have liked your page, boosting a post to the entire audience might only be $5, $15, or maybe $30. Not bad considering this delivers your post directly to the Newsfeed of your followers as well as any friends of your followers.
That’s a great way to reconnect with people who liked your page a few years ago after being satisfied with your work. They may call you for a new service visit, or they provide a valuable recommendation to a friend or family member interested in calling you.
If you don’t have a lot of former customers that liked your page, you can still target them with advertising on Facebook. The “custom audiences” feature allows you to serve ads to people based on their email address or phone number.
Take emails or phone numbers from your customer files, import them into Facebook, and you are on your way to incredibly targeted advertising. You can create a campaign only aimed at people who were customers 3+ years ago and are due for a pump out.
Don’t you think that offers a better return on investment than just blindly broadcasting your message out to a random audience listening to the radio or reading a newspaper?
2. Get New Customers
Maybe the only thing better than convincing an old customer to come back for more is finding a new customer that may stick with you for life.
Some people only choose a portable restroom or dumpster rental company once. From then on, as long as things went well the first time, they keep that number on the refrigerator and they know who to call when it’s time for a pump out or an emergency repair. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone was like that?
Those are the kinds of customers you want to win. Even with stellar service and a top-of-the-line truck, equipment, and staff, you can’t do it without a smart customer acquisition strategy.
Building a website and getting found through online local marketing strategies is a must, but let’s just focus on the social media aspect of that.
We already talked a little bit about how boosting your posts on Facebook can get your company content in front of friends and family of your followers. That’s a great audience to go after, and it’s super easy to do. Pick the right post and the right time of year, and a boosted post can have a big impact for you in winning new customers.
Facebook offers some other options that will help you win new customers.
Wouldn’t you like a second shot at people who visited your website but didn’t take the next step of contacting you? A big chunk of that group is made up of people that were researching their options and still have yet to make a choice.
Some think and think for weeks or months before finally biting the bullet and calling for a restroom pump out that they know they’re overdue for. Don’t wait for them to talk themselves out of it or to choose one of your competitors.
This is another area where the custom audience advertising on Facebook can help. This time you’re not targeting based on email addresses or phone numbers — you don’t have those yet from this group. Once you’ve added the Facebook pixel to the backend coding on your website, you can create campaigns aimed only at people who visited your online headquarters and left without contacting you.
Targeting custom audiences from your website is a form of ‘remarketing,’ and it’s one of the most — if not THE most — effective forms of advertising around. It’s a really valuable strategy because probably at least 70-80% of the people that land on your site are purely in research mode. They aren’t ready to call you or fill out your contact form at that moment.
Don’t let all those potential customers slip through your hands. Advertise to them on Facebook and remind them why they were interested in the first place.
Does Facebook Sound LIke it Will Work for You?
Hopefully I’ve shown you a few ways you can use Facebook to increase revenue for your portable sanitation business. The strategies above are pretty advanced, but I promise you they’re within the reach of any operator — even small operations with just a single driver and a couple of family members running the show.
With the incredibly precise advertising options available online, there’s no reason to keep blindly throwing money at print, TV, or radio ads that may or may not be producing results (it’s hard to even measure the impact of that traditional advertising).
If you have questions about social media, Facebook advertising, or anything related to online marketing for your portable sanitation business, chat with one of our Digital Marketing experts. ServiceCore would love to help you grow your business with your online presence.