Social media and other websites offer a chance to get the word out about your business, take part in conversations about the industry and get feedback from your customers. It’s a great opportunity, whether you’re just venturing online for the first time or wanting to spruce up your existing online presence.

When it comes to the home inspection business, there are three main areas that most inspectors will want to pay attention to:

  • Your Facebook Business page
  • Your Google My Business profile
  • Your clients’ online reviews

All of these offer an opportunity to advertise your services and interact with customers, though there are a few things you’ll want to avoid. Read on to find out our top online tips for home inspectors in 2021.

Your Facebook Business Page

As social networks go, Facebook is still the biggest game in town. With 2.8 billion people logging on each month, a lot of people go on Facebook to learn about a business and ask questions. Some basic tips to get started:

  • Set up a Business Page, separate from your personal page, to promote your business.
  • Choose the right category for your Business Page for the best visibility.
  • Fill in all your page information and add some business-specific header and profile pictures.
  • Double-check your location, hours and contact information are filled in and up to date.
  • Invite your clients, email subscribers and website visitors to follow your page.
  • Check out competitors on Facebook for inspiration and ideas you can adjust to make your own.
  • Use a social media scheduler to save time and plan out your posts ahead of time.
  • Learn about your audience, what content they like and when they’re most active.
  • Review your page insights and build on the success of your most popular posts.
  • Consider a paid ad strategy to further grow your audience and advertise your services.

A lot of home inspectors aren’t sure what to post for content, but there are many possibilities:

  • Inspection FAQs
  • Maintenance tips
  • Damage prevention tips
  • Spot the issue quizzes
  • Client stories and testimonials
  • Business milestones
  • Employee spotlights

You can also try educational posts about the inspection process, what’s included and what optional services you offer. Whatever you post, make sure it’s visually pleasing, and add a photo, graphic or even a video.

A few things to avoid on Facebook:

  • Avoid offers or statements that might be interpreted as false or misleading.
  • Avoid using the business page for personal purposes.
  • Avoid controversial or divisive topics that could negatively impact the business.
  • Avoid posting content that may violate the privacy of employees, clients or vendors.
  • Avoid posts that go against the terms of service.

Your Google My Business Profile

Home inspectors actually have a lot of control about how your business appears in search results on Google. By claiming and maintaining your Google My Business Profile, you can improve your search page rankings and get more potential clients in the door.

One study indicates that only about 5% of businesses are taking full advantage of this free Google directory listing service, which means you probably have room for improvement that can help your business stand out.

  • Claim your Google My Business Profile or set up a new one if none exists.
  • Complete every section, from hours and location to services, Q&As and reviews.
  • Confirm all the information in your listing is correct, especially spelling and hours.
  • Optimize every part of your profile, including description, category and attributes.
  • Solicit positive Google reviews from your most loyal clients and fans.
  • Post regular updates of photos, announcements, offers and events to your profile.
  • Provide some FAQ answers for visitors of your Google My Business Profile.
  • Try out the newer features, such as messaging, for better visibility and connectivity.
  • Update your profile information, hours, offers and announcements whenever needed.

What to avoid with Google My Business:

  • Do not let the profile Google automatically generates for your business go unclaimed.
  • Avoid sloppy information mismatches for business name and address abbreviations that will get you marked as spam.

Your Clients’ Online Reviews

Online, it’s the reviews that often influence which home inspector a customer chooses. Positive reviews can help boost both your Facebook and Google appeal and visibility, while no reviews can work against you.

For both Facebook and Google, you can start collecting positive reviews by asking for help from your most loyal clients. The only condition is that you can’t offer discounts, gifts or cash in return for a positive review. When you get positive reviews, it’s a good idea to respond to the review with a quick thank you or other positive feedback.

Even with a negative review, it’s often possible to turn the situation around. Some tips to try:

  • Take the high road with a negative review by acting with respect and civility.
  • Try to resolve minor issues, such as missed calls or questions, with customer service.
  • Stay calm and draft a prepared response to any genuine negative reviews against you.
  • Remember that any response you post is going to be read by future potential clients.
  • Make sure your responses are always accurate, truthful and compliant with any rules.
  • Consider not replying to irrational or implausible reviews that savvy readers will ignore.

Things to avoid when faced with a negative review:

  • Avoid confronting the reviewer directly as emotions may get in the way of a resolution.
  • Avoid drafting a hasty response that may violate ethics rules, regulations or privacy laws.
  • Avoid suing for defamation for reviews protected as an expression of personal opinion.
  • Avoid requesting the site take down the review which can draw more unwanted attention.

Spending more time managing your Facebook, Google and online reviews for your home inspection business can really pay off. These online tips for home inspectors can help build trust, educate prospects and earn referrals. Follow best practices whenever possible and remember to steer clear of common online pitfalls for the best results.