Growing usage of social media channels for professional purposes by plumbers and HVAC installers
In the last years, installers and plumbers slowly but surely made the shift from printed sources of information to digital ones. While it was clear for everybody that internet and websites are of great importance for the installers, manufacturers were also eager to know whether social media channels should be included in their communication and marketing campaigns for this target group. As a part of the European Mechanical Installation Monitor, in Q4 2020, we focused on investigating the media orientation and usage among plumbers and HVAC installers in Europe, and the usage of social media was one of the topics.
Since 2018, users of social media among plumbers and HVAC installers have increased with 15% on average
The number of installers using social media channels is growing, but the developments per country differ. We can see that France, the country with the lowest number of social media users (only 15%) in 2018, is catching up, with its current share of users reaching 43%. With these new results, France shows a share of social media users similar to Poland, where the usage of social media has remained quite stable in the last two years (from 37% in 2018 to 41% in 2020).
Next to France, the share of users in the UK has also grown significantly in 2 years’ time: from 58% in 2018 to 79% in 2020. With these latest results, the UK has actually outperformed all other countries, including the Netherlands, which shared the first place together with the UK in 2018.
WhatsApp, YouTube and Facebook are the most used social media channels for professional purposes
Linkedin is the fourth important social media for the installers, but it appears among the top three channels in the Netherlands, the UK and France only.
On a total level, in the last 2 years, especially WhatsApp and YouTube have managed to gain more users among the European installers. WhatsApp has grown mainly in the UK, France and Belgium, while YouTube in the UK and France.
In the Netherlands, a negative trend can be seen for three of the media channels, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. They have lost position among the installers.
The purpose of using social media has not changed over the time, however. Networking, advertising of the business, showing their own work, or searching for opinions of colleagues, latest news, product information or solutions of technical problems are still among the reasons to use the different social media channels.
The usage of media channels by installers is diverse and next to the known sources of information, social media are also gaining ground. This will surely make the work of the marketing and communication departments of manufacturers more challenging, but on the other hand it is positive to see that mainly a couple of social media channels are important and no resources should be invested in the platforms that are still having a very low penetration among this target group. The differences per country are significant, which means that taking into account the local situation is essential for successful communication campaigns.
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