Reasons Why The Solar Industry Needs Social Media: 2021 Guide
Social Media for Renewable Energy / Solar Industry
Issues like complicated buying process, customer inertia, and lack of confidence, come in the way of the growth of solar energy.
Solar power is the cleanest form of renewable energy resource available. To reduce carbon footprints and arrest depletion of fossil fuels, developed and emerging economies alike promote solar energy generation.
The global solar energy sector was worth US$ 52.5 billion in 2018. It is expected to reach US$ 223.3 billion by 2026, with a CAGR of 20.5% during the period 2019 to 2026 (Solar Energy Market Outlook – 2026).
What are the implications of social media marketing for the B2B solar industry? What are some of the strategies the sector should watch out for in 2021?
Here’s an insight.
Solar Energy – Indian vs. Global Market
The solar energy industry worldwide has witnessed unprecedented growth levels over the past two decades. China has positioned itself as the highest solar power generator in the world market, followed by the United States and India.
According to IEA reports, the COVID-19 pandemic and receding electricity demand have slashed down solar PV capacity installations in India by 23 percent this year. Bridge to India‘s report ‘India Solar Compass Q2 2020’ states that the country has added a solar power generation capacity of 351 MW in the second quarter of 2020. It is the lowest capacity addition witnessed by the Indian solar sector over the past three years.
However, the ‘Global Market Outlook 2020 – 2024’ published by SolarPower Europe suggests, global capacity addition of solar power would be 112 GW in 2020, down by 4 percent only, compared to corresponding figures (116.9 GW) last year. Industry predictions indicate global solar capacity would hit 1,448 GW by 2024.
World Total Solar PV Market Scenarios 2018 – 2022
Social Media for Solar Energy
While 2020 has been tough on most industries, unexpected business trends are likely to continue through the next year as well. To make up for demand curtails, solar companies need to cut down on their future marketing costs.
Digital marketing methods like social media marketing, e-mail marketing, local SEO are gaining popularity over conventional strategies due to their targeted and more cost-effective approach.
For optimum lead generation, solar companies should have social media accounts on at least a couple of websites – Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
Social media platforms tailored for specific businesses are economical traffic-generating methods for B2B websites too.
Why the Solar Industry Needs Social Media
For solar companies, social media helps to
- Improve Brand Credibility – Social media presence builds brand credibility and instills trust in a particular product. It is an ideal platform for attracting and engaging potential clients. Therefore It guarantees effective sales optimization for solar contractors.
- Connect with future clients – Prospective leads get attracted by positive feedback from previous buyers. The solar industry too is not an exception in this regard.
- Retain old customers – Our previous experiences with the oil & gas and the renewable energy sectors have shown us how social media websites make it easy to stay connected with valuable customers.
Solar companies can make the most of such situations and get their products recommended among peer groups. This is especially useful for small and medium businesses.
- Ensure Customer Service – Facebook and Twitter come in handy as informal but powerful platforms for proper customer service and relationship building.
- Highlight content – Optimized content, circulated among the specific customer base, increases ROI. Lead generation or brand credibility ultimately depends on the quality of content the social media handle of a solar player offers.
- Increase Search Engine Visibility – Social media profiles of a solar company can be back-linked to the company website and vice versa. It improves search engine visibility and SERP rankings.
- Track Returns – ‘Conversion Tracking’ by Facebook pixels tracks the actions of website visitors.
Best Social Media Platforms for Solar Industry
Social media is the best tool around to connect with consumers and industry leaders. YouTube and WordPress support macro-content. On the other hand, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest are microblogging sites. Let’s see how these social media platforms can be used to the benefit of the solar industry.
Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world. The number of active users is expected to reach 10 billion within the next ten years. As mentioned earlier, solar companies may cull this vast database based on their demographics, profession, location, and interests. These make way for precisely-positioned Facebook advertisements. Even small and medium players can benefit from them. These advertisements barely cost US$ 1 per day.
One must remember, Facebook marketing is more about brand building than direct marketing. Through this platform, potential customers need to be educated via visual content as well as blog posts / white papers et al.
Facebook marketing is mostly underutilized by solar energy companies.
If they wish to be in focus through their future marketing strategies, it is advisable to use Facebook, to the best of their abilities. Facebook has provisions for remarketing too.
So, we can say that owning a well-designed Facebook page, with requisite contact details and a proper CTA button will go a long way in optimizing website traffic for solar energy companies.
Solar companies could organically grow Twitter followers through announcements of news and promotions.
Solar businesses can effectively use LinkedIn for their benefit. All they need to do is have a LinkedIn Page that would speak of their brand well. A LinkedIn Page uses visual messages and succinct text as a gateway for company websites, employee profiles, showcase pages, etc. Through LinkedIn, solar companies should highlight content that is educative and informative – White Papers, Case Studies, e-books. It should be more about relationship building (educating and informing) rather than selling.
It is the second-largest search engine in the world. Solar companies should make good use of YouTube to create brand stories. These videos could impact the maximum audience in the shortest possible time.
Apart from the 150-character profile description, pictures, and videos, Instagram is a suitable platform for connecting with solar influencers and networking with their audience. Instagram is popular for user-generated content. Customers can be asked to share their photos and reviews through Instagram.
A Few Social Strategies for 2021
For a long, social media has been proactive in building brands, strengthening relationships, and optimizing sales, effectively across almost all B2B industries. To further escalate these efforts, companies, in an upcoming strategy, are building one-to-one relationships with industry influencers. For solar manufacturers, this strategy might prove to be helpful in the future.
Here are a few social media marketing pointers solar energy companies need to follow in 2021.
- Always ideate Industry-specific marketing strategies
- Keep lead generation a priority
- Build a strong referral system
- Prioritize education rather than advertising
- Engage audiences with attractive video content
- Master SERPs
As a solar player, invest in industry-specific social media management tools available. Develop authentic connections with customers to show them the human side of your brand. Initiate customer-centric marketing drives.
Never hesitate to explore new social media marketing avenues. In case you are a small player or a new entrant, seeking professional help, do not hesitate to consult B2B Sales and Marketing Consulting Firms.
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