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ServiceMaster’s Jeff F.

Meet this week’s Master of Disaster, Project Manager Jeff!

Social Media Tips for Small Businesses

One thing that is often overlooked in our industry among many others, is an online presence.

This can be anything from your website to social media to search engine optimization (SEO). With an ever-evolving online world, it’s more important now than ever to have an active social media page for your brand. Here are a few simple tips to help you manage your business’s social media accounts and create content that you can be proud to post.

PLATFORMS

There are so many different platforms to choose from, but Facebook is undeniably the most impactful one, with over 1.5 billion daily users. Facebook allows you to set up an online profile, so that prospective customers can learn more about your business and what it stands for. They can read and leave reviews, see your list of services, and interact with your content. They should now be convinced that they want your company to do the job for them, and give you a call to get the job started.

Some other large social media platforms are Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, and Pinterest. What’s great about all of these is that they’re free. It’s up to you to determine if these channels are worth investing your time into.

PROFILE

Much like a website, your profile should contain important information where it can be found easily, such as your phone number, location, and services. Other things to consider adding are company history, your value proposition, and photos. If you’re setting up your profile for the first, time, Facebook makes it really easy to add a lot of relevant information about your company by taking you step by step.

Your profile picture should simply be your logo. The cover image is where you can add in something more personal, such as a company photo or a short introduction video. You could use this as a tool to highlight some of your services, an upcoming event, etc.

ServiceMaster of Tacoma Business Facebook Page

CONTENT

This is your opportunity to show your customer what you’re all about. They don’t want to see your sales-pitch; they want to see your values.

Every post should come with an image or video. The unfortunate truth is that because of technology and social media, our attention spans are incredibly limited. If you don’t catch your audience’s attention with the first 1-2 seconds, they’re going to scroll past what you have to say. Don’t have an image to post? That’s ok, because you can make one. Canva.com is a free online design platform that makes it super easy to make clean, eye-catching graphics. When it comes to creating your own graphics, here are a few guidelines to go by:

  • Stick to your color scheme. If your company doesn’t have a set color scheme, it’s time to set one yourself.
  • Fonts. It’s really easy to get carried away with fonts, but keep it clean and stick to a few solid ones that compliment each other, and compliment your logo. Again, your company might have some branding guidelines that dictate the specific fonts you should use.
  • Keep it simple. Catch their attention, but don’t drive them away with confusing and hard to read graphics. Your caption is a great place to include all of the details.

Don’t know where to start? Try sharing good reviews, before and after footage from jobs, employee spotlights, events, and so on.

ServiceMaster of Tacoma Instagram sceenshot

CONSISTENCY

The key to getting and maintaining followers is to post consistently, whatever consistent is for you. A good starting place is 3-4 times a week.

There are a lot of tools out there to help you manage your social media calendar, especially if you have multiple accounts. Here are a few recommended social media management tools.

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In the social media world, trends are constantly changing. Take the time to educate yourself regularly and keep your business’s social media game at it’s best. It could be the difference between someone choosing you over a competitor!

ServiceMaster’s Katie G.

Stepping out from behind the iPhone camera is this week’s Master of Disaster, Katie G.

ServiceMaster’s Michelle M.

Meet this week’s Master of Disaster, Michelle from the A-team!

Spring Cleaning — 5 Things You Probably Wouldn’t Think Of

Believe it or not, spring is only a few weeks away! Although it doesn’t have to be spring for you to deep clean your home, it’s a good excuse. Keeping a clean home goes hand-in-hand with keeping a safe home. Read on for some cleaning tips that you might not have originally thought of.

Dust. Not only is dust unsightly, collected dust can be kindling for a home fire. Dust walls, ceilings, shelves, books, fans, etc. When’s the last time you’ve had your air-ducts cleaned? Consider hiring a professional to help you rid your home of dust.

Wax & Polish. Give your furniture and home some love, and extend their life! Wax wooden furniture, wax non-wood floors, and polish metal door and window hardware.

Reseal Grout Lines. This could be in your bathroom, kitchen, really anywhere that has tiles. Grout is porous and stains easily, so consider protecting it with a penetrating grout sealer. There are a wide array of DIY articles and videos on the internet if you need step by step directions for the particular are you want to re-grout.

Gutters. Don’t forget about the outside of your home! Pick a sunny day to go out and clean your gutters of leaves and debris. Here’s a simple video from Lowe’s on how to do it yourself. If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, or simply don’t have the time, there are plenty of professionals in the area that you can call to get the job done right.

Window Screens and Treatments. Your windows collect a lot more dirt, dust, and grime than you think. Take the time to wash window screens with a water/dish-soap solution and a brush. If you have drapes or curtains, you can most likely wash them (check the labels to be sure). If you have metal or vinyl blinds, you can use a damp cloth with a water/dish-soap solution to wipe down. For wooden blinds, simply use a damp cloth.

Lastly, take the time to check your smoke detectors. Play it safe and change out all the batteries.

During your spring cleaning efforts, you might find some mold. If you do, give us a call at 800-339-5720 to get the remediation process started right away, and keep your home and family safe. Happy cleaning!

ServiceMaster’s Emilie C.

Meet this week’s Master of Disaster, Emilie!

ServiceMaster’s John M.

Meet this week’s Master of Disaster, Scooter! He is celebrating 8 years with ServiceMaster this month.

Hoarding — The 5 Stages and How to Recognize Them

There’s probably been a time when you’re scrolling through the TV channels and you’ve landed on the show “Hoarders”. The TV show features piles of things, garbage, pests, all crammed into someone’s home. What we often don’t see is what triggers hoarding, or what it even is. If you think you have a hoarder in your life, keep in mind that you have to understand what hoarding is before you can even begin to help the hoarder. 

Hoarding is a mental disorder, marked by an obsessive desire to acquire a significant amount of possessions. It’s a compulsion, and not an addiction.  In most cases, hoarding is triggered by a traumatic life event, such as grief, divorce, abuse, or lack of control. These are people that are looking for self-worth and happiness, and overall have good intentions. Throughout the process, you have to keep the highest level of compassion. While it is important to be patient and compassionate, keep in mind that you are not a therapist. To tackle deeper mental issues, don’t hesitate in contacting a professional. 

Each situation ranges in its intensity and type, which is divided into five stages.  

Lastly, there are a few safety concerns that you should be prepared to handle. Watch out for human/animal excrement, microbial contamination, chemical waste, needles, and infestation. You should consider wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves, booties, coveralls, and masks. There could also be loose flooring. If you’re concerned about the structural integrity of the building, do not enter.  

If you come across a hoarding situation that needs to be addressed, don’t hesitate to call ServiceMaster of Tacoma. Our team is trained in packing out hoarding situations and handling it with empathy.  

ServiceMaster’s Lydia M.

Meet this week’s Master of Disaster, Lydia. She does it all: accounting, HR, and IT!

Frozen Temps – Protecting your home from frozen pipes and water damage

Ready or not, here comes the cold front. Snowfall has hit Western Washington, and it’s ready for round two. Are you ready for the freezing temps?

The most common cause of home damage in cold weather is from frozen pipes. As you may know, when water freezes, it expands. When water freezes in a pipe, the pipe can rupture, or as the ice blocks the pipe completely and continues to expand, the pressure continues to build up, and eventually cause the pipe to burst.

Long-term, you should implement steps you would normally take for conserving energy and heat in the home, such as:

  • Sealing cracks and openings in the walls, attic, basement, and crawlspace.
  • Weatherstrip and caulk around crawlspace doors and basement windows.
  • Check on your home’s insulation, especially where pipes are located.
  • Insulate unprotected pipes with either insulation or pipe sleeves. Don’t leave any gaps!

Short-term — if you don’t have much time to prepare, these tips can still help protect your home when you get that winter storm warning:

  • Know where your water shutoff is so that you can turn off the water quickly if necessary.
  • Disconnect hoses from outside faucets to prevent water from freezing in the hose and rupturing the faucet.
  • If your exterior faucets have cut-off valves, close them and drain the faucets.
  • Close foundation vents.
  • Fix or board-up broken basement windows.
  • Keep cabinet doors under sinks open to let warm air flow around the supply lines.
  • Keep your thermostat on!

If your home does suffer from a burst or damaged pipe, turn off the water supply and call a licensed plumber immediately. While you’re waiting for your plumber to arrive, call your insurance provider to file a claim, and contact ServiceMaster of Tacoma to begin cleaning up the mess and restore your peace of mind.