It is no secret that companies across all industry segments are adopting social media into their marketing plans. Yet, social media remains an undeveloped territory for a large portion of the construction industry. By increasing your social media efforts, you can effectively get the word out, build brand recognition, and connect with customers for less than traditional marketing.
New to Social Media?
LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, RSS Feed, Blogging, and other forms of social media enable companies to share a vast amount of information on a frequent basis and to generate discussion among a larger community. You have a website; and you may have even set up a Facebook or Twitter page. But, do you really understand the capabilities of these tools?
The Numbers Have It
In a survey done by the Construction Marketing Association this year, 97 percent of the construction companies polled said that, “Yes,” they do participate in social media. Of the firms that do use it, only 7 percent of companies said that they get nothing out of it. However, the remaining 93 percent agreed that it is valuable. The top four perceived benefits are:
- Brand awareness
- Increased website traffic
- Higher search ranking
- Sales leads
Your company’s reputation is important. Having an active and positive social media presence can give you “social proof.” Simply put, social proof means that when a person visits your Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn page and sees that you have a substantial following of highly engaged fans, you will be perceived more favorably. That person is, in turn, more likely to participate as well.
Through social media, you are also able to learn about the key players, as well as ideas and trends of the industry. You can then utilize that knowledge into not only your own social media campaigns, but your other business efforts and operations.
How do you get started?
The best way to attract more engaged followers is to create posts that inspire readers to share your content and/or give a call to action. To write successful and engaging posts, remember to keep your posts consistent, relevant, short, and eye-catching. Additionally, your content should offer your readers value through education, entertainment, or even offers and promotions.
If you are just stepping onto the social media scene, here are a few places to begin:
- LinkedIn is a great resource to seek out connections that you can pursue for business opportunities. Don’t be shy to connect.
- Facebook is the best place to post photos and updates of projects.
- Twitter makes it easy for you to quickly share information about your product, and get information and feedback from clients.
The Relationship Builder
An important aspect to recognize about social media is that it is a relationship builder. This is your firm’s opportunity to build relationships with individuals who may be potential clients and customers. Think about how you would approach building a face-to-face relationship with a client or customer – social media works in the same way.
Social Media is Not a Soliloquy
Social media also allows your construction company to inform others about its accomplishments and awards, and updates in the industry. It is a great place to highlight projects and showcase pictures from the jobsite. While this is a great marketing tool for your business, social media is most successful when used as a conversation, not a monologue. Making productive use of social media is about more than sharing information. Do not get trapped in the routine of writing posts, sending them out, and not asking for feedback.
Getting the word out about your products and services in a way that promotes online discussion has proven to be more beneficial than by standard, one-directional “shout marketing” alone. Some companies use it to drive sales, while others use it for recruitment or customer service. No matter the end-goal, social media is just that – social.
While there are countless creative ways to invite your followers to participate, these practices are the most standard place to get started:
- Ask a simple question
- Surveys and polls – learn more about your customers preferences, or use this to learn more about industry trends
- Encourage submissions – photos and stories
There is no question that social media is a powerful and effective tool; the value that it can provide for you really depends on your business and what your end-goal is. We know that consumers buy from brands they know and trust. The more loyal fans you have that share your content, the more you increase your chances of being seen and heard inside Facebook or Twitter. When your exposure increases, your fan base increases. This is “word-of-mouth” marketing at its best.
Still stumped? Contact the Karlyn Group today to find out how we can help you get serious about social.