Social Media for the Construction Industry, Part 2: Playing Well with Others

Jun 26, 2017

One thing that often holds people back from using social media to promote their construction or contractor business is a lack of understanding about how to use it. After all, there’s no point in committing to using online marketing tools if you won’t get results.

social media platforms as building blocks

In the first blog post in this series, we discussed how making a name for yourself on social media could benefit your business through increased awareness.

Some of your competitors may already be using social media and getting results from it. A national survey by the Construction Marketing Association reported that 69% of construction professionals said they have increased awareness for their company as a result of social media marketing.

If you want to join or beat your competition in marketing yourself online you need to focus on quality not quantity. You need to develop a social media strategy that will help you find or create engaging content that your followers will want to share. What would this look like?

Well, for one thing, it won’t all be about you. Constantly posting messages that amount to saying “aren’t we great?” is likely to cause your followers to lose interest after a while. Instead, you’ll need to mix it up a little, both in the focus of your content and its tone.

Keep it Light

Your business and the work you do may be serious, but that doesn’t mean you always have to be. Sharing humorous content, if it has a connection to your industry, is just as likely to get a few “likes” from your audience as the photos from your latest renovation or construction project. And referring to local, community events shows that you’re active in promoting a life outside of work. For home-builders, this type of social media content resonates with home buyers. If you’re a commercial builder, don’t despair, less serious content will work for you as well.

Cross-Promote Clients’ Businesses

Contractors and construction companies working in the field of commercial or industrial construction should also look for opportunities to connect with and promote their clients on social media. Sharing your client's content will not only benefit them, but you as well. One of the most frequent concerns business owners express about using social media to market themselves, is running out of things to say.

Sharing your clients' accomplishments and capabilities offers the following benefits:

  • it helps you develop and strengthen your relationship to your client,
  • it helps promote them, which is an added reason for them to choose to work with you,
  • they might share your content to their audience, which increases your reach, and as we mentioned,
  • it also takes the pressure off of you having to always develop content to share.

Connect With Other Businesses And Local Influencers

You can increase your reach through social media by using it to go beyond your immediate network of clients and colleagues. Use it to connect with other businesses and local influencers. These could include: 

  • Sub-trades or partners you work with,
  • local municipal accounts,
  • Chambers of Commerce,
  • business incubators, economic development agencies,
  • and thought-leaders, both in your own industry and that of your target niche.

If your niche was around building or renovating doctors' offices then you would look to connect with influencers in their industry. Those might be associations, publications and events that are integral to medical practitioners.

Social media platforms such as Twitter or LinkedIn allow you to tap into these influencers' audiences by connecting directly with their followers.

In addition to connecting with potential clients online, here’s another reason for using social media:

Attract Top Talent to Your Team

As a business owner in the construction industry you and your peers may not be using social media. Yet, new or younger construction workers likely are. The shortage of skilled workers available is increasing as older, experienced employees retire. If you hope to reach and attract millennials into your workforce, you need to be active on the channels they use.

Approximately 71% of people aged 18 to 36 use social media on a daily basis. When they're on a job hunt, it's one of the first places they'll turn to research potential companies. Thus, having some presence on social media will increase your recruiting possibilities. Sharing examples of how you’re a good employer (safety culture, committed to employee growth, interesting projects) will attract potential employees while providing the type of content people engage with.

None of this is rocket science, but it helps if you’re patient. It takes time to develop engagement with an audience on social media. Not everything you share will be a hit and you shouldn’t expect the phone to begin ringing simply because you’ve started posting on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.

If you remember that social media works best when it isn't always about you, you should do fine. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t occasionally shine the spotlight on what you do best. In the end, you want sales, and in our next blog post we’ll talk about using social media to steer traffic to your website to get more leads.

If you’re already using social media, without getting the results you’d like, ask us how Build Marketing can help you get more engagement.

Yes! I want to build with Social Media!
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