One thing in 2015 is quite clear; social media isn’t going anywhere. From the local coffee shops to Fortune 500 companies, social media will play a large role in nearly every business marketing plan this year.
While some find using social media to be easy, others struggle to find their place in what can seem like crowed internet space. For some time, many construction companies fell into that category and wondered if they could leverage social media in a cost-effective way. Now, more than ever, the answer to this question is becoming clear.
The State of Social Media in the Construction Industry
You might not think of the construction industry as tech-savvy, but a recent survey from
The Construction Marketing Association might surprise you. According to those surveyed, 97 percent of construction professionals are active on social media. That’s a striking 7 percent year-over-year growth rate and shows that social media is more than a passing fad.
When compared with the previous year’s data, it’s interesting to note that blogging, posting videos on YouTube, and Tweeting have increased 8, 12, and 13 percent, respectively. These are surprising statistics for an industry that was once primarily fueled by word of mouth marketing. Times are certainly changing for everyone, including construction companies.
How Construction Companies are Using Social Media
With such a large majority of construction companies using social media, it’s worth taking a look at how it’s being used and which tools are most effective. Accord Construction, one of the leading roofing companies in Oklahoma City says, “We’ve seen all kinds of creative campaigns and unique strategies over the past couple years. What we’ve discovered, though, is that customer engagement is the key to everything you do.”
Most would agree with this, as the number of likes and shares a social media post gets helps determine how long it’s visible in news feeds. Obviously, the longer a post can stay visible, the better. Here are a few strategies commonly used for increasing engagement and reaching customers:
- Create a buzz. Anything that draws people in and encourages a second look is great. Many companies find success by creating a buzz around a particular topic by using compelling images, inserting crisp ad copy, and curating fresh, relevant content.
- Ask for participation. Social media is designed by nature to be social. It’s intended to bring multiple parties together for conversation and engagement. However, many people remain silent observers until convinced they should be an active participant. Companies have found the most success when they implement specific calls-to-action that ask users to make a suggestion, provide an insight, or give feedback.
- Become a thought leader. For companies who are extremely knowledgeable, especially in their particular niche, social media provides an excellent opportunity for promoting thought leadership and engaging users. By producing quality content and providing helpful suggestions for users, some construction companies have been able to develop a tight-knit online community.
The 40-40-20 Rule
When using social media, construction companies should remember to follow the 40-40-20 rule as a guideline for what to post. This popular rule of thumb states that on any platform, 40 percent of communication should involve sharing useful industry information, 40 percent should consist of direct interaction with users, and 20 percent should be self-promotion.
Those companies who follow the 40-40-20 rule and effectively engage with customers have been most successful at properly leveraging social media. As any skill does, social media takes time to develop and perfect. It’s something that requires daily attention and ongoing effort, so remain patient and give it your best shot.
Succeeding at Social Media in 2015
If your construction company wants to remain competitive this year, it’s apparent that social media is one tool you’ll need. No longer can you rely on simple print advertisements or word of mouth; you’ll need to take a strategic, dynamic approach to marketing.
For best results, set aside 30 minutes, twice a day for social media. If possible, dedicate 30 minutes around mid-morning and another 30 minutes towards the end of the work day. Use this time to post content, interact with followers, and optimize your pages. After a few months, you’ll likely begin to see the positive effects of social media on your company.