Facebook marketing in the construction industry is typically a subject that is ‘ummed’ and ‘ahhed’ about; we all know how successful the social platform has been, but the big question is, can you use the platform to market your construction products effectively?
Our recent social media post suggests that there is a slight decline in the amount of construction marketers opting to use Facebook as part of their social strategy; it also shows that some large construction company’s have even chosen to remove their official Facebook pages, leaving Wikipedia to supply limited information to their online audience.
Does this trend simply reflect a lack of knowledge throughout the construction industry with regards to the social media platform?
Or is it simply the case that as time has moved on, many other social platforms have emerged…making the choice of where to best spend your restricted hours online even more difficult.
In this post we’ll be discussing the latest changes to Facebook, and how this will impact the way in which your business can use the platform as a marketing tool. We’ll also give you an insight into some of the options available for implementing Facebook advertising.
Facebook for Business 2015
In January 2015, Facebook made changes to its algorithm which means that promotional posts will now gain much less visibility; the value of posts will be determined through good quality, educational-type content in order to avoid ‘salesy’ messages being repeatedly posted to a wearied audience.
As a rough guide, promotional-type posts will be recognised by Facebook in the following ways: if the post pushes people to buy a product or install an app, urges people to enter promotions or competitions, if the post has no real context or re-uses content from paid advertising.
This now means that if you wish to use Facebook specifically as an advertising tool, then you must pay for this additional service.
Re-evaluating your business strategy
If paying to use the advertising platform is not an option, or if your budget is being spent elsewhere, then you’ll need to re-evaluate your Facebook social strategy.
In order to continue posting content that will be seen by your fans, your posts need to be educational rather than promotional. You need to be informing your audience on updates within the company, blog articles, E-books, news items, events and even new employees.
Posting content that has already done particularly well on other social channels will also help Facebook to eliminate the good from the bad, meaning that popular content will increase the likelihood of your post being seen. Therefore it’s a good idea to analyse what has already had the most traffic in order to review what content resonates with your target audience.
To summarise, if you wish to continue using Facebook for customer-friendly updates, then focus on providing resourceful content rather than encouraging sales.
For more information on content creation download our Content marketing E-book.
If however you are a B2C company and wish to broaden your reach by targeting specific audience types, then ads could support your marketing strategy. Facebook allows you to create different ad campaigns for a range of audience types for extremely targeted marketing. These will encourage engagement on organic posts for promoting your products and services, whilst hugely expanding your existing mailing list.
For example, if your construction company is leading up to a new product launch, then a Facebook ad can drive new visitors to blog posts discussing the launch the month prior. Once these people have then started to show an interest in your product, you can then create a follow-up ad to encourage those same people to sign up to your newsletter, download a guide or contact your team for enquiries.
It is a sociable way of generating potential prospects on Facebook to the people who would be most interested in your services.
This tool enables you to gain information from the visitors who like your page; demographics are presented of your fans by gender, location, age range, language and even interests. By looking at which users are most engaged with your page and your content, you can segregate your campaigns into different audience types for more focused and strategic advertising.
Different types of advertising
There are a range of advertising styles you can choose from to drive traffic to your intended landing page and increase sign-ups for your mailing list.
This is the most common advertisement that appears across Facebook’s news feed; it looks like a regular Facebook post with the exception that it can reach people other than your regular fans. It includes ad copy, an image, call to action and a link. This link can be hidden as wherever the user clicks on the ad, they’ll be taken straight to your landing page. A button can also be added to the image to encourage more click through’s.
With photo ads, the image is the main attraction; there is no headline or call to action and the link is embedded within the shorter description. With this type of advertisement, users who click on the image are not directed straight to the landing page but instead view a larger version of the image shown. Once they’ve viewed the larger image, they then need to click on the link within the description on the right hand side.
It is a cleaner, simpler look that could be used if you wish the user to view a more in-depth view of your product; whether a larger image is needed will depend upon the type of campaign you wish to create.
As video is becoming key to marketing across all social platforms, this is definitely worth investing in. A video will automatically play on their news feed and the visitor will have an option to click on the video to activate volume. After it has finished playing, a call to action will then appear directing your visitor to the appropriate landing page.
In order to captivate your audience within the first three seconds without sound, you need to make it as visually appealing as possible. It needs to have enough movement, colour and signs to encourage somebody to stop scrolling and press the volume button. To achieve this you may need your video to be surprising, playful or humorous, but always make sure it relates in some way back to your call to action.
A status ad is the shortest of advertisements available, which provides a link to your landing page. You can still target such posts to your fans only, as you would with a generic educational Facebook post, but a status ad will boost visibility.
For B2C construction companies looking to promote a new product launch or generate more interest in their services, this is a great ad to take advantage of; it is a way of offering a percentage off your product to encourage visitors to spend their money with you. The ‘get offer’ button simply sends the email coupon directly to their email with a discount. This tactic will ensure that your company is front of mind when they next require a similar product or service, and will also encourage word-of-mouth recommendations.
For a visual demonstration of these Facebook ads, watch this Youtube video by Claire Pelletreau, a Facebook ads consultant.
One great tip she shares on her site is to create two ads inside a particular campaign and pay attention to which one gets the lowest cost per website click after 24 hours. This will enable you to learn which advertising strategies are most effective whilst saving money by ensuring you turn off the ad with the highest cost per click.
Read more information on how to use the ‘power editor’ tool here, in order to fully benefit from this type of advertising.
Now that we’ve shown the range of opportunities currently available for Facebook marketing, it is essential to start thinking of creative ways to advertise your business’ campaigns.
Whilst Facebook should be used for engagement, you need to stand out and be different in order to achieve the best possible results.
Command attention through finding out trending topics that you could twist to relate to your product; this should be done in a tasteful way without forcing a connection when there isn’t one. Also experiment with your call to actions and get creative with your buttons; whilst simple call to actions work effectively on other social platforms, Facebook works well by trying a range of different approaches.
Remember that Facebook’s news feed is competing with millions of people who all have something to say and wish to be heard. Therefore, regardless of whether a particularly adventurous idea works with your product, try to develop a story in each Facebook post or advertisement to draw your audience in.
And if anything else, Facebook should be used as a goldmine for finding out about your audience and what types of visitors you should be marketing your products to.
To talk to us about your social strategy, give us a call on 01908 671707 or download our Social Media E-book.