The past few years have shown the ever-growing popularity of social media with all business types; according to Smart Insights, there are now 2.4 billion active social media users – that’s a hefty chunk of the world’s 3.5 billion internet users!
The constant evolution of social media highlights its significance when it comes to developing an effective online strategy; whilst you could say that the construction industry is a little more behind than others, we’re beginning to see vast improvements as more companies begin to adapt to online platforms. Have a read of our post on the Top UK Manufacturers using Social Media, or our slideshare on how Construction Companies are currently using Twitter for business.
Social media gives you the chance to forge strong and trusting relationships with your target audience, meaning that your company will already be front-of-mind before they’ve even become a customer.
To get the most out of your social media endeavours, you need to ensure that your social media output is reflective of your brand and in line with your marketing goals.
So without further ado, here are four questions that you need to ask yourself to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your social media strategy:
1. Why do you need it?
Why do you want to use social media? What are you hoping to achieve? Who are you hoping to engage with? It’s important to discuss and outline specific social media-related goals to begin with, and align these with larger, long-term business objectives. This will ensure from the start that no precious time and resource is being wasted.
2. Who is your audience?
You will most likely have more than one ‘type’ of customer. Where are they likely to engage online? Carrying out research beforehand on the social media platforms that architects, contractors and specifiers are most likely to use will enable you to produce a much more refined social strategy. Use your content marketing personas here to analyse which social platforms would most likely provide the type of content they’re after.
3. What are you sharing?
What information could you share that would be most relevant to your audience? This is where having an effective content marketing strategy is crucial to ensuring that every piece of content shared is there to educate, engage and convert. Therefore align your social media strategy with your content calendar to ensure that those all-important case studies, blog articles, slideshares and graphics are receiving high visibility online.
4. How can you measure?
What will you measure? What does success look like? Work out some KPI’s – such as – number of visitors, number of downloads and number of enquiries received from social. Create a monthly web report using your Analytics account and include a social media overview within this to show which platforms are performing the best and which goal types have been achieved.
Social Platforms for Construction
So now that you have an idea of how how to plan your engagement tactics over social media, it’s time to think about what social media platforms you are going to use.
As soon as you know which social media platforms are most frequented by your customer base, start hanging out there and put out some interesting, entertaining and useful content (aligned to your social media strategy, of course).
• Facebook – By far the most popular social media platform is Facebook, which, as of April 2016, has a staggering 1.59 billion monthly users. Facebook is a crowded marketplace, but for good reason – and this is why 42% of marketers agree that Facebook is critical or very important to their businesses. However, Facebook still needs to work in line with your target audience, and just because the platform is popular, it doesn’t necessarily mean your voice will be heard by the right people. Read our post on Facebook advertising to see whether a paid approach is an option for your business.
• Twitter – With an impressive 320 million active users, Twitter is the perfect platform for engaging, educating, and representing your company brand as being personable, approachable and technical experts in your field. View our slideshare which explains the effectiveness of Twitter for construction businesses in a little more detail.
• Tumblr – The blogging platform Tumblr boasts over 555 million active users, and with 69% of its users in the 18-34 category it is a great way to reach out to the Millennials.
• Instagram – This photo and video sharing platform gives you a great opportunity to engage visually with people. Try displaying your work in situ, sharing renders, or displaying the results of a finished product. Share behind the scenes footage of how your manufacturing business works or keep your followers updated on the latest news and product updates via 20-second videos.
• LinkedIn – When it comes to B2B marketing it doesn’t get much better than LinkedIn – with 414 million users as of April 2016 spread across 200 countries worldwide. It’s one of the most popular social media platform for business professionals networking, and really can’t be ignored if you want to make contacts in the business world. Read our post on how to use LinkedIn showcase pages here.
One of the biggest barriers often faced by marketers when it comes to funding is persuading ‘the board’ that the money that they will be spending is worth it. Whilst the ROI of money spent on social media can still be difficult to quantify, by keeping on top of the latest trends and reviewing your reports on a monthly basis, it’s possible to justify why your business should continue to work with the world of social.
After all, like it or loathe it, social media is here to stay and cannot be ignored; don’t let your construction business waste valuable opportunities for gaining strong leads and brand ambassadors.
For more information on how your construction business could implement an effective social media strategy, download our Social Media eBook here.