There’s no hiding the fact that across the board, Building Product Manufacturers have been slow to integrate social media into their construction marketing plans.
This is primarily due to the assumption that the average customer doesn’t spend enough time on social media from a business perspective, to quantify the amount of time and resource that’s required.
However this way of thinking should be a thing of the past, as customers have fast become dependent on social media for research purposes, engagement opportunities and for quick product solutions.
And while building product manufacturers may be aware of the growing demand to have a strong social presence, it can be difficult to know exactly how to approach such platforms constructively.
Social-savvy stats for Construction Marketers
Before we delve into exactly how social media can be used, let’s start with a little research…
According to Adweek, the manufacturing industry has been listed as one of the top four industries to dominate social media in 2018.
Furthermore, the CMO Survey predicted a 17 percent annual compound growth rate from 2016 through to 2021 for social media spend. It also estimates that the social media advertising investment will represent 25 percent of total online spend in 2018.
Supporting Business Goals
So what marketing aspects of your manufacturing business does social media help to support?
• Thought leadership – First and foremost, social media is not a sales tool. The main objective across any platform should be to share content that will engage and educate your target audience effectively enough to demonstrate that you are the go-to resource for valuable information. This can be in the form of handy downloadable guides, research tools, frequently asked FAQ’s, useful articles, industry news and project case studies.
• Networking opportunities – Enhance business relationships by further educating prospects and nurturing existing ones. Start forums and join industry-related groups on Facebook or LinkedIn; this is a great way to get yourselves remembered by interacting with like-minded people. When attending industry events, search for other attendees prior to the day on social media using trending hashtags; this will help you to become familiar with important faces online in order to maximise the success of your efforts offline. Post-event, always ensure you provide an update of the day to your social following too.
• Client relationships – Social media is the place where both prospects and customers alike will be seeking answers to their questions; nowadays, customers bypass more traditional avenues such as email or phone when requiring a fast resolution. Therefore, being present online to respond to key queries helps to position yourselves as the leading product manufacturers committed to positive customer experience.
• New product developments – Are you about to introduce a new building product designed to make lives easier? Social media is the place to talk about it: show them what challenges it resolves through clever video demonstrations, blog content, and snappy visuals. Where relevant, showcase personal snippets of the manufacturing process, demonstrate the product in action and include before and after shots of the product in situ.
• New service offerings – What other services are you offering that will further support your client, and how can you utilise social media to expose these to the right audience? In the same way as introducing a new product, this should be tastefully promoted in such a way that your social following are educated on how it benefits them, how it solves an everyday problem. They need to know about your services but do not wish to be sold to.
• Brand awareness – How do you forge a space in the minds of those that matter? Consistent, quality post updates can be all that it takes to trigger the right response with your target audience at the time it matters most – when they require your services. With this in mind, brand awareness should take up a large chunk of your social media marketing efforts. Demonstrate your true values by using it as an opportunity to position your manufacturing business in the best possible light.
• Industry news – There are so many online trade magazines, articles and forums out there that it can be difficult for your audience to absorb and identify the information they’re most interested in. Become a news aggregator for your industry by supplying your following with the latest news across your social accounts – whether on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Be the go to place for industry specific, relevant news.
Interested in knowing the common social media questions we get asked by building product manufacturers? Read our next blog post here.
You can also download our Social Media eBook for further advice on tackling the right platforms for your construction business.