Is social media marketing necessary for the construction industry?
Nearly half of the global population are using some form of social media, then surely it makes sense for the construction industry to utilise some of what social media marketing can offer...
Let’s just take a look at a few figures and highlight the key uses before we get started:
Established in 2004, Facebook is one of the pioneers of social media, but what use is it to your company? Facebook has 2.9 billion users and the scope to target users is unimaginable if done correctly.
Let me give you an example, you are the owner of a small construction firm and desire growth in the future; you complete a job for a client and they put up a positive post about your firm on Facebook and tag you in it. The client’s friends on Facebook can see the post but also, and more importantly you can share it on your page which could/should be a public page where any user can see it. From that small post from a client tagging you, a snowballing effect can swiftly be established built of the back of a good reputation. When pages are active, you are making an impression on a user, whether they know it or not, even simply by scrolling past it on their timeline. Therefore, increasing the chance of business enquiries.
My take on Facebook is that it is better suited to smaller firms looking for incremental growth where the marketing strategies are more informal avenues, such as the scenario created above. I draw this conclusion because the majority of facebook profiles are personal and not business, therefore the target market is individuals looking for work. For B2B social media promotion, LinkedIn is a more favourable avenue to pursue if you are a larger business. Facebook for business as I like to call it.
Whether the company be small, medium or large, Instagram provides an almost perfect platform for growth. The core competency of Instagram is to share pictures to followers. Alternatively, Instagram has an explore page where users can stumble across posts based on their interests. So for the construction industry, where no two jobs are the same, Instagram allows a portfolio of past work, awards, new machinery, or almost anything you believe will present your company in a positive light to be created and for anyone to find. You can also be as formal or informal as you like when it comes to content creation, a photo of a site, or a timelapse created by a proven photographer, Instagram's flexibility makes it brilliant for business.
Instagram also allows stories to be shared. A story can be a saved video from your phone, a live video or as I am going to focus on, a shared post from your page or someone else’s. Sharing a post on your story allows your followers to ‘quote’ your post for their followers to also see, which is therefore targeting an alternative audience to your page. This is a great way to draw followers through the ability of a story to float around the platform.
This is why it is essential for the construction industry to be on Instagram. It is key to upload consistently, creating an active page but also post relevant quality content.
YouTube is a great way for the construction industry to portray its products to potential clients. Creating case study project videos, timelapse, interviews etc are all paramount for success but very often, for the construction industry, YouTube is utilised as a ‘how to…’ platform. By this I mean a tool for people wanting to know how to do a job or how a job is done. For example, just recently I looked up on YouTube ‘how to tile a floor?’ and I stumbled upon a building merchants channel where they had set-up tutorials explaining how to tile a floor. Consequently, this created a sub-conscious link between tiling a floor and the builders merchant. The same principle applies to construction firms using YouTube as a marketing tool. Present your business’s specialist skill set on YouTube, whatever that may be and it can be a brilliant platform for growth.
This platform is taking the world by storm and has already overtaken more established social media platforms such as Twitter in the user numbers. In relation to the construction industry, many businesses are still trying to work out the most effective use of their time on the platform. For example, there are construction accounts on the platform that frequently post before and after video montages for their projects or like youtube, post short clips explaining how to do a task. The youthfulness of this platform means that there is room of interpretation when it comes to marketing, but if you find that niche, you stand a very good chance of being successful. TikTok uses a categorising algorithm; if you watch the entirety of a video, it indicates that you enjoyed it and therefore recommends other videos by queuing them next on your timeline via the use of hashtag categories such as '#construction'.
In my opinion, TikTok will soon be a staple of social media marketing strategy because of its scope for even more growth in the future, and therefore construction firms should be looking to make plans for its implementation.
By Oliver Rand