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Social Medusa

Social media in the Construction industry

Take the horror and myth out of Social Media.  It’s simple, “Tell people what you do, and who you are”.  Engage.  Repeat.

It is a commitment of time and coordination of talents and resources. Done right, social media is a powerful promotional tool that can project your brand into the marketplace effectively and on message.

Perhaps to the uninitiated, the Number 1 challenge is the daunting number of options: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Reddit, Tumblr, Feedly, Snapchat, Pinterest… the list is endless, but for marketing in the construction industry, we’ll focus on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.  While for now, these networks are the dominant four, others may scratch an itch for your product or service, and not all social media campaigns fit all.  Important to note the capabilities and works of each channel as the different channels will service different segments, as well as different promotional purposes.

Facebook

The most popular social media platform worldwide.  To have a Company Page you’ll need an individual page (& account).  Multiple people can manage a company page.  Through posts that feature links to external pages, video, photos, and text, users can create a narrative to followers that will be able to comment and engage on the page.  Facebook in coordination with other promotional elements, can be a useful device for building a following that will get to know your brand, your capabilities, and work scope.

Instagram

Instagram is owned by Facebook.  Instagram is based around video and photo capture.  While you can view Instagram from your computer it is the phone app that is necessary to post, at least for now.  Instagram allows users to tag each other, caption photos, and comment on posts.  You cannot share links to website pages on Instagram for example.  Think of Instagram as a means to post shots or videos of your work and communicate your brand visually.

Twitter

Twitter’s 140 character limit post is known as a “tweet” and can be accompanied by photos, video, links to external web pages. “What’s going on?”  The short nature of the platform’s tweet has become part of the Twitter identity for those who prefer the short “status update to Facebook’s and LinkedIn’s longer, more detailed posts.
Hubstob has two very good articles that tell the Twitter Story far better than we could:

What Is Twitter and How Does It Work?

Ideas for How to Use Twitter for Marketing & PR

LinkedIn

Social Media for business.  You’ll need a personal account to create a business account.  Posts here are intended for the business environment.  The audience is generally professional and your page following is built through quality content and external promotion of your page.  The environment is useful for engaging in business-oriented promotion, communications, and listening.

See: LinkedIn 101

So All of Them? Some of Them?

This section probably deserves a longer treatment, but let’s say, you can tune in to each channel with an effective promotion campaign to serve different purposes.  Audiences will be different, so the messaging should be different, and by their nature must be.  The strategy here involves getting to know what kind of audience you’re developing for each social media platform and creating content to grow, interest and engage the audience you have.

Assemble a Team

You probably have 10 pounds of stuff to do on a daily basis and a 5-pound box.  Well, let’s be practical with that.  You won’t have hours to bump around the internet.  With the end in mind (flow of audience and creation of valued content) someone has to be the quarterback.  Ensuring the flow of content is on target is plenty to do; someone on the team needs to focus on that.

The quarterback needs to call the huddle, call the play, hand off the ball, and watch the play through.  What then? The quarterback needs to call the huddle, call the play, hand off the ball, and watch the play through. What then?

The quarterback needs to call the huddle, call the play, hand off the ball, and watch the play through.  Repeat.

Culture.  Let’s say it: This is going nowhere without a clear declaration of the expectations.  “Expectation is team members feed 1-2 pieces of content into pipeline per week”.  Now you can imagine why the quarterback has enough to do without worrying about content.  This is about volume, value and creating a presence.  So to succeed this needs to be a wide effort based on a culture of “we need to tell our story!”

Wish list.  A diverse group that’s going to contribute a sum of content the sum of which spells out to the social media audience who you are.

Reality.  Let’s say it:  Some folks are not contributors.  Some people are.  Forget the former.  Focus on the later.  That’s your real team.

See: Content 101: The Value of Content & Why You Need a Quarterback

Content

Hopefully, you’ll have team members producing pieces regarding positive work accomplishments.  The “we can do this…” team.  This content has the added value of releasing capabilities into the social media sphere, a good quarterback might take some choice content and develop it further into, etc. press releases, magazine articles, etc.

Job Stories:  This is the construction industry right? Tell them what job’s you’re on and what you’re doing and how you saved the day.

People: People relate to people’s stories. This is also an ideal opportunity to show the heart and soul of your company.  Be creative.

Training: Training exercises are positive examples of a brand’s commitment to making itself better.  Take advantage of every opportunity to show this on Social media.

Awards.  Awards don’t just make themselves happen.  Go make them happen and post about it.

Articles. Awards don’t just make themselves happen.  Go make them happen and post them.

Listening

Social Media is about listening as well.  You can learn a lot by following and reading about your competition.  Industry associations and suppliers have channels too – follow them.  The construction industry is a word of mouth business.  Social Media can help with that.

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