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Let's be honest, you're a general contractor - not a social media marketer, and you probably want nothing to do with social media but someone in your marketing department or your gen-z kid told you in order to stay relevant you HAVE to start posting.
I'm here to give you permission to quit. Yep. Thats right. This whole post is about how to leverage social media marketing for the construction industry and the first thing I want to clarify is that you DO NOT HAVE TO BE A SOCIAL MEDIA STAR. Honestly no one really cares about your social media and the goal of it is not to gain followers or get likes. That is a waste of your time. No one is on social media to see what contractors are doing. BUT.. and it's a huge but... there still is extreme value in having a social media marketing strategy. Let me tell you why and how to go about it.
The only point for social media marketing efforts for construction businesses is to have a unified and professional appearance across all social media platforms. It is another "calling card" of sorts. You want your social media and digital marketing to present strong branding and show off your best work. That is it. Nothing more. You do not need to run social media advertising on instagram or other social media platforms. Your target audience is most likely not social media users. Your target audience lives on google. Thats where you should spend your dollars, but more on that later in the article.
The best social media platforms for the construction industry are going to be LinkedIn and Instagram. You should be using both and for different reasons. I'll outline each of the specific uses below. If you are someone who loves to dish your insights into the industry and comment on current affairs, then adding Twitter to your social media marketing strategy is also worth doing. Let's start with the easiest one and go from there. Here is my step by step guide to having strong and beneficial social media channels for the construction industry.
Let's talk LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the social media platform of the modern business world. If you are reading this article no matter if you are 28 or 82, you are probably on LinkedIn or at least know about it. But what you may not know is the right way to leverage LinkedIn for your construction company. Construction companies tend to be boring in their digital marketing strategies. Think "old school" - and before you come at me for calling you old school or boring, let me tell you why.
"Boring" content was the way of doing things for so long. To be honest, it is still the way a lot of larger corporations market. They simply post information. Information about themselves. Information about what they are building, winning awards, etc. Newsflash - NO ONE REALLY CARES. Everyone ultimately cares about "What's In It For Me?" That is your new mantra when it comes to social media advertising. They don't care about the conference you went to and spoke at and blah blah blah. They want to know what problems can you solve for THEM, and are you credible enough to do what you say you can do. Thats it.
Glad you asked. Here is my step-by-step LinkedIn social media strategy guide. It will be followed by social media strategy guides for Instagram and Twitter respectively. So get ready to take notes, copy-paste, take these ideas and run with them!
Make sure you have both a company and personal LinkedIn page. Update your images with sharp and professional-looking headshots and branding images. Do not use a selfie from your phone or a photo someone took of you on vacation. This is a business. This is your first chance for a first impression. You want to be looking SHARP and like you know what you are doing. Take some time creating a thoughtful summary to showcase your personality and what problems you solve in the industry. Remember people are always thinking "What's In It For Me?" Next, fill out all relevant sections of the profile, and include links back to your website or other social media accounts.
Research your target audience: Know who you are creating the content for and what their interests are. Look at competitor profiles and look for common topics that arise from those conversations. I know I said your ideal customer isn't on social media... and that is both true and false. They are there, gathering information, casually browsing, and waiting to be impressed or entertained by the people on their feed. It is WHEN they are buying that they are living on Google. When a customer is looking to buy usually the first stop along the buyer's journey is to research on Google. However, if they have either heard of you before from something you shared on social media or they go check out your social media platforms after viewing your website - you want to impress them by having valuable, relevant information that contributes to your credibility and have your branding look sleek and put together to contribute to your brand recognition factor.
Identify purpose of content: Decide whether you are trying to educate, engage, inform, or entertain. This will help you create content that is specific to the goals of your LinkedIn page. For construction companies and industry professionals, the goal should be to educate on the problem you solve in the world. Showcase past work, (the finished product, not the progress, no one cares about the progress photos), tell a story about the job and some challenges you faced and solved. Share insights you have learned from all your experience in the industry. Also, a little humor never hurt anyone - so throw in a meme or a quote that made you laugh. Show off the personality that makes you - you. We are not just businesses selling to businesses. At the end of the day it really is all just human-to-human connection so it doesn't hurt to acknowledge your humanity. You are not just a corporate robot, plus no one really wants to do business with corporate robots - gimme that human touch!
Engage with other construction professionals and construction companies: Reach out to people within your network and start conversations with them around industry-related topics by commenting on their posts or sending them messages directly via private message or direct message (DM). Just be a real human! Imagine this as if you saw them at some work event or out on a job site and chat them up. Do not overthink this. It is really the easiest part.
Provide helpful resources/guides: Post helpful resources such as educational materials (eBooks), blogs, videos tutorials/webinars related to construction-related matters which can help build trust between yourself and potential customers/clients while also providing value without expecting anything in return; this could even lead into conversions later down the line when they get more familiar with who you are and what services/products you offer! The rule is, if it helped you, it will probably be of value to someone else. So share it! It does not have to be precisely related to construction, just make sure it is related to work, productivity, or general construction (ish) stuff. AKA: stay in your niche - but you don't always have to talk about the same things.
Host Q&A sessions: Ask interesting questions related to their experiences within the construction industry and invite them to share their thoughts on certain topics; this will help establish relationships based on shared knowledge & understanding which can be beneficial for both parties involved since it creates an open dialogue between experts & novices alike! This contributes a lot to your credibility factor. Show that you can solve real-world problems - you don't have to give all the exact details, but give them enough to get a quick win and see that you really do know what you're talking about
Monitor analytics & optimize content accordingly: Keep track of your performance metrics such as impressions, engagements (likes/comments), shares etc., so that you know what kind of content resonates best with your audience; this will allow you to make necessary improvements & optimizations over time – enabling more effective communication & connection with more clients! Don't sweat the fancy analytics tools. Just do a simple analysis at the end of the week or month. What seemed to get the best response? Create more content along those lines and see how it does again the next month.
Keep it consistent. The biggest "hack" for social media marketing is to just keep showing up. Put out the content. It does not have to be perfect. "Done" is better than perfect and what the social media platforms want to see is that you are contributing valuable content ideas for your audience at regular intervals. It does not have to be every day. Ideally 4 times a week is enough to create a consistent social media presence.
Social media marketing is a powerful tool for businesses and individuals alike, but it takes time. Consistency is key to success - by posting valuable content at regular intervals, you can build trust with your audience and create more opportunities for engagement. With the right approach, social media can be an invaluable asset in amplifying your message and connecting with potential customers or clients. Remember your main goals as a construction company with social media marketing is to showcase your best work, present strong branding, and boost your credibility to potential clients, NOT to be a construction industry influencer and create a following.
Now that we have covered the majority of the basics of using the LinkedIn social media platform as a construction company - I also suggest Instagram, and if you're into giving hot takes, witty quips, and sharing one-liner ideas, then Twitter would be a fun add on for you.
The whole point of using the Instagram social media platform as a general contractor or construction company is to show us the goods. The FINISHED work. Show me the prettiest exterior shots, the styled shots of your completed work. If you do renovations, show me the before and after. Put the after photo first and swipe for the before.
Show me the pretty things. I see so many construction companies showing progress photos or photos that show small details of the work, etc. No one cares. Ya know? Now, it may be awesome and important and still worth having those photos to use in conversations or white papers about the details of your work, but for your social media audience keep it simple and pretty.
The main takeaway your potential clients should get from your Instagram is "Wow, they do really good work, I want to see more."
It is a portfolio.
Do not try to gain social media followers. That is a waste of time and they are not your target market.
Instagram does not need to be an active social media platform. You need enough content ideas to create a solid 15-21 posts. Instagram shows its posts in a grid of 3 so you want your content to be a multiplier of 3.
Video is king right now on Instagram, but they just announced in early February 2023 that they over-prioritized video the past 2 years and would be re-balancing the algorithm to favor photos once more. That is great news. You don't have to make videos for everything.
Now, there is a caveat - video is shown to be way more engaging and considered more interesting content by many users.
Got any cool drone footage of finished projects you can edit into a short 20-second video? Post it. Throw your logo over it and put a trending audio with the video.
Other than that type of content I would stick to posting professional photos of your finished work.
I recommend a posting schedule of 1-2 times per week in the beginning. Once you have posted all 15-21 of your good new posts, then go back and delete all the
ugly, old, not relevant posts. You really want this to function as a secondary portfolio site. So keep it simple and pretty. No need to post Happy Valentine's Day graphics... you know the kind I'm talking about.
Another important part of using Instagram is to have an optimized bio. You want to have your circular logo format as your profile picture, and in the bio make sure you say what you do, and where you do it. Include a link to your website. It is that simple!
No. Big FAT NO.
Save your advertising dollars for Google Ads.
I will have another article on that soon. So come back for that next week!
Now, onto Twitter.
The short answer is no. However, I do think it can be beneficial if it is something you or your team are willing to take on. Similar to LinkedIn you want to share thoughts and ideas, links to things you find helpful, interesting or simply funny.
Twitter is made for the quip. Short, witty, or interesting "hot takes" on current affairs and trending topics. Here is how we do it at Ascent Consulting. Adam, our founder and the voice of our brand sits down with the marketing team for a short 20 minute meeting once a week to give us all his "hot takes" aka his commentary on what is going on in the construction industry related to the current affairs, as well as any business tips and advice he thought of while working with clients and taking sales calls the week before. Our team takes notes and then publishes the tweets throughout the week. But look, if Donald Trump and Joe Biden can learn to tweet then you can too. It really is simple and super easy to publish your thoughts and commentary in real time.
The bonus of using Twitter is you can screen shot those business advice tips you tweet and re-post on LinkedIn and Instagram! Recycling content is a must-do to keep up with the demands of an effective social media calendar.
I really hoped this helped you get a handle on what you need to spend your time on in social media for construction companies and what you simply do not need to bother with. I see a lot of companies quit before they really get going because the idea of doing it all is just too overwhelming or does not seem relevant. Don't let that be you. Use this guide to create a simple, effective and beneficial social media strategy to support the growth of your construction company.