Social media has been around for almost two decades, but it still may seem like an enigma to your construction company. We’re here to tell you that social media marketing doesn’t need to be a weak point in your marketing arsenal. Social media marketing for construction companies can be a great strategy to consistently earn press coverage, generate leads, and recruit talent.
If you want to transition from “doing” social media to thriving off it, then keep reading as we discuss the best way to create a foolproof social media strategy for your construction company.
Table of Contents:
- Benefits of a Strong Social Media Presence
- Step 1: Determining Target Market
- Step 2: Choosing Platforms
- Step 3: Creating Content Ideas
- Step 4: Compiling Existing Content
- Step 5: Assigning Roles
- Step 6: Blending Social with Other Marketing Channels
- Step 7: Measuring Success
- Final Takeaways
Benefits of a Strong Social Media Presence
Target Bigger Audiences: Nearly 3.6 billion people use social media regularly. Social media allows you to target people from all over the world as you expand into regional and national markets.
Increase Social Proof: A lack of a social media presence in the digital age can be a red flag to more tech-savvy people. Before jumping on board, potential clients and customers will like to know what other people are saying about your company.
Increased Employee Pride: As we’ll later discuss, social media isn’t just a marketing tool. A strong social media presence can make team members feel connected to each other and their employer.
Become a Construction Industry Authority: Appearance matters when bidding on projects, negotiating with suppliers, and hiring talent. Your social media presence will speak for your company, even when you’re not in the room.
Increase Customer Loyalty: Social media isn’t just a way to interact with future clients. You can also use it to stay top of mind with your current and past clients.
Close Deals Faster: If every decision-maker involved in the approval process is already aware of your company, this can theoretically shorten the approval process.
Step 1: Determine Your Target Market
Step one in creating a social media strategy is diving deep into what you’re looking to get out of it. The easy answers are “more clients” and “more exposure,” but you need to establish concrete goals that your marketing team can pursue. That starts with determining who you’re trying to reach through your social media efforts.
We suggest building personas.
Remember you’re targeting potential clients and past/current clients, potential employees, current employees, construction industry partners, strategic partners, etc.
Ask questions along these lines:
- Who are you trying to reach?
- What questions are they asking about you and your industry?
- What kinds of conversations are you looking to start?
- What do you want your audience to know about your company?
- What specific things do you want them to see in your company?
- What kinds of content will get them to take the desired next step?
Step 2: Determine What Platforms They’re Using
There are currently over 200 social media platforms, with a few dozen of them cracking the 100 million user mark. Your firm only needs to be active on the sites that your ideal market is hanging out on.
The top social media platforms for construction companies:
With over 2 billion active users, Facebook can be a valuable channel for recruitment. It’s easy to post content and its casual vibe are perfect for conveying in friendly tone what it’s like to work at your company. Plus, people unhappy at their current jobs tend to use Facebook frequently as a distraction, so what better place to advertise your company culture and job openings? It also offers opportunities for general awareness, although to a lesser degree than the opportunities for recruitment. Chances are, your prospects (or their spouses or their friends) are on Facebook, and letting them know what you’re up to can sometimes lead to a conversation about future work.
Instagram can be one of your go-to tools for recruiting younger talent into your organization. The average Instagram user is 25-34 years old, that average age may be artificially lower due to the number of preteens on the platform. You’ll find plenty of people above that age in your target market.
Use Instagram to highlight your work, employees, and culture. Photos of people, completed projects, and “behind the scenes” project progress updates all work well on this platform. Try to avoid posts where the picture is really just a block of text. If the picture can’t tell the story, it might not be right for Instagram.
LinkedIn is known as the social media app for professionals, making it an ideal place to recruit employees, showcase your company to potential clients, and network with industry partners. Use LinkedIn to raise awareness in a professional setting with authoritative, industry-specific content. By using LinkedIn, you’ll be joining 58 million other companies already on the platform.
Google My Business
Google My Business has evolved from just a feature of Google Local Search to a social media channel. Google’s review feature is by far the most trusted review platform on the internet, so prioritize having customers review your company on Google My Business. Have your social media manager reply to reviews and answer customer questions on this platform.
If a picture is worth 1,000 words, how much is a video? YouTube is great for showcasing your company culture, employee spotlights, sharing your presence at community events, and showing time-lapses of construction projects. Users watch over 1 billion hours of YouTube content every day because people love video. There’s also a strong preference for video on other platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
What Social Media Platform Should I Use First?
It depends on your business, but the best platform is the one on which you consistently share content with your target persona. Consider who you’re trying to reach and what you want to tell them.
We recommend you start with one platform at a time, master a system for promoting your business in it, then move on to the next one. Each platform has its own reason for being and its own audiences with expectations about what they’re going to see. Not all content that goes on LinkedIn will fit on Instagram, so each one requires individual thought.
Step 3: Brainstorm Content Ideas (Here’s 9 Ideas of Social Media Posts for Construction Companies)
Every construction business should systematically create a social media strategy for the above platforms one at a time. The question that’s likely on your mind is, “What kind of content should we post?”
Creating content buckets allows your firm to categorize what types of content you should create and eventually figure out how much you need to make each day, week, and month.
Here are nine ideas to get you started:
The recurring theme for social media marketing is the ability to create social proof around your firm. Sharing completed projects and projects in progress can show prospective clients that you can handle their projects. Share information about the location, who it’s for (if privacy allows), and the project timeline.
Your audience may also find project process videos engaging to see how your crews work. Video tours are great to give your audience a behind-the-scenes view of your project and company.
Construction Industry News
Keep your audience in the loop of relevant and interesting news surrounding your industry like statistics, data, and new laws/regulations. What does this have to do with social proof?
The answer: people will regard your firm as an industry authority figure if you consistently break the news and info that they may find relevant.
It’s one thing to say, “We’re hiring.” It’s better to say, “It’s great to work for us.”
How do you convey that message using photos?
Posting content featuring your employees with big smiles on their faces as they work or represent your company at events. Spotlight specific employees with a quick video or snap a photo as they work. If your company has teambuilding events or traditions like Taco Tuesday, share pictures with your audience. Think about what would make a person want to work for your company.
In addition to showing off your employees, flex some of your heavy equipment. Educate your audience on your heavy equipment, what it does at job sites, and how you keep it maintained.
If your firm hosts golf outings, employee-family luncheons, or fundraisers, spread the events on social media to garner more support and show your involvement in your community.
A Day in the Field/Office
Showcase your employees hard at work in the field and office. This helps with recruitment and also reminds clients and prospects that there are real people behind the work.
Sharing how-to’s and industry tips can show your expertise to your audience. What are common questions your ideal market asks about what you do? LinkedIn is a great professional environment to showcase your knowledge.
Customer Testimonials & Reviews
After every completed project, your social media team should get your customer on video for a testimonial. If you can’t get a video, a quote or snippet from an online review they’ve left works well.
Awards & Recognition
If your company or an employee receives an award/recognition, share that on social media. This will boost employee morale and social proof.
Step 4: Compile Current Assets & Future Assets
With a general idea of the content you’ll be posting, you’ll come to find that you already have social media-worthy content in the form of photos, videos, and infographics. Recycling existing content can save you a ton of money and time.
Do a bit of competitor research to spark your memory of content that you may already have and to see what people are engaging with.
Step 5: Determine Who’s Going to Handle Social Media
Like a garden, social media needs constant attention to bear fruit. The whole point is to increase conversations with potential clients, employees, and the press, which means somebody needs to be available during business hours to handle these interactions.
A social media manager who handles every step of social media will at least be a part-time job.
Their responsibilities will include:
- Creating or facilitating content creation
- Creating content calendars and scheduling content
- Customizing and sharing content on its respective platforms
- Interacting with comments and messages on social media
- Tracking growth and lead generation
You can hire an in-house social media manager or outsource content creation and account maintenance. In-house social media management benefits from having someone involved in the company culture daily. They can capture moments as they happen and brainstorm content ideas themselves.
Whether you outsource social media or not, develop an approval process for what’s good to post and what needs to be deleted or edited.
Step 6. Incorporate Social Media Marketing into Your Current Marketing Efforts
Social media is just one weapon in your arsenal for inbound marketing. Combined with content marketing on your blog and offline marketing efforts, you can create a three-headed dragon that spreads an omnipresent fire across your market.
You can repurpose offline marketing assets like billboards and flyers for social media. You can also break down authoritative blog posts into bite-sized pieces for LinkedIn. These are just a few ideas that you and your social media manager can brainstorm, all thanks to your existing assets.
The opportunities for cross-promotion are almost endless and can make your other marketing efforts easier. The less your marketing efforts exist in a vacuum, the more exponential your ROI.
Step 7. Measure Success
As Peter Drucker always said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” Luckily, every social media app allows business users to track metrics, including likes, clicks, views, and follower growth.
Vanity metrics are metrics that may not have much of an impact on your business’s success on social media. They may include likes, shares, comments, and followers. Notice how we said, “may,” as in, it’s up to you to determine if that growth is also aiding in meeting your more important goals like lead generation.
Vanity metrics don’t deserve the bad rap they get because they can mean more social proof for your business. A big follower count (built organically) can subconsciously portray an air of importance and strength around your business. On the flip side, if your followers are solely made up of friends and family, take the lead value of that following with a large grain of salt.
Tracking “Non-Vanity” Metrics
If you generate leads through your website, you can track what websites they come from using UTM tracking within Google Analytics. Of course, if leads come in directly from a specific social media site, then you already have your answer. Have your social media manager track how many leads and where they come from through social media in an Excel document or Google Sheet.
It’s possible to track social media analytics with nothing but the apps themselves and Google Products (Analytics & Sheets), but here are some great tools you can use to get more data.
Social media marketing may seem like a big undertaking, but using this seven-step process should help you understand what you should be doing to get the highest ROI.