Think social media isn’t worth your time? I get it – anyone working in construction is busy, and social media sounds, well, a little too social for a company handling a lot of work and tight deadlines. But in today’s world, smart businesses understand that social media is a direct line of communication between your company and potential clients, helping generate revenue while building visibility.
No matter how big or small your company, you can make a trusted name for yourself on social media and advertise your business for free.
Consider these facts:
- 8 out of 10 small businesses use social media to drive growth
- 3 in 5 businesses say they’ve gotten new customers from social media
Before we jump into the platforms and how to use them, here are two important best practices to ensure that you’re not wasting your time:
Rule 1: Consistency
If you’re aiming to find business or build awareness, you’ve got to keep active. This doesn’t mean spending hours online – there are simple and effective time savers (I’ll get to that later).
Rule 2: It’s not about you. It’s about your community.
If you’re looking at followers on social media only as potential customers, then you’ve missed the point. Social media is about building community. It’s important to remember that you need to provide value to your community, and not just news about your business. Business will come if you are authentic with your audience.
Now that you know the rules, let’s get started. Below is a primer on how to use some of the leading social media platforms and how they can help your business.
LinkedIn is one of the best ways for building new business online. There are two key ways to build business for your company – through your personal profile and through your company profile. If you’re a business owner you should have both, but if time is a major issue, then just use a personal profile. Use your company profile to post news and deals about your business. Use your personal profile to make connections, join trade groups, comment on other peoples’ posts and make one-on-one connections. Finding potential clients on LinkedIn is actually pretty easy – your search can be as specific as searching for someone by name or company, or as broad as looking for company type and region.
The construction community becomes more active on Twitter everyday. The best way to build local business is to find other companies you’re interested in working with and start following them and retweeting their posts. You’d be surprised how easy it is to build camaraderie over Twitter just by retweeting or commenting on someone’s post. Once people follow you back, you can direct message them to try and set up meetings, or ask them if they want to learn more about your business.
Building a company page on Facebook is simple and it’s got a lot of uses. Your Facebook page is great for posting industry news, company news, and offering special deals. Some companies even use Facebook instead of a website because it’s completely free and you can include contact information, company information, and you can even create a portfolio of work you’ve done using Facebook photo albums. Asking followers to help spread the word about your business is an easy way to help new business find you.
Video is becoming people’s preferred way of interacting with a company. Creating videos you want to share on YouTube can be as simple as pointing your phone toward a jobsite and then uploading to YouTube. If you really want to get fancy, you could create a low-cost commercial and post to YouTube. Posting these YouTube links on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn gives potential clients a more dynamic way of seeing what your company has to offer.
A word on saving time…
Unless you hire a qualified social media manager, you don’t have the time to spend hours per day putting together material for your social media platforms. Fortunately there are some great free and low-cost tools to help automate social media so that all you need to do is spend maybe 10 minutes per day. Check out Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Tweetdeck. All are simple to use and set up.
This blog post is the first in a 3-post series meant to help construction companies understand simple methods for marketing themselves online, getting maximum effect for as little time and money as possible. Check back for the next post on how blogging helps customers find you!