A high-end homebuilder in a growing suburban area had been slow to adapt to social media. She didn’t think much of it until she stumbled across a competitor’s Facebook page and saw all the likes and comments. While visiting her CPA on other business, she mentioned her worries. He gave her five suggestions to get started:
- Choose the right channels. Her CPA recalled a 2018 survey by the Construction Marketing Association on the topic. Pulling up the results, he pointed out that 98% of architectural/engineering/construction (AEC) professionals surveyed use LinkedIn. Close behind was Facebook with 96%. From there, 78% of respondents reported using Twitter, 61% were on YouTube and 59% were using Instagram. These statistics indicate that LinkedIn and Facebook are generally the places to be for contractors, her CPA noted. But he urged her to research the ideal platform based on her target audience.
- Post at least two to three times a week. Her accountant warned her that social media can eat up a lot of time. It’s important to plan an adequate number of posts, but not too many. Generally, midday during the week is considered a good time to post for business purposes.
- Be authentic. “This may sound funny coming from a CPA,” her accountant said. “But don’t be too serious.” He urged the contractor to show the human side of her business. Post employee profiles and, as appropriate, give shout-outs to project partners. Many contractors share “pro tips” for customers. Her CPA advised keeping these brief and general, and to include a legal disclaimer.
- Leverage cool imagery. The contractor could share photos and videos taken at carefully selected jobsites. Some construction companies post “before and after” photos of structures built or services performed. A time-lapse video of a project from start to finish can be quite breathtaking, her CPA noted. Aerial videos taken from drones are also popular.
- Participate in the conversation. Her accountant urged the contractor not to think of social media as “blasting” information into the marketplace. Rather, it’s a conversation. Using her social media account(s), she should follow industry leaders, associations, trade publications and other relevant parties. She should “like” and share posts if they’re timely, from a reliable source, and would be of interest to her friends and followers.
Ultimately, the contractor decided to take her CPA’s advice — along with other valuable input — and formally launch her construction company’s presence on social media. The results were slow at first but, over time, her business found its voice and online community. The impact on sales was positive.
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