Social media for contractors: A beginner’s guide

Social media marketing is an integral component of any business plan. With over two billion users active on Facebook alone, it’s no wonder that businesses of all sizes have jumped on the social media bandwagon to reach more consumers and build a more defined online presence.

An impressive 80% of Instagram users follow at least one business account, and 60% have reportedly discovered new products while scrolling the social media platform. If you haven’t already started your social media marketing plan, now is the time to break into this essential avenue of target marketing.

When you utilize social media as a business marketing tool for your construction company, you accomplish a variety of important goals. First, a strong social media presence helps build brand awareness— increasing web traffic, engagement and sales in the process. 

Maintaining a savvy social media strategy also helps you make your business more human. When you post relatable content that matters to your target audience, you’ll build stronger client partnerships. By sharing helpful and informative information to your followers, you also establish your business as a leader in the construction industry.

What is social media?

Social media encompasses the range of virtual communities and networks that allow for the sharing of content between users around the world. Some of the most popular channels and platforms for social media include Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.

Social media marketing is an effective tool for business owners because it allows businesses to spread brand awareness, connect with quality leads and deliver essential content in an affordable and efficient manner. 

Think of social media as yet another way of communicating with and learning more about your clients and your target audience. While you don’t have to dedicate time and resources to every single social media platform, it is helpful to maintain at least a couple of active accounts to ensure that customers can interact with you. 

Social media profiles are easy and free to set up, so there’s no real cost involved to get started on your social media marketing plan.

Step-by-step guide to using social media for your construction business

Set goals

The first and most important step in establishing your construction business’s social media strategy is by developing goals that adhere to the S.M.A.R.T. marketing principles. SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely. 

Are you looking to build your follower count? Would you like to see more clicks that result in website visits? Determine which specific goals you want to achieve to get your social media strategy started. Make sure these specific goals can be measured and that they are practical. Don’t set a starting goal of cultivating one million followers; instead, focus on reachable tasks that are relevant to your company’s success.

Chris Harper, of Harper Construction, Inc. has specific goals in mind when pursuing his social media marketing strategy. Harper states, “I use Instagram to share stories and photos that capture people’s attention,” adding that he uses social media to help build an audience for his construction company, spur on word of mouth advertising and increase the company’s name recognition.

Get to know your audience

In order to build social media campaigns that resonate with your target audience, you’ll need to know more about them. Research the type of customer you want to reach. Are they older? Are they predominately male? Are they located in specific regions? You can use targeted advertising to appeal to social media users who fit your target demographic profile. Once you know who your target audience is, you can better craft content that appeals to them most.

Take a look at the competition

Whether you’re starting a fresh social media account or building on your current business profile, it can be helpful to browse competitor profiles to see how they are presenting their brand and connecting with customers. Take note of things like how frequently they make posts, how they respond to reviews and what types of promotions they run. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, so take a peek at other construction companies on Facebook to kickstart your brainstorming on how to operate your marketing strategies.

Optimize your accounts

Whether you’re using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or some other social media platform, it’s important to know how to optimize your accounts. Use hashtags and keywords to capture your audience’s attention and to reach other users who may be looking for the services and products you’re providing. Be sure to fully fill out all areas of your profile, and keep contact information up-to-date, so customers can easily reach you. Respond to reviews and complaints quickly and stick to the positive when posting public responses. 

Carl Zimmerman, of Zimmerman Contracting in Columbia, SC, states that he believes it is important to respond to both positive and negative reviews. He adds, “We like to show that we appreciate our our happy customers for sharing, and attempt to offer solutions to any unhappy complaints from our clients. We feel this shows sincerity to our customers about our reputation and that we are invested in their satisfaction.”

Organize a social media content calendar

Stay organized, capitalize on holidays and events, and keep your content flowing regularly by establishing a well-planned social media content calendar. Additionally, it’s important to schedule in time for engaging with your followers so your content is consistently showing up in their feeds.

 A well-organized content calendar will keep you from posting too often while ensuring your day-to-day posts are delivered exactly when you want. Carl Zimmerman reports that his construction business publishes posts on Facebook six to seven times per week, with the most compelling being those that include before and after images. He says those before and after posts are an “excellent way to showcase our skills and results, especially to neighbors.”

Measure your results

It’s important to monitor your social media results frequently to determine the actions that work best for your business. Pay attention to the posts that achieve higher numbers when it comes to audience reach and engagement, and emulate those successful posts with new ideas. On the other hand, if you see that a specific campaign under performed, you’ll want to address the pitfalls and figure out how to improve them before starting new campaigns.

The bottom line

Most of us use social media in our personal lives, but when you implement a smart social media strategy for your business, you really see the value of these digital platforms. Not only can you utilize affordable advertising that delivers a high return on investment, but you can also more easily reach your desired audience. 

With billions of active users scrolling through social media dashboards constantly, social media marketing is a tool that simply cannot be underestimated. Improve your construction company’s online presence and connect with your customers by developing a savvy social media marketing plan.