Social Media For General Contractors : Challenges
There are products and services that are a natural match for the internet. Political campaigns, fashion, travel, and food require very little marketing effort. Creating compelling, shareable social media for general contractors is a bit more challenging and requires a hefty dose of creative, outside the box thinking to pull off a successful campaign.
Your base goal is share-ability. This is what determines whether a post or video you have published goes viral. And going viral is, of course, the brass ring for any social media marketing campaign. Social media for general contractors is not high on the list of controversial, hot-button, subject matter that is likely to produce an immediate intense emotional response on its own.
There are plenty of ways to add a punch of emotion to an otherwise neutral subject. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular techniques.
- Post a series of photos or short video clips documenting a day in the life of a general contractor as they go about plying their trade. This type of social media post is going to work best if your crew is extroverted, funny, and comfortable with amateur paparazzi traipsing around underfoot trying to get the perfect photo spread.
- Do you have a crew member or two that keeps everyone in stitches all day everyday with their zany sense of humor, sharp wit, or theatrical drama? This type is usually easy to identify if you look for the crew members (they are usually found in pairs) doing the Git-T-Up, The Shuffle, or the Cha-Cha-Slide on the work site. Not every crew has this type of member, but if you are one of the lucky crews that does have one or two of these talented laborers on staff, your social media campaign will be a breeze.
- Find or create funny memes, quotes, or anecdotal stories related to the subject matter that you are trying to post. People love to share anything that makes them laugh. Just play it safe and stick to poking fun at the industry or anonymous fails and mishaps that won’t land you in court facing slander charges.
- Share useful or interesting insider information and practical tips that your audience can use in their everyday life. The more useful and uncommon the tip or knowledge the more likely that it is to be shared. Use Google’s Top Charts (3) tool to search for subjects like “DIY” or “Construction” and it will provide a list of the most searched topics in each subject area.
Social Media For General Contractors : Developing The Blueprint
To make sure that your social media efforts don’t fall flat, or worse offend or annoy your audience you will need to create, and adhere to a detailed blueprint. It can be tempting to skip this step or rush through the process to move on to the more immediately gratifying tasks. Resist the urge. A social media blueprint will serve several vital functions that make it worth its weight in gold when it comes to hitting all your social media targets.
So what type of data produces the most successful blueprint? There are several basic questions that you will need to answer regarding your general contractor services. The list of questions below represent the bare minimum of information you will need to provide.
- What specific demographic are you hoping to reach?
- This is generally going to be the demographic that is likely to purchase your product or services. This may require some trial and error to determine the most buyers from the planners or dreamers. Consumer polling sites like Pew Research (4) have plenty of info to offer on demographic preferences.
- What type of reaction are you trying to invoke in your audience?
- Obviously, the ideal reaction would be to inspire your audience to become paying customer We are seeking a more immediate and nuanced answer at this stage in the game though. This question is looking for the feelings or emotions you want your audience to experience. For instance, do you want a social media post that tugs at the heart strings, or one that sparks nostalgia, or makes one feel secure and safe.
- Are there any potential social, political, or religious landmines lurking in your social media posts that could unintentionally cause a negative or adverse reaction in viewers?
- When determining an answer for this question you want to expand out to thinking about all potential viewers of your posted content rather than your specific demographic. The goal here is to keep your social media campaign from going viral for all the wrong reasons. Steer clear of political partisanship, and religious, racial, or gender based stereotypes, or slurs no matter how pervasive the term is in society.
Social Media For General Contractors : Promotion Best Practices
In the previous step you created your basic social media blue print identifying your target demographic or the specific type of consumer you are most interested in engaging. You have also determined which feelings you hope to inspire and which emotional triggers you would prefer to avoid you are hoping to make them feel, as well as what you would like to avoid.
Promotion best practices is the practical requirements to achieve the targets you set out in the blueprint. Where and how you post your social media content plays a very important role in how that content is ultimately received and by whom.
So looking specifically at social media for general contractors, you want to concentrate your social media content promotion efforts on the social media platforms that are home to the highest concentrations of your target audience. It is also important to consider the purpose and most common use of the social media platform to make sure that posting content related to general contractor services is not out of step with the dominant content type or subject matter of the site.
50% of construction marketers (1) say LinkedIn and Facebook are the best two channels for effectiveness with social media fans in the industry.
Social Media Marketing Is Vital for General Contractors
This is just a small sample of the ideas that are at your disposal. Ultimately the best social media for general contractors is the content that is the most useful and the most personal to your audience. If you can create social media content that makes your audience cry, or laugh out loud, or go grab a hammer and duct tape to try the latest DIY fix-all trick then you are guaranteed to have your content shared far and wide and every new viewer is a potential customer.