Gaining competitive advantage is key for most businesses in any industry, especially the building and construction industry where anything that sets a business apart from another is critical in gaining specification on a building project.
Social media provides businesses with the opportunity to stand out to customers, with an effective strategy in place there is potential to get noticed and get ahead of the competition. Most people use social media, some all the time, some infrequently, however there is no denying social media is widespread and here to stay.
How often do we see people scrolling through their phones, how often do we reach for our phones and take a quick look at Instagram or Facebook while we have 5 minutes to spare? So, you may be asking…
Is social media effective in the building, construction and interior sectors?
Social media has become a key marketing tool for business. Once the method of choice for finding ex’s and school friends, today it provides greater network reach and audience engagement than most other digital marketing methods.
It is an essential marketing tool for businesses, across industries, including those in the building, construction and interior sectors.
Social media is an ever-evolving beast with numerous platforms and advances in technology pushing its popularity further. There are six main social media platforms to consider – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram.
According to www.statista.com (January 2020), more than 45 million people in the UK use social media regularly. With an estimated 3.8 billion users worldwide.
Will it really make a difference to my business?
Social media is now a key element of most marketing strategies because of its reach and customer engagement potential, and its relatively low cost and effective return on investment.
It has no geographical limits, nor is it restricted by ‘normal’ working hours. You have an audience of millions and the opportunity to influence, network and engage with your customers and prospects.
If you’re in the building and interior sector and can’t really see how social media will work for your business, please see the following key benefits:
Increase brand awareness and loyalty
When you have a presence on social media, you make it easier for your customers to find and connect with you. And by connecting with your customers on social, you’re more likely to increase customer retention and brand loyalty.
Generate higher converting leads
Social media increases sales and customer retention through regular interaction and timely customer service.
Provide rich customer experiences
Even if you aren’t on social media, most of your customers expect you to be. Over 67 percent of consumers now go to social media for customer service. They expect fast response times and 24/7 support—and companies that deliver win out. A study by Aberdeen Group shows that companies engaging in social customer service see much bigger annual financial gains (7.5 percent YOY growth) vs. those without (2.9 percent).
Increase website traffic and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
One of the biggest benefits of social media for business is using it to increase your website traffic. Not only does social media help you direct people to your website, but the more social media shares you receive, the higher your search ranking will be. For example, if every person who follows Kitchen Surfaces R US on Twitter Retweets a post, it’s more likely to rank higher in Google’s search engine results page for variations of “Kitchen Surfaces.”
Networking and Knowledge
Social media isn’t just about telling the world about what you do, use it to share and network, find out what is going on in the industry, project awards, customer habits and interests. Find out what your competitors are doing. With social media monitoring you can gain key information about your competitors. This kind of intel will allow you to make strategic business decisions to stay ahead of them.
Share content faster and easier
In the past, marketers faced the challenge of ensuring their content reached customers in the shortest possible time. With the help of social media, specifically when it comes to sharing content about your business or for content curation, all you need to do is share it on your brand’s social network accounts.
Social media isn’t about blasting your company’s sales pitch on social, it’s a two-way channel where you have the opportunity to enrich relationships with your customers. For example, social media allows tourism brands to create dialogue with travellers, therefore creating relationships with customers before, during, and after they have booked a trip with the company. This kind of social media dialogue between brands and customers is something traditional advertising cannot achieve.
Quick tips on social media for the building, construction and interior sectors
Select the right platform. This may sound a little obvious, but we are often asked by business owners “which is the best platform for my business?” or “which platform should I use?” Each social media platform has its own advantages and purpose, and as a result each platform should be used differently.
For example, if you are a B2B business, LinkedIn is a really good platform to connect with industry peers and increase your professional network. People buy people. And what better way to influence potential customers on LinkedIn than to create engaging content.
Pinterest and Instagram are very image-led and encourage sharing and interaction (sharing focused more for Pinterest), which is perfect if you manufacture or supply aesthetically striking products in the Interiors sector.
Interior Designers, Architects, Specifiers and other Designers are heavily influenced by engaging, beautiful imagery. We could go through each platform – Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, but the purpose of this post is to give you an overview and help you relate it to your business. To do this, think about your audience. Where are they active? Where do they search? By concentrating on the really relevant platforms increases your chances of converting followers into customers.
You’ve noticed one of your biggest competitors is using a platform that you’re not. Does that mean you should use it? Possibly. Chances are their audience will be one that will interest you, but we always recommend not to spread yourself too thinly.
Don’t just sign up to a platform because your competitor has a mass of followers, only to then only post and engage with the platform every few days. Consistent, high quality content is key. If you only concentrate on one or two platforms but do it really well, you will get the best from your social media activities.
Get creative and show what you do. The best social platforms are a simple, engaging and impactful. How many times do we still see Twitter accounts containing no image or content but an idle hyperlink to an Instagram or Facebook page?
As you can imagine, these posts rarely get engaged with. Case study images of completed projects make an impact in the construction world. Provide photos that inspire customers, share project details, from staircase construction to high end interior lighting.
Provide useful information. Don’t worry if the inner workings of a storm tank might not look too sexy to most, to your customers the detail within the image might be just what they needed to know. Social media represents a powerful visual tool to demonstrate your quality and diversity.
Generate engagement. Make sure you engage with your audience. It’s not just about posting content.
Social media is about conversation and interaction, it can be an extremely effective tool for customer service and getting to know your customers. It has the potential to open up doors, a conversation over a recent product sale may lead to discussion about the next project, so don’t be afraid to ask questions and interact with customer posts.
Don’t be afraid to seek out a positive review, testimonials are golden and provide potential customers with the reassurance they need to purchase your product or service.
Is social media effective in the building, construction and interior industries? Yes, undoubtedly. But like anything that is successful it needs careful planning and implementation to get results!
We hope you have enjoyed this guide and found it of value. If you have any questions relating to the content or to how social media can work for your business, please feel free to get in touch.
We offer practical social media advice in a down-to-earth manner, to help make social media work for your business and increase the number of leads from it.