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Social Media in the Construction Industry

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Juanita Ferguson
BKK Construction & Land Use Newsletter
December 2010

Construction professionals are used to soliciting bids, addressing cost overruns, and taking pride in completed projects. And increasingly, the construction industry is embracing the concept of social media in order to interface with clients and to self-promote.

LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, RSS Feed, Blogging, and other forms of social media enable companies to share a vast amount of information on a frequent basis and also to generate discussion among a larger community. Webcams that allow potential and existing customers to view a company’s ongoing construction projects have replaced the time needed to visit a construction site and to assess a contractor’s work. The benefits to embracing social media are still being assessed but it is clear that social media is a means of marketing your company and strengthening your brand.

Social media is also an effective means of recruitment, project management, and creating a community of followers on particular topics.

The advent of social media is not without high expectations for the construction industry. Having a blog is a great idea but if it is left untended and posts are infrequent, it is a certainty that fewer visitors will visit the blog site. There is nothing worse for the prospective client after typing in a few search terms than to find that the last update to your site was several months prior. Also, if you are posting regularly and there are no comments, it may be time to reassess the content that is being posted for quality and relevance to your target audience.

As a business tool, a Twitter account is beneficial for sharing information about your product and getting information and feedback from your clients. However, if there are 50 tweets on your Twitter account but no Twitter followers or replies to your tweets, it is likely that your messages are not reaching the masses or generating the interest necessary to compel replies.

Social media also allows a construction company to inform others about its accomplishments or updates in the construction industry. However, making use of social media should be about more than sharing information. In other words, a company’s effective use of social media should generate more than a one-sided display of information on the part of the company. It should also allow a company the ability to find out more about what its current and prospective customers want and expect.

As a form of customer service, social media allows a company to increase its online reputation. Communication is what differentiates social media from other forms of disseminating information. An achievable result of social media should be to generate meaningful discussions between construction contractors and customers. The ongoing dialogue will hopefully result in not only increased business, but a stronghold digital presence for the company among the construction community and the digital community at large.