Which platforms are best for an oft-overlooked form of business development
May 20, 2022
10 min read
Founder at Buildr
As a General Contractor, you might hear “social media” and want to run for the hills. We don’t blame you, social media can be a huge undertaking. Have no fear, you don’t have to perform TikTok dances to create a successful social media strategy that reaches your target clientele.
Social media and general contracting have one major thing in common — the industry is constantly changing, which is a challenge to keep up as a business owner. But the statistics speak for themselves about the potential that lies in social media.
Smart Insights reports that as of January 2022, “58.4% of the world’s population uses social media. The average daily usage is 2 hours and 27 minutes.” Social media is most valuable for businesses because it’s a “free” way to have consistent touchpoints with your potential clients. You’ve heard the statistic that it takes 6-8 touchpoints (sometimes even up to 20) for a sale. While the average amount of touchpoints will vary by industry, and in-person touchpoints are usually more significant, the repeatable and cost-efficient nature of social media touchpoints (goodbye travel costs!) makes corporate effort in this marketing direction a no-brainer.
Despite the challenges of entering the social space, the pros outweigh the cons. Let’s break down why social media can be your best friend while growing your business:
Social media can help build a trustworthy brand
Gain new clients through organic clicks (directly or indirectly)
Direct access to broader audiences
Higher (and cheaper) volume of touchpoints
Alternative way to show off projects
Open the door to Networking/Partnerships
Provoke alternative interactions
Instill thought leadership in your market
Alternative, less intensive channel for customer feedback
The algorithms are constantly switched
Data analytics are unique to each platform
Potentially could mean hiring a new employee
New things are intimidating (we got you!)
Ultimately, you have to choose your battles with content creation. When first starting out, choose a couple of platforms and do them well, instead of taking on too many at once—several of them not even ideal for prospects—and becoming overwhelmed.
Now that you’re convinced social media is the next step for your business, which platforms work best for General Contractors? Again, you don’t need to be dancing on TikTok to be successful with social media (although, if that’s a skill of yours, go for it!)
The top platforms we recommend for GCs to utilize are:
Each platform will perform differently based on metrics, the algorithm, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) implemented. The differences in platforms are important to acknowledge going forward with your content creation journey.
While most social media platforms are rewarding video content through algorithms, there is value in posting various mediums.
LinkedIn is a useful platform to start with. Most business owners are on LinkedIn — and so are potential clients. Using the same content across all platforms is a great way to start, but LinkedIn is unique because sharing, liking, and commenting on outside content can help your authority.
One aspect of LinkedIn to consider is the automation software Kennected. Kennected deserves its own blog post; there are so many possibilities, but the main tool is to message target audiences about the services you offer.
LinkedIn is a beast, so learn more about using LinkedIn as a tool in Bizdev on our blog!
Instagram and Facebook share similar algorithms since they are owned under Meta, however, there are still different strategies to experiment with. Consistently posting every week is a great way to start on these platforms and slowly build your presence. Since Instagram is more visuals-based, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are going to be more prospect-friendly with their copy-friendly mediums (though Instagram is always a nice means to have your project repertoire readily available to scroll through).
Great content and organic marketing (unpaid advertising) take time, but anything that’s worthwhile does.
The content you post will shift for each social media platform, but there can be tasteful overlap across channels. Before you start creating content, it can be helpful to answer these questions:
What tone of voice should we have?
What social media platforms should we invest in?
How much time and resources can be used for content?
These questions are important to consider because there is a short window for your content to reach users. Did you know that a human’s attention span is now shorter than a goldfish's?
The tone of your content can be altered over time, but you want to avoid sending mixed signals to your audience. Who likes poor communication? Varying content styles are common if companies have multiple employees working on content. Communicating that your employees are on the same page about the tone of voice is a foundational step when diving into the deep end of social media (more like the shallow end once you read this article).
While you might see examples of punchy voices for some companies, for example, fast food chains bantering on Twitter has paved the way for casual social posts, that tone will not align for a business if it seems forced.
While general contracting won’t be entering into the chicken sandwich war of our generation, there are some key takeaways from the banter: Some tasteful wit is encouraged, but not the constant voice for GCs.
In general, a rule of thumb to follow is having a consistent informative tone with copy, experimenting with humorous posts, and comparing how they perform. Organic marketing takes time, so brace yourself for trial and error.
Copy is any text you include with social media post captions, blogs, newsletters, and everything in-between. Copy is crucial for finding your voice as a company. If video is intimidating at first, there are other methods to creating a consistent presence online. The best social media feeds have a range of videos, text, and photos.
As mentioned above, video content is very important to incorporate.
If you’d rather run a marathon barefoot instead of being in front of a camera, fear not. There are still plenty of creative ways to create video content. For example, if you film B-roll of the office and add some simple text or voiceover about your services… Boom you have a video! Don’t get stuck on quality; no one’s expecting you to be the next Kubrick here.
Other video ideas include:
Before and afters
Employee highlights or interviews
A behind-the-scenes look into the office or project
Three aspects to keep in mind with video content are sizing for each platform, pixel quality, and subtitles. There are programs such as Rev.com to add captions to videos. Eighty-five percent of videos on Facebook are watched without sound, so captions are crucial for accessibility.
One of the best parts about using video as a pillar of your content? Video can be turned into blog posts and other text for social posts. For example, include quotes from employee interviews, clients, and more.
Good luck with your social media endeavors, Buildr is rooting for you! Read more about the 4 Steps to Success: Business Development for General Contractors for more tips and best practices.
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