A little bird told us that Twitter is one of the best ways to stay in the loop in the construction industry
September 6, 2022
6 min read
Content Marketing Manager
If you’ve been reading our blog lately, you may have noticed social media marketing has been on our mind when it comes to useful and approachable business development tools for general contractors.
Broadly, we've covered social media best practices for GCs which included pros and cons, best platforms, and types and tones of appropriate content to post. As a more honed-in look at a specific social media, we dove into LinkedIn marketing as a general contractor since LinkedIn is far and away the most valuable social media for business development professionals in the construction industry.
Now, we're getting to the platform many consider another top tier platform: BeReal.
Just kidding. At least not yet. It's Twitter! Let's dive in.
With the current average attention span coming in shorter and shorter (right now, humans are competing with goldfish), Twitter is a great way to provide and absorb brand new information quickly.
Twitter is known for many things. There's the will they/won't they Elon Musk acquisition that sounds about as sordid as many of our attempts at OfferUp transactions with flaky people. There are the witty memes and pixelated pictures of Jack Nicholson.
Dril aside, Twitter is a surprisingly great tool for business development professionals to stay in the loop of the very latest construction news. In fact, Twitter is the 2nd highest platform of choice for business development professionals as general contractors (coming in a close 2nd to LinkedIn). Usually not for networking directly, Twitter can still be a very handy way to stay on top of things so that networking can be done elsewhere.
Here are a few corporate construction accounts to reference:
Dodge Data & Analytics tweets consistently which is a great model to follow, if you have the resources. The more you tweet, the more you’re going to be noticed by your target audience.
AGC of America serves our nation's construction professionals by promoting the skill, integrity and responsibility of those who build America.
As a GC example, DPR Construction currently has a not-too-shabby following of 26.3k followers. Their trick is posting a wide variety of content consistently. Sometimes they post graphs, pictures of employees on-site, or videos.
ENR's main news feed that's relevant for GCs.
All four of these accounts are great not only as reference and news resources but as follower treasure troves to sift through. Your network could probably use the types of people who follow all four of these accounts, so if you've got a few minutes during the day, start stalking (or checking people's accounts and following them if they seem promising, if you prefer that phrasing).
Twitter is made up of different types of content and accounts. Among the accounts, you’ll find Twitter trolls, bots, and everything in between. Different types of accounts will have different uses and behaviors.
When it comes to the world of construction business development, there are three types of accounts on Twitter to consider:
There are key differences and use for each type of account to be aware of, so let's look at each one because they're all valuable in their own ways.
A corporate account will generally have a goal of reaching a large following on Twitter in order to relay information quickly to large audiences. Your brand voice should be cohesive to the rest of your company's social media platforms, website, blogs, public messaging/PR, and newsletters. This can start with using your company logo as the profile picture, and your mantra as the account description.
Make sure your profile picture and banner are of high quality and match the exact dimensions required by Twitter. The profile picture dimensions are 400x400 pixels, and the banner is 1500x1500 pixels.
In addition to the account visually matching your company brand, content and actions need to reflect the corporately decided-upon voice of the brand. Actions include original content posts, but also what is liked, commented on, and shared. For example, you don’t want an intern liking a controversial post on the company account. Even politics are a no-no when it comes to corporate accounts since aligning a certain way even implicitly could alienate sections of one's prospect base.
For the most part, a GC corporate account will stay regal and acts as a publicist for company updates. The good news is that the shortest press release ever is possible on Twitter!
Some updates that might be posted by a corporate account include but are not limited to:
Current or completed projects
Company news and announcements
Important anniversaries and holidays
A corporate account might seem like a ton of work to run, but it's fairly straightforward and they're all run similarly. Corporate accounts are often run by multiple marketing team members or even interns. They can gauge how the community is responding to posts within the industry, and craft the company voice based on how the audience reacts over time.
A job-affiliated account is much more personal compared to a corporate account and offers very different functions. This account is generally associated with an individual’s business development persona. Most users treat this type of account like LinkedIn. This means more interactions with people within the industry directly, unlike a corporate Twitter account. People like to interact with people on social media, which is why you're going to want to have a nice headshot similar to your well-chosen LinkedIn one.
Your job-affiliated account is perfect for following leadership Twitter accounts from top GCs or construction affiliated groups and keeping up-to-date with upcoming conferences, construction influencers, and industry friends (and your company’s corporate account, of course).
While this account is more personality-driven, it’s important to stay professional as it’s a representation of your work ethic, goals, and current career path. Ever wonder how someone famous can occasionally tweet so much while still being active? Higher echelon individuals can still have their job-affiliated Twitter account run by a person or a group of people as a means of keeping up appearances. Though, in construction this is quite rare.
Your personal account has the most freedom, but keep in mind that once something is on the internet, it stays there. So, like Kevin Durant, do whatever you want with this burner account but know that whatever you say or like could potentially be used against you.
One way to keep it slightly less public is to set your personal Twitter account to private.
This account is great for following your passions outside of construction. You can send funny memes to your friends, keep up with the latest NBA news, and so on. By this point, you probably know how Twitter works.
It might be tempting to be “hashtag hungry” when starting Twitter. Twitter will temporarily ban your account if their algorithms pick up on using the same massive paragraph of hashtags in each tweet.
Hashtags can help reach larger audiences, so the general rule of thumb is to include your #hashtags in sentences or add 3 at the end of the copy. #constructioniscool #goteam
Generally speaking, construction isn't a trendy enough industry to truly pick up momentum so you're usually better off latching onto existing construction hashtags than trying to start your own, at least until you've got a handle on things.
Twitter fights are never worth the time and effort. Unless it’s your marketing team addressing community concerns in a professional manner, attacking others verbally on Twitter is never a good look for a company. Be above it!
Now that you have a foundation set for your company's Twitter account, go get tweeting.
Seriously, you should sign up to be a construction insider. Everyone will be so jealous of you.