The Power of Social Media
Over the past few years, business strategies have begun to focus increasingly on harnessing the power of social media. As a company, GMS has recognized the value that social media offers to the building and construction industry. With more and more people shifting toward the use of social media alongside traditional media, it seems only appropriate that we take our business where our customers already are: online.
If using social media to promote your business hasn’t been an option you have considered, perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate. The Construction Marketing Association tells us that 97% of marketers in the construction field are currently using social media to promote their businesses and share information. That’s a significant number.
Initially, establishing an online presence may seem overwhelming, especially if using social media isn’t your forte. However, when used properly, it can become an invaluable tool. Social media offers a unique promotional platform to businesses of all sizes and even the smallest businesses take advantage of it and build a strong social media presence.
Social Media: It's Not Just For Millennials
Due to the huge technological advances that have come about during the past decade, customers have come to expect every piece of information about companies to be right at their fingertips. As we discussed in our previous blog, there are 80 million millennials in America, and they are one of the largest generations in history. Every business is looking to target this generation as they move into their prime spending years.
In fact, according to Prosper Insights & Analytics for the Media Behavior and Influence Study, 38% of millennials said that after online search queries, they move to social media to communicate with others about services, products, or brands.
However, don’t assume that social media is just used by millennials. A study conducted by the Pew Research Center indicates that 71% of adults use Facebook, 23% use Twitter and 28% use LinkedIn. Social media isn’t just for audience anymore – it’s for everyone.
The Benefits of Being Social
As a contractor, your business has a lot to gain from building a social media presence. For example, it can be a useful tool for:
- Increased exposure
- Increased website traffic
- Expanded partnerships and connections through good engagement
- Improved search engine optimization ranking
There are many more potential benefits to using social media. Chief among them is the fact that your company becomes searchable within the social networks, once you establish a presence. Make your company easy to find – don’t make customers have hunt for you.
Which Outlets Should My Business Use?
Below we address the “Big 3” social media networks to consider when determining which outlets may be best for you.
Facebook is a well-known social media outlet that boasts 1.6 billion users. According to another study conducted by the Pew Research Center, research found that Facebook remains by far the most popular social media outlet, and 70% of Facebook users engage daily. Facebook is a simple place for any business to start their social media presence, and it even includes some built-in tools for businesses looking to promote their work on the site.
Building a business profile on Facebook allows you to connect and engage with your audience. It also gives your customers and potential customers an easy way to connect with you and share your brand with your audience. Facebook for Business allows customers to leave comments and recommendations, helping you to build loyalty as well as brand reputation. For inspiration when creating a Facebook page or post, visit the GMS Facebook page).
Second, we recommend creating a LinkedIn company profile. LinkedIn defines itself as the social network for professionals. It currently has over 4 million company profiles and over 300 million users. This outlet serves as a vital building-block to business’s social media presence and overall public appearance. You can connect with other industry professionals, network with your peers and engage in conversations about your industry.
As a contractor you can join professional niche groups to share ideas and converse with like-minded professionals.A personal profile serves a living, online resume where other professionals can endorse your skills and connect directly with you. A business page or company profile serves as a reference for company updates, news, and promotes conversation with your professional connections. We recommend you create both types of profiles to regularly engage with your network. You can view our GMS LinkedIn profile for inspiration.
Twitter comes in third place with 288 million monthly active users. As of November 2014, approximately:
- 51% of active Twitter users follow companies, brands or products on social networks.
- 42% of Twitter users say they use Twitter to learn about products and services.
- 85% of followers reported that they feel more connected with small businesses after following them on Twitter.
With a limit of 140 characters per message, Twitter is a quick and easy way for you to build a valued connection with your customers in real time. View our GMS Twitter account as reference when creating your own account.
The Bigger Picture
There are many social media outlets at your disposal, all of which can serve different roles in promoting your business. Nearly 90% of the construction companies surveyed by Construction Marketing Association said using social media helped increase awareness, website traffic, and sales leads exponentially. We recommend setting aside a minimum of three hours a week to rev up your social media efforts and focus on building a social media presence and connecting with followers. While at first the task of creating social media profile and engaging with customers online may seem daunting, in the long run, it can provide tangible results.
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