Marketing your business as a builder can be a challenge, but there are a few ideas you can implement to make things easier. Here are nine tips to help you amp up your company’s social media presence.
It’s pretty difficult to have a good conversation with someone when you don’t know who you’re talking to. That’s why it’s important for builders to understand who their target audience is — knowing what those people are like helps you clarify your message to them.
Here’s how that translates to social media. Let’s say your market is first-time homebuyers in your local area; you’re not going to talk to them like you’d talk to an interior designer or a professional who remodels homes for a living. Speaking in technical terms and using construction industry jargon might turn them off.
The new homeowner is a different buyer persona than other customers. And understanding your buyer persona will help you determine how and where you should reach that audience — from there, you can build a strategy.
According to digital marketing experts at HubSpot: “The first step to creating a social media marketing strategy is to determine who your buyer personas and audience are so you can target their needs and interests appropriately. To do this, think about the people you’re trying to reach and why, and how you would classify them as a group.”
To build out your communication strategy with that buyer persona, start thinking through the following:
What questions does this audience have about my business?
What are their “pain points” and what solutions can I deliver?
Where does that audience live? Where are they having those conversations and can I meet them there?
Those answers will help you build out your social media strategy. And from there, you can start planning your posts out.
When you figure out where your target audience hangs out online, you can start working on your social media calendar. “There’s not necessarily a right or wrong answer when it comes to which social channels your business should use — it’s more about the needs of your target audience and where they tend to spend their time,” according to HubSpot.
This is why understanding the buyer personas you’re talking to is key — knowing who those people are and how they want to receive information will help you figure out what to publish online and how often you should do so. If your audience is mostly homeowners, for instance, you’ll want to feature images of residential projects (as opposed to commercial venues).
It’s important to note, too, that you don’t have to publish on every social media platform that’s out there. If your buyer personas don’t spend any time on Twitter, then there’s not much of a reason to build up your presence (or spend precious hours) there.
Social media is just another way to have conversations with your audience, but you want to be a presence that they’re drawn to and can depend on — having a regular, reliable presence is what matters.
That means you’ll need to do more than a weekly post on Facebook and Instagram. Stay consistent in your digital presence on all the platforms where you have a profile. And keep in mind a few other rules of etiquette:
Answer questions from your followers when they reach out.
Respond to comments with a like or follow-up reply.
Really listen to what your audience is telling you.
That’s all part of being a good conversationalist, after all. You wouldn’t leave in the middle of an ongoing, in-person discussion, and ghosting your audience online is just as rude.
The conversations you have with your followers are a great way to connect with them, but those interactions also give you a wealth of information.
The analytics that you get from your social media posts will tell you which topics are most interesting to your followers. Every like, comment and share is tracked on these posts, and the ones that get the most interactions are a great guideline for your marketing strategy.
PRO-TIP: It’s important to note that social media is a long-term strategy. Your digital presence is a part of your company’s portfolio, where you can showcase your projects, praise your team members and highlight your company culture. But you’re not always going to get sales leads from it. The point of being on social media is to build your community; it’s a long game, but it’s one that your competitors are playing, too.
Social media is a long game, and it’s one that you should play around in, especially when it comes to the types of content you post. Images are always great, but you can experiment more with social media: Play around with white space in a post or make things more fun with emojis.
There are also a few types of content that builders should consider posting on social media:
These are larger images that feature facts and statistics in a visually-appealing format. If you’re a building company, you might post an infographic with stats about your local area and the growing economy.
Posting a group of images or slideshow of your latest project (or a favorite building material) is a great way to showcase the work your company does.
“Polls can collect meaningful information you use to make your brand more relatable and marketable to your audience,” according to social media expert Neil Patel. Ask questions that make things fun for your followers: Find out what their favorite style of home is or which colors they’d include on their exterior.
Video content can make a big impact online, especially for builders. It’s a great way to highlight a project you’ve worked on or to show your audience what your company culture is all about. You might even feature customer testimonials in a video. But remember to keep it short — anything longer than three or four minutes, and you’ll start to lose their attention.
Everyone marketing their business is looking for social media content. When you post about your projects on social media, think about the people who helped out with it: from the architects to manufacturers to the neighborhood associations.
It’s a great way to establish connections with people outside of your company. But it goes further than that — if you don’t have a large audience (maybe on a platform like LinkedIn), tagging someone can expand your post’s reach to their followers, too.
Digital ads are also a great way to extend your reach, even if you’ve got a small marketing budget.
Advertising on Facebook and Instagram is an effective way to increase awareness of your brand. “With Facebook and Instagram ads, you can find people interested in your product or brand even if they aren’t currently familiar with you,” according to Zach Williams with Venveo, a digital marketing agency that serves the building materials industry.
If you’re trying to find customers in a different region outside of your local base, digital advertising is a great way to go, because it allows you to target users on that platform according to their interests and location. “This strategy opens up a whole new set of individuals. And if you have a new product or line coming out, Facebook and Instagram are the best way to introduce them because, through targeting, you can figure out the best person for your products and get it in front of them,” says Zach.
Having an online presence is a great way to reach your customers and build a relationship with them, but you should also give them something to do after they engage with your posts. Part of your social media strategy should involve a call-to-action (or CTA).
Whether you ask them questions in a poll or share a link to your contact page, give your followers a way to continue the conversation with you. Send them to your website so they can find out more information on your company, or invite them to download a brochure. Keep the conversation going so that the relationship stays fresh in their mind.
Remember that your audience is made up of humans, and making your brand more relatable (and human) will go a long way when it comes to connecting with them. A great way to do that is by featuring your team members in social media posts.
“In addition to external influencers, the greatest untapped resource your company has is your employees,” according to Holly Avera with Venveo. “Plus, your employees have social networks that are probably 5 to 7 times the size of your company’s following. When your employees advocate for you, you add an authentic voice to your brand. Employees are positioned as having the backstage pass and lend a trusted voice to the conversation.”
Your online presence can be a great way for builders to reach a larger audience, and when you have a smart strategy in place, that audience can become an engaged and supportive community.
Need more tips for posting on social media? Check out a few more ideas to inspire your company's strategy.