The role of social media in construction

Sarah Matarazzo
Wednesday February 27, 2019

So you think social media cannot influence your success?

There is a vast mis-conception that the construction industry shuns social media and procurement professionals are uniquely resilient to the subtle social messaging and content marketing programmes of product and service providers. However, we invite you to think again.

The glory days of trade shows and face to face selling are fading more quickly than the coffee stains on the brochures as the digital age continues to accelerate. Content marketing has been described by Seth Godin (and he knows lots of good stuff about marketing!) as the ONLY marketing channel available if businesses want to progress.

Modern construction industry professionals are busy people. Offices and sites open early and close late, with a melee of problems, challenges and confrontations in the middle. When high-functioning operations are the norm, time is at a premium. Days vanish, months disappear and the project programme becomes more obsession than objective. So where is the time for the faithful salesman with his slick patter and impressive suite of brochures to schmooze the procurement and management teams with a million-dollar smile and a sleeve of chocolate digestives. The answer is such time simply no longer exists.

So how do supply chain professionals and procurement decision-makers decide who to invite to tender or which product to specify? They use the same tools we use in daily life. The tools we use to choose our new trainers, find a local reliable plumber or select our next hotel in Benidorm.

They google “Electrician in Watford, check-a-trade”, they search their Twitter feed for the vaguely relevant tweet they saw whilst on the toilet yesterday, they type “non-combustible cladding” into Instagram for supplier guidance and pictorial inspiration. In short, they are influenced, every day in every product decision. In a recent survey conducted by Socially Grown, of over 100 Building Surveyors and Architects interviewed, 88% confirmed that they “sense check” every procurement or specification decision online. Product development cycles and service provider networks move fast in construction and decisionmakers want to be sure they are recommending the most suitable product, person or company available for their clients.

"Content or Inbound marketing is currently the most effective tool any customer centric manager can have in their sales toolkit."

Technological progression is driving change in marketing. Your prospects are changing the way they shop, the way they purchase and the way they want to receive marketing communications. Prospects are slowly “tuning out” of the traditional outbound sales and marketing techniques that so many companies in the construction industry still rely entirely upon to generate sales leads and grow their business.

Content or Inbound marketing is currently the most effective tool any customer centric manager can have in their sales toolkit. Inbound marketing is “pull” marketing. Inbound uses multiple channels such as blogs, SEO, Social Media and pay per click to create brand awareness and attract new business. In contrast to outbound marketing, where sales reps and marketeers attempt to hunt new customers, Inbound earns the attention of customers and makes you easy to be found.

Socially Grown have recently begun implementing an Inbound marketing programme for alsecco UK. alsecco are already a significant player of the external facades market however they have strong growth ambitions.

Early indications are the campaign is succeeding, the headlines so far being:

Web visits increased > 300% Q4 2018 vs Q3 2018

Twitter followers increasing by over 50 per week on average

January 2019 leads increased by > 120% vs January 2018

And all this during a shambolic BREXIT!

What’s more the cost per lead has reduced by 42% in Q4 2018 vs Q3 2018. Alsecco have reduced the sales team numbers but increased the number of validated leads.

In summary, inbound is paying off at Alsecco.

So the question is, do you still think Construction is socially repressed.. or is it time to get in to inbound!

Contact us for a free consultation where we can help you understand how we might be able to help and guide you to growth.

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