Getting leads seems to be one of the more mysterious feats that even larger construction companies face today. Yet within the whole scope of marketing, getting leads can be among the easiest and most fun things to do.Finding success with current social media marketing trends for construction companies today requires a change in thinking. Today, you can’t sell. Selling is dead. Buying leads is dead. Cold calling is dead. Interrupt advertising is dead. Just stop doing these things.
To grow your business in today’s market, you must attract and then empower customers to buy. Do that, and they’ll buy, and buy from you.
Let's Get Social
It's possible to get a lot of traffic from social media. Even if you're not doing inbound marketing, social media could become one of the greatest drivers of traffic to your website.
If you are executing an inbound program, organic traffic from your inbound blogging will always produce more leads than social will—but you’re putting more effort into your blog than you are with social. For your time investment, social networking will be a great source of leads and it plays nicely with an inbound program. Let's see how this works.
Step 1) Engage the Social Culture
Toward the end of the golden era of CB radio, I and all my friends had CBs. It was fun to get on our radios and have a group chat. (We didn’t have the Internet, so we couldn’t “chat” like today's chat.)
Although I had a license, my call sign was absurdly long. It was something like KBX39767GRIH6. Too long. So everyone ditched their call signs and used handles—like on Twitter today. CB also had its own lingo. If you wanted to be heard, understood, and have friends on CB, you had better know the lingo. For example, the place of my employment was called "my work-20.” Nope, not 10, not 30, not 40, but 20. If you messed up on that one, you might as well sell your CB unit.
Every realm in which you are engaged has a culture—like it or not. Family, church, your club, your fitness group, your workplace, all have their own culture—and they have nuances of ways to communicate within each culture.
Each social media network has a culture too. There are nuances of differences between how you engage an audience who’s on Facebook vs who’s on Twitter, for example. If you want to get leads through social media, you have to engage social media according to the culture. If you don’t, you won’t get heard, won’t get followers, and won’t get leads. Let's explore these but please, don't get overly consumed by the differences between social networks.
Twitter posts and short and snappy. Check out these posts on one of Salesforce's Twitter channels:
Notice the topmost tweet is a direct post from SalesforceIQ. Catch the culture here, the lingo. It’s friendly, not salesey.
The re-tweet below it promotes a cool blog about the company’s branding journey. What do you notice? Hint: It’s very transparent.
The bottom post simply is from a happy customer. Wouldn’t you like some of these tweets for your company? If you post interesting, not pushy content, and you’ll get them.
You might think I photoshopped the screenshot above or did a search for it, but I didn’t do either. Very appropriately, Salesforce posted a video on their Facebook channel about the culture that drives their business. And they’re engaging a Facebook culture to share it.
Facebook: Post things like videos, pics of your office party, your office mascot dog (what? You don’t have a dog?), links of interest for your audience, and whatever other fun things you can stir up.
Step 2) Use a Calendar to Keep You on Track
This is not a new idea, but it is one of the key social media trends for construction companies. If you’re one of those who needs something to keep organized, consider creating a content calendar. We create one per client and (of course) one for our own company. Having a calendar takes out all the guesswork.
Your calendar doesn’t have to be anything fancy. A Google calendar is fine. Many marketing automation software apps have one.
Once you have the calendar, decide on frequency:
- From 2 to 4 social posts per day. The more the better.
- A few short segments of time per day to respond to social posts.
- At least one blog post per week.
Marketing apps often have alert features built in. I have several alerts set up in my Hubspot Dashboard. If someone tweets to @newdestinymedia, I’ll know it. I also monitor several hashtags for social media mentions. I just want to know who is saying what on social. Why? In case I want to join the discussion.
Step 3) Post Targeted Content
Here are some basic rules of what to post and what not to. Remember, before you post, think whether or not your target audience would find your post interesting, helpful, and valuable. How will your posts make them feel? Being challenging is fine, but keep it light and polite.
- Don’t target people and try to hard-sell people.
- Don’t do this on Twitter: “Hi @MyFavoriteLead: We sell better stuff than you’re using now. Contact us today #BetterStuffForYou.” I cannot think of a better way to absolutely wreak havoc on your audience engagement on Twitter. Totally rude and pushy. Just don’t do that.
- Don’t boast about your company’s capabilities.
- Post links that would be interesting to your best customer profile (persona).
- Post links to your blogs, but only if they would interest your persona(s).
- Post fun things. At our latest #inbound conference, we tweeted about nearly everything, and doubled our Twitter followers in 4 days. So, post pics of events like your office party on Facebook. Everyone wants to see that work can be fun. But don’t sell, just try to have fun.
- Repost and re-tweet things of interest.
- Follow everyone of interest in your niche. Following and favoriting are ways to connect on social media. Each action means something. For example, if you follow, it means you’ll see posts from those you follow.
- Be genuine. If you create your own phony persona on social today, you’ll get found out tomorrow.