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By Erica Sweeney
November 28, 2017
A social media marketing presence is an absolute must for construction companies looking to grow and remain viable in today’s marketplace and beyond. With so many social media platforms out there, it can be tricky to know which one is best for your business.
For business-to-business companies, marketing, networking, recruiting, and generating leads, can all be done through LinkedIn.
“LinkedIn is the only social media that we really recommend from a business development standpoint for contractors. Our opinions and the data show that LinkedIn has by far the best return on investment,” says Amanda Dixon, creative director at the Brantley Agency, a marketing and digital agency that works extensively with B2B architecture, engineering, and contracting companies.
“For businesses selling to other businesses, it's a great place to connect with other professionals. Our clients are really able to humanize their brand while still showcasing their professional qualities.”
LinkedIn currently has more than 467 million users worldwide, and more than half of LinkedIn traffic is mobile. Businesses with company pages are setting themselves up to reach thousands of potential customers.
According to Dixon, other social media platforms, including Instagram and Facebook, typically don’t perform as well for B2B marketing. What is particularly advantageous about LinkedIn is that it serves as a segue to a company’s website, which is typically more formal than a social media profile.
“Most construction websites don't do a great job of humanizing a brand, showcasing the people behind their brand, showing that company culture, so LinkedIn is a great place to do that,” she explains.
Why Use LinkedIn
One of the main ways construction companies can use LinkedIn to help them grow their businesses is to establish themselves as industry experts by sharing content about themselves, the industry, their clients, or any other related information. Dixon says it should be content that their clients have questions about or are interested in.
“They're then able to showcase themselves as the expert in their industry instead of using it simply as a sales tool,” she says. “We recommend that they publish very good non salesy content that is related to the questions and problems that their clients have in their day-to-day life.”
Recruitment is another way that LinkedIn can be of value to construction companies. They can use the platform to connect with potential candidates who may be working for competitors or to find new talent. Candidates also use LinkedIn to find out about companies they’re applying to.
“LinkedIn is a great way to kind of showcase who you are and almost sell to prospective employees,” Dixon says.
She says the LinkedIn Sales Navigator tool can help companies connect with potential clients and generate leads by offering real-time sales updates, lead recommendations, and InMail. Having a company page lets others get to know the business and discover any commonalities with its leaders.
“It’s a much better soft entry point with a potential client versus just doing cold calls, cold visits, or cold emails,” Dixon says.
What’s On Your Page?
Any type of construction business can use LinkedIn to effectively build their portfolio–whether it's a one-person shop or a Fortune 100 company. Across all industries, 57 per cent of businesses have LinkedIn company pages.
Despite its benefits and popularity, Dixon says construction companies rarely use LinkedIn as effectively as they should be. Even companies that have set up a page, don’t always know what to do with it.
The purpose of a LinkedIn page should be for companies to paint themselves as the top industry resource by not only posting content, but also answering questions and broadening networks. It’s an indirect way of selling, Dixon explains.
The most common mistake that companies make on the social network is not engaging with potential customers and recruits. That means companies should be liking and sharing posts from clients and others—not just solely posting their own information.
“Some people are constantly putting information out there, but they're never listening and taking information back and commenting,” Dixon explains. “You don't want to just be selling to them all the time.”
Engagement and the ability to connect and create relationships on LinkedIn can help companies grow their customer base. In fact, 50 per cent of B2B buyers report using LinkedIn to make purchasing decisions. So, there are plenty of opportunities for businesses who take advantage of what the social network offers.
Consistently posting and sharing relevant information is also important in keeping engagement levels up. However, businesses should be careful not to focus too much on themselves. Instead, posts could be articles about professional development or industry trends that can be related back to the business.
“People need to hear information that’s relevant to their business,” Dixon explains. “Articles are always far and above the best thing to share and always get really great engagement. Sharing content and commenting on what other people post is definitely the best way to grow your page.”
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