Do’s & Don’ts for Construction Social Media
Mastering Construction Social Media Marketing: Top Do's and Don'ts
Over the past five years, I’ve ventured into the social media realm, crafting thousands of posts, and yes, I’ve stumbled, fumbled, and cringed at my fair share of content. Those cringy posts from the past still haunt me to this day. But here’s the silver lining – you can learn from my blunders.
Today, I’m here to share my hard-earned insights, my personal Do’s and Don’ts for constructing effective social media content in the construction industry. Now, let me make one thing clear right from the start: what you’re about to hear is entirely my opinion. It’s not a definitive set of rules or a sacred marketing doctrine. These are just the lessons I’ve gathered after meticulously crafting thousands of social media posts.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into the world of construction social media marketing and explore the top strategies that have proven successful through my experiences.
Don't Buy Likes, Comments, Shares, or Followers
Let’s kick things off with a cardinal sin of social media marketing – buying likes, comments, shares, or followers. I get it; it might seem tempting. The allure of a sudden surge in your follower count or engagement stats can be hard to resist. But, trust me, it’s a trap.
Fake accounts and purchased engagements might give you a momentary thrill, but they’re the quickest way to nowhere. Here’s why you should steer clear of this practice:
- Fake Engagement Never Leads to Real Results: Those bought likes and comments? They’re nothing more than digital mirages. They won’t translate into actual revenue or brand building. Imagine having a million followers, but your posts only get a measly ten likes. That’s not a good look.
- Risk of Getting Banned: Social media platforms are wise to these tactics. They have algorithms in place to detect fake engagement, and they’re not afraid to hand out penalties, including account bans. So, why jeopardize everything you’ve built for short-lived “results”?
- Credibility Takes a Hit: When people discover that you’ve artificially inflated your numbers, your credibility takes a nosedive. Trust is hard to earn and easy to lose. Don’t tarnish your reputation with dishonest tactics.
So, I can’t stress this enough: avoid paying for likes, comments, shares, or followers at all costs. Instead, focus on the real deal.
So DO this instead:
- Create Quality Content: Invest your time and effort in crafting content that people genuinely enjoy and find valuable.
- Engage Authentically: Interact with other companies and creators in your industry. Connect with people by adding them to your network.
- Build Relationships: Invite relevant connections to follow your company page. Make networking a daily practice.
Remember, this approach works because it’s precisely what I do every day. It may take a bit longer, but it’s a sustainable, honest, and effective way to grow your social media presence.
Don't Create Salesy Content
Now, let’s talk about something that’s often a stumbling block for many in the construction industry: creating salesy content. I totally get it, especially when you’re starting out on social media. There’s an urge to shout from the digital rooftops about what you do and how amazing your services are. But here’s the truth: salesy content can do more harm than good.
Here’s why you should steer clear of it:
- The “Salesy” Repellent: I’ve got a little saying I like to throw around – “If you sell, you repel.” Nobody logs onto social media hoping to be sold something. When your audience senses a sales pitch, they’re more likely to mentally unfollow you, or worse, actually click that “unfollow” button.
- Spammy Vibes: Salesy content has a way of coming off as spammy. And in the world of social media, once you’re perceived as spammy, you’re in trouble. People will start avoiding your content like the plague.
So, here’s the golden rule: Don’t create salesy content.
So DO this instead:
- Educational Content: Teach your audience something interesting related to your industry.
- Inspirational Stories: Share compelling stories that inspire or captivate your audience.
- Informational Insights: Offer valuable information about your company or industry.
- Entertainment: Share content that makes your audience laugh, cry, or smile.
These four content buckets resonate the most on social media. But remember, if you’re trying to sell on social media, you’re more likely to repel your audience. So, take a different route – provide value and engage your audience without the sales pitch.
Don't Create Content for Content's Sake
Let’s shift gears and address a common misconception – the idea that more content is always better. You’ve probably heard people say, “We need to post twice a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year!” While consistency is important, here’s a valuable lesson: when it comes to social media content, it’s all about quality over quantity.
Sure, the thought of churning out a ton of content might seem like a good idea, but it can backfire. I’ve seen many contractors make this mistake. They set ambitious posting goals without considering the quality of what they’re putting out there.
So, why is it crucial not to create content just for the sake of it?
1. Quality Trumps Quantity: Posting every day doesn’t earn you a badge of honor. It’s the quality of your content that matters most. One high-quality post can do wonders, while a flood of mediocre ones may dilute your brand.
2. Start Slow and Build: If you’ve never posted on social media before, jumping straight to five or seven posts a week is a recipe for disaster. It’s like running before you can walk.
So DO this instead:
Commit to one quality post per week. If you feel comfortable with that and have the capacity, you can gradually increase to two or even three posts per week. But never sacrifice quality for quantity.
Remember, it’s better to have a smaller number of top-notch posts that engage your audience and reflect positively on your brand than to bombard them with content that’s forgettable. Quality content makes a lasting impression.
Don't Toot Your Own Horn
Now, let’s delve into a pitfall that many in the construction industry can fall into – the urge to incessantly self-promote. You’ve probably come across social media profiles of companies that repeatedly proclaim themselves as the best in the business, the top contractor, or the undisputed #1. While it might be true, there’s something important to remember: no one is likely to like or respect you more just because you’re shouting it from the digital mountaintops.
Here’s why you should avoid excessive self-promotion:
- It Comes Off as Bragging: When you constantly claim to be the best, it often comes across as arrogance or self-centeredness. Your audience may tune out, thinking you’re just blowing your own horn.
- Missed Opportunities: By focusing solely on your company’s accolades, you miss the chance to highlight the aspects that resonate most with your audience – the people behind your company.
So DO this instead:
Instead of boasting about your company’s greatness, shine the spotlight on your people:
- Brag About Your Team: Showcase the hardworking individuals within your organization who make your projects possible. Highlight their dedication and expertise.
- Invest in Your People: Emphasize how you’re investing in your team’s growth, training, and development. This demonstrates your commitment to excellence.
- Improving Lives: Share stories of how your company is making a positive impact on the lives of your employees and the community you serve.
By shifting the focus from the company to the individuals who drive it, you create a more relatable and endearing brand image. People connect with people, not just faceless corporations. So, don’t toot your own horn; let your team’s achievements and contributions speak for themselves.
Don't Use Corporate Writing on Social Media
Now, let’s tackle a writing style that’s a surefire way to put your audience to sleep – corporate writing on social media. Imagine if I started this article like this:
“Greetings, everyone. I am pleased to announce that this article, which I have compiled for you, will offer an overview of the essential and non-essential aspects of social media marketing. At the conclusion of this article, I will provide additional information that may be of interest to you and your colleagues.”
If you’re feeling drowsy just reading that, you’re not alone. Using corporate language on social media is like throwing a party with a dress code – it kills the vibe. It’s essential to understand that social media thrives on a conversational and casual tone.
Here’s why you should ditch the corporate jargon:
- Snooze-Worthy: Corporate writing is, well, boring. It lacks the energy and personality that engage people on social media. If you’re not excited about your content, how can you expect your audience to be?
- Organic Connection: People want to connect with real individuals, not faceless corporations. Corporate speak creates a disconnect and makes your content feel robotic.
So DO this instead:
- Write in a Conversational Tone: Write as if you’re having a friendly chat with a colleague. Keep it natural and relatable.
- Read Your Posts Aloud: This simple trick can help you gauge whether your writing sounds organic or forced. If it doesn’t flow naturally in conversation, rework it.
- Keep It Simple: Aim for a third-grade reading level. Avoid using overly complex language. The simpler your words, the easier it is for your audience to understand and connect with your message.
- Short Sentences: Long, convoluted sentences have no place on social media. If you find yourself using too many commas, break those sentences down into shorter, punchier ones.
- Formatting Matters: Break your content into digestible chunks with shorter paragraphs and frequent line breaks. This makes your copy more scannable for your audience.
Remember, your goal is to make your content easy to read and digest. Keep it conversational, relatable, and far, far away from corporate mumbo-jumbo.
Don't Overly Use Call to Actions (CTAs)
Let’s talk about a common pitfall that many in the construction industry fall into – the overuse of call-to-actions (CTAs) on social media. Now, don’t get me wrong, CTAs are not inherently bad. They serve a purpose in guiding your audience’s actions. However, when you use them excessively and on every post, you risk coming across as overly salesy and spammy. And, as I’ve mentioned before, that’s a path you don’t want to tread.
So, why should you dial back on CTAs?
- The “Salesy” Vibe: CTAs can quickly transform your content into a relentless sales pitch. When your audience feels like they’re constantly being asked to do something, they may start tuning out.
- The Law of Diminishing Returns: If every post is screaming “Call us today!” or “Visit our website now!”, it becomes repetitive and loses its effectiveness. People tend to ignore what they see repeatedly.
So DO this instead:
Here’s a little secret: I personally try to avoid CTAs whenever possible. Why, you ask? Well, because most people don’t actually take the action, so why waste time adding something that many will ignore?
Instead, consider these alternative approaches to engage, encourage, and inspire your audience:
- End with a Question: Conclude your post with an engaging question that encourages discussion or interaction.
- Declarative Statements: Make a strong, declarative statement that reinforces your brand’s values or mission. It can be something like “Build Online” or “Invest in your company today.”
- Encouragement: Use words of encouragement to motivate your audience. Phrases like “You’ve got this!” or “Keep pushing forward” can be incredibly effective.
This approach has a better chance of engaging your audience without overwhelming them with incessant CTAs. Remember, the key is to provide value and inspire your audience rather than pushing them to take immediate action.
Don't Put Every Detail About Your Company on a Social Media Graphic
Picture this: someone walks up to you and, after a simple “How’s your day going?” launches into their entire life story. Overwhelming, right? Well, the same principle applies to social media graphics. Just because you believe everyone needs to know every detail about your company right away doesn’t make it so. In fact, it can backfire.
So, why should you avoid cramming every tidbit of information onto your social media graphics?
- Overload Confusion: When you inundate your audience with too much information on a single graphic, it can lead to confusion and overwhelm. People might not know where to focus, and your key message may get lost in the noise.
- Less Is More: In the world of social media, simplicity often wins. The most effective brands and campaigns usually have one core message or focal point. Adding too much detail can dilute the impact of that message.
So DO this instead:
Keep your social media graphics clean, concise, and to the point. Here’s how:
- Core Message: Use a short phrase or a sentence to convey your core message. What’s the one thing you want your audience to take away from the graphic?
- Logo Presence: Include your logo, ideally just the icon, to reinforce your brand identity.
- Brand Colors: Stick to 2-3 different brand colors to maintain a consistent and visually appealing aesthetic.
- Contact Details: Avoid cluttering your graphic with your website, email, or physical address. If necessary, include a simple, unobtrusive way to contact you.
- Custom Design: While it might be tempting to use generic Canva templates, creating your own unique graphics can set you apart. Less is more when it comes to design.
In the end, remember that simplicity often leaves a more significant impact. Your audience is more likely to absorb and remember your message if it’s clear and uncluttered. So, resist the urge to share everything at once, and let your graphics speak with elegance and precision.
Don't Use Stock Images on Social Media
Ah, stock images – those polished, perfectly posed, and all-too-often predictable pictures. You’ve seen them, right? Everyone smiling, donning immaculate hardhats, pristine clothes, and an aura of unreality. But here’s the deal: stock images just don’t cut it in the construction world. In fact, they can do more harm than good.
So, why should you avoid using stock images on your social media profiles?
- Lack of Authenticity: Stock images rarely capture the real and raw aspects of the construction industry. Your audience wants to see the genuine, unfiltered moments – the sweat, the teamwork, and the authenticity that defines your work.
- Cheesy and Unoriginal: Let’s face it; many stock images just scream “cheesy” and can make your brand appear less genuine or cheapen your image.
So DO this instead:
If you have the means, consider hiring a professional construction photographer. This is the gold standard for getting high-quality, authentic images of your projects and your team in action. It’s an investment that can pay off in spades.
Now, here’s the kicker – even if you can’t hire a photographer, you’re still in luck. Why? Because nearly everyone these days has a high-quality camera right in their pockets. That’s right, your smartphone can do the job.
Take photos of your team hard at work, both in the office and on the job sites. Here’s a fun fact: people tend to engage more with photos that aren’t overly professional. Sometimes, a simple, slightly blurry phone picture can go viral.
So, no excuses now. Stock images should be left behind. Embrace the real, raw, and authentic moments of your work – they’re what resonate most with your audience and set you apart from the competition.
Wrapping It Up
As you venture into the world of construction social media marketing, remember that these guidelines are not rigid rules but valuable insights born from experience. Feel free to adapt and refine your approach over time, as social media is an ever-evolving landscape.
So, go forth with confidence, armed with the knowledge to navigate the social media terrain effectively. Build your online presence, connect with your audience, and showcase the incredible work of your team. With the right strategy and mindset, you’ll not only engage your audience but also build lasting relationships that benefit your business and the community you serve.
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