Joanne Roberts, Category Product Manager for Roof and Landscape at Wienerberger highlights the best social media platforms for savvy contractors
While social media might be great for connecting with friends and sharing your latest holiday snaps, from our experience it can also actually work as an excellent business tool for contractors. To overlook it means to not take advantage of showing off your work to an ever-growing audience, and ultimately reaching potential customers. With the various platforms available that all have different functionalities, it’s understandable that getting set up on any social media site can become quite daunting. But once you get past the initial hurdle, social media can be the perfect tool to use to help you grow your business whilst also allowing you to keep an eye on the latest themes and trends that can inspire and inform how you approach your next project.
We expect to see the digital construction movement drive the industry to use more online tools, giving all parties that work within the supply chain an opportunity to present and share their data in a way that is unique to them. But it’s not just about how information is shared, it’s also about how it’s consumed. Certain social media channels serve as an ideal tool to showcase the work you’ve done, making it easier for others to really imagine and see in situ how your project has developed. With this in mind, we would recommend using certain digital platforms to serve as a useful tool when sourcing the different services and products you may require for a project.
So, considering this, it’s important that you feel confident when it comes to getting the most out of social media. And, to help you out, we’ve put together a list of the best social media platforms to use. While there are plenty of platforms already out there, from YouTube, Twitter and Facebook to Tumblr and LinkedIn, the most relevant sites for contractors are Instagram and Pinterest due to their image and project-sharing features, so we would recommend focusing on these.
Before you get started, however, there are a couple of things you should think about:
- Username: This should be relevant to your company name; it should be clear from your username that the page is linked with your business and all content is coming from your company.
- Company profile: This should reflect your company and be consistent with your tone and style. Always include your logo where possible and a link to your website to ensure visitors can access all important aspects of your business.
Being one of the biggest online image sharing platforms makes Instagram a perfect choice for sharing professional and captivating images of your work. One of the benefits of Instagram is that your content is easy to find, providing you make use of the hashtags, which are essentially key words that become searchable when you put the hash (#) sign in front of them. So, for example, searching product terms such as #porotherm, #claytile etc. can help a contractor see how a product is used in situ which is demonstrated in the example below. It can also work vice versa; a contractor can enhance the visibility of their own image to their desired audience through using relevant product hashtags.
Contractors are already quite popular on Instagram which shows that it’s already proving to be a valuable platform. Although it originally set out as a consumer focused site, Instagram has introduced a ‘contact’ button, making it easier for potential clients to get in touch and enquire about your services. That being said, make sure your contact details are up to date on the site and that your pictures are as clear as possible, using detailed descriptions and relevant hashtags to ensure you’re attracting the right audiences.
Another visually focused platform is Pinterest, which is an online pin board that relies entirely on images (while you can provide some text, this won’t be visible until the user clicks on your image so it’s key that your image is enticing all on its own). One of the most effective features that has not gone unnoticed in the industry when it comes to this platform, is the capability to organise your content into boards; which means you can organise your page based on different projects and products, giving visitors the chance to go through your portfolio with ease. Architects also use this feature constantly so it’s a really nifty tool when you want to scope out their previous work and the products they’ve used.
Whichever platform you choose (there’s no reason you shouldn’t use all of them!) you should always include links to your website, so potential customers can find you and your services easily. Although we recommend Pinterest and Instagram, other platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are still very valuable and can be used as a way of promoting the other platforms you’re operating on. The way that these social platforms allow you to share and digest project information means they are fast becoming the go to tools when it comes to collaboration in the construction industry. With no cost involved, why not give them a try?
For further information please visit http://www.wienerberger.co.uk/. Follow Wienerberger on Twitter at https://twitter.com/wienerbergeruk. You can also follow Joanne Roberts on Twitter @Jo_Claypaving.