Using Instagram Stories to Build a Social Following

share your storyAs Instagram’s algorithm evolves and it gets harder to reach your target audience, Stories are taking on an increasingly important role. In the construction field, where there’s always something new to share, the growing interest in Stories is a promising opportunity to build your following.

Build Deeper Connections

Because Instagram Stories disappear after 24 hours, they’re perfect for sharing candid behind-the-scenes glimpses into your company. They let you show your audience how you work so they gain more trust in your skills. They also give you a chance to share a little of your human side and develop a more personal relationship. Your distinct personality is a big part of what makes people want to follow and interact with you. Post Stories about recent progress on a building project, show how you solved a problem or give your audience the highlights from a recent trade show or office party.

Q&A Stories are another good choice. These help you establish your expertise to build trust and show anyone not following you yet that your feed is the place to come for help planning their construction projects. Doing a regular Q&A is also an easy way to publish consistently, which is key for growing your following.

Get Your Stories Seen

The way you format and promote your Stories is what really makes the difference in how many new followers you gain with them. Add location and hashtag stickers to help people find your Stories. Unlike with standard image posts, you’ll want at least one broad, high-volume hashtag, such as #realestatedevelopment or #remodeling, if your goal is to build your following.

After you post a Story, use your next image post’s description to invite your followers to check out the new Story. If your account has the option, consider using Promote for Stories. Let your followers on other platforms know, too. Share an image from the Story on Facebook or Twitter and invite your followers to see the rest on Instagram.

What is Social Listening and Who Should Be Doing It?

social listeningSocial media gives you an invaluable opportunity to eavesdrop on your target audience and find out what they really think. Whether your ideal clients are homeowners or large commercial property developers, you can learn a lot just by listening.

How Social Listening Works

Social listening is the process of finding, monitoring, and contributing to conversations on social media platforms where your ideal clients gather. The goal is to get a big picture view of what they’re saying both about your company specifically and your construction specialty in general. You can do this by following topics, key terms, competing companies, and related industries. So if you’re a restaurant renovation specialist, you might keep up on what restaurant owners are saying about their facilities by following terms such as “restaurant design trends” and “restaurant expansion.”

This is not to be confused with social monitoring, which is more about staying alert for important incidents involving your brand, such as praise from a major influencer. With social listening, you’re not just replying to questions, comments, and complaints, but also drawing valuable insight you can use to guide your business strategy.

Can Social Listening Benefit You?

Even if your company isn’t very active on social media, there’s a good chance a lot of your past, current, and prospective clients are. If you care what they think, social listening is worth your time.

Watching your prospects interact with each other helps you get on their wavelength, making it easier to create marketing campaigns that truly connect with them. A better understanding of what your prospects want to learn about will spark ideas for blog posts, social media posts, and other content that actually does its job of attracting the leads you want.

By putting common complaints and emerging trends on your radar, social listening can lead you to new opportunities. If you notice local restaurant owners are interested in features that bring the outdoors in, you can appeal to them with your expertise in skylights or sunroom terraces.

 

Protect Your Social Media Reputation in 3 Steps

reputation management

When your would-be clients are considering doing business with you, review sites and social media are often the first places they turn to check your reputation. By taking steps to maintain a good social media reputation, you’ll assure your prospects they can trust you with their construction project.

Demonstrate Your Expertise

Populating your social media accounts with helpful, knowledgeable posts does a lot to establish and maintain your reputation as a skilled expert. Fill in your profile completely with your firm’s specialties, how long you’ve been in business, any awards you’ve won, and other signs of reliability. Use a real person’s photo, rather than a company logo.

Then show off your expertise by creating posts that truly benefit your target audience. Share helpful tips, thoughtful insight, trend alerts, news with your own commentary, and valuable resources. Intersperse these with low-key promotional posts such as photos of your finished building projects, thoughts on problems you’ve solved, and quotes from happy clients.

Engage with Your Audience

By interacting with others on social media, you show anyone visiting your profile that you care enough to offer your help and support. You also give potential clients a sense of your personality. Both these factors create a positive first impression and support your good reputation.

Use the search function and hashtags to find posts by people in your target audience and those in complementary businesses, such as building materials suppliers and tradespeople. Then “like,” comment on, and share their posts when you can.

Monitor Your Name

Use Google Alerts, Yahoo! Alerts or a similar service to keep tabs on your company name and name of the owner or other representative employees.

When someone posts a positive comment about you, show your appreciation. When a complaint arises, respond with a genuine offer to resolve the problem. Even if you can’t please that one unhappy client, you’ll protect your reputation by showing future prospects you made an honest attempt and didn’t ignore the issue.

4 Ways to Drive Visitor Engagement through LinkedIn

drive engagement

If your ideal clients are business owners, whether real estate investors or retailers, you can find them on LinkedIn. While getting those business owners to engage with you takes some creativity, there are some simple techniques that are proven to evoke a response.

  1. Share links – A status update doesn’t give you much space to add value, but by linking to another resource, you can connect your followers with something that truly benefits them. LinkedIn users are nearly 50 percent more likely to engage with an update that contains a link. Linking to your website isn’t the only way to bring in new prospects. Just by regularly sharing quality links, you become a trusted source of useful information, which encourages your followers to contact you when they’re planning a new project.
  2. Ask questions – Questions give your followers a quick and simple way to interact with you, so they easily garner more comments. To prompt more replies, formulate thoughtful questions on topics your target clients have definite opinions on. As an added benefit, smart questions and polls help you learn what your target clients are looking for.
  3. Post images and video – Images and videos get between 75 to nearly 100 percent more likes, comments, and shares than text-only updates. Photos and videos of your projects tempt your followers to your website to see more. A short video of you answering a common question or alerting your visitors to a new trend can also work well. These give you a chance to pitch your services and invite viewers to get in touch.
  4. Build showcase pages – LinkedIn’s showcase page feature lets you highlight your company’s specialties beyond your main profile, helping you better target separate market segments. If you offer both multifamily housing construction and home renovation services, you can create a showcase page for each client base. Because LinkedIn members can follow these pages individually, you’ll be able to post interest-tailored updates that spark more reactions than the general updates on your main profile.

3 Cool Tools To Manage Your Social Media Presence

social mediaWith everything else you have to do running a construction firm, managing your social media presence can feel like a time-consuming drain on your energy. By using software for content curation, scheduling, and analytics, you can use your time more efficiently and get better results.

  1. Buffer – Buffer is a social media management platform that lets you schedule posts to be sent out automatically. You’ll have the option of setting up a predefined posting schedule so you won’t have to calculate the best day and time every time you schedule a post. The analytics feature tracks links so you can see which of your posts interest your followers the most. Overall, it’s a user-friendly choice for managing a basic social media presence.
  2. Hootsuite – With Hootsuite, you can not only schedule content and analyze your results, but also find good content to post. Considering truly engaging content on building and real estate topics isn’t always easy to find, this can be major time saver. You’ll be able to monitor content streams by hashtag, location or keyword and easily schedule posts as you browse online. Want to get your whole team in on the firm’s accounts? Hootsuite lets you ensure only approved posts go live. If your firm is seriously invested in social media, this software will help you get the most out of your efforts.
  3. Hubspot – As a customer relationship management tool focused on social media, Hubspot lets you schedule, post, and reply to your social accounts from one simple interface. Beyond this, it also helps you with lead management by allowing you to integrate your social media with the rest of your marketing. For instance, if a prospect contacts you through Twitter asking about your design-build services, you can move them into an educational email list right from Hubspot. The platform’s analytics let you track your social media results to see what’s bringing in leads and sales. For an all-in-one tool, this is one of the most popular choices out there.

Why Your Construction Business Needs To Be On Popular Social Media Sites

social media networkOnce considered the domain of selfie-taking teenagers, a well-maintained social media presence is now critical if you expect your construction firm to be taken seriously and stay ahead of the competition.

Connecting with Your Target Market

Beyond the search engines, social media is the place many turn when they need information, advice, and ideas. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Houzz let anyone quickly find and connect with building industry professionals. When someone’s looking for guidance on their construction project, you want to be the professional they connect with. If your would-be client can’t find you, they will find your competitor.

A solid social media presence lets you take an active role in bringing in leads. You can follow the accounts of potential clients, search for questions you can answer, and network with possible cross-marketing partners. “Liking” and commenting on posts also helps get your name in front of potential clients. As an added benefit, your social media activity helps boost your rankings in the search engines.

Demonstrating Your Expertise

A developed social media presence confirms that you’re an established and reliable business. It also gives you space to show your potential clients what you can do for them.

Fill out your profile thoroughly, including your specialties and company vision. Post photos and videos of your projects, offer tips and guidance, and share news your target clients will find useful. Include the occasional candid photo of your team to humanize your firm and build rapport. On social media, where people tend to browse, this kind of content will catch the attention of those in the earliest stages of planning a project, but who haven’t yet started actively searching for a construction firm.

Avoid the temptation to create a profile on every social media site that looks interesting. Half-finished, inactive profiles reflect poorly on your business. You’ll get better results by identifying the two to four platforms your target clients use most and focusing your effort on those.

 

How Social Media can Help Your Construction Lead Acquisition

Social media is ubiquitous these days, but it takes some planning to use it profitably. Using social media in the construction industry is no different. A full 90 percent of construction firms have found social media beneficial for construction lead acquisition, according to a survey conducted by the Construction Marketing Association. Fine-tuning your strategy will help your firm reach the ranks of the most successful social media users.

Get More from Social Media

construction lead acquisition
Source: iStock.com/Rawpixel Ltd

Sharing information on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus+ can be invaluable for reaching and building relationships with people who may be interested in your services. While it’s tempting to fill every post you make with information about your business, before you post, think from your potential clients’ perspective. To attract and hold their attention, offer information that benefits them. That might be advice on construction project organization, tips on trimming costs or updates on changes in construction regulations.

Uploading photos to Facebook, Flickr, Pinterest, and other image-based sites is another way to do this. Striking images grab attention, convey information quickly, and are easily shared. With well-chosen photos, you can create an online portfolio that provides visible proof of your firm’s capabilities. In addition to images of your projects in progress and finished work, include photos that document solutions your company has found for unusual construction challenges.

Expand Your Contact Base

Using social media in the construction industry is a simple and effective way to connect with other professionals through sites such as Linkedin. Professional networking platforms let you build relationships with both smaller start-ups and industry leaders you otherwise wouldn’t have access to. You can pass business to each other, share tips, and keep each other up to date on current construction trends.

Your firm’s professional networking page should work as an online resume, highlighting its strongest skills and showcasing its most outstanding achievements. Invest a little time into making the presentation easy to read and visually appealing.

For more tips on using social media in the construction industry and other ways to grow your business, contact Construction Monitor today!