Marketing communication is shifting. No longer will traditional promotion alone (banner ads, print, TV, radio, email, outdoor media, direct mail, etc.) build company brands and bring the results needed to be successful. No longer is communicating just one-sided. Marketing is now a two-lane highway where companies—engineers and contractors as much as retail or commercial businesses—not only speak to their audience, but also, more importantly, must listen to what they have to say.
HOW TO MARKET SOCIALLY
- Content is King
Develop strong content to display through social media channels. The content produced—images, stories, videos, graphs or charts—needs to be timely and relevant. According to Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairperson, as much information is created in two days as was created from the dawn of civilization until 2003. That is more than five exabytes of data every 48 hours. In a world where everyone has a voice, a company’s brand must stand out from the noise by being positioned as a leader and influencer. No need to throw current marketing plans out the window; just amend the plan to include social strategies that complement the business objectives.
- Develop Voice
Engage in communities, blogs and LinkedIn discussions where people are discussing the industry’s “hot” topics, such as the latest construction software, Building Information Modeling (BIM), upcoming talent shortages, design-build, etc. Regular participation keeps a business’s name and expertise in front of potential clients.
- Connect Communities
Fostering connections with industry bloggers, LinkedIn groups and publications will promote a firm and its expertise. These communities can introduce an audience which may not have otherwise been reached. For example, LinkedIn can help pursue potential clients and allows for possible business opportunities. Furthermore, commenting on industry blog posts or even guest blogging can mark a firm as an industry expert.
- Share Expertise
Start a company blog to announce new products, communicate successes, showcase work, discuss new trends, and announce events that are being hosted or attended. Do not forget to promote these posts in social media networks: Tweet about the post, start a discussion on LinkedIn, share the post on Facebook. Did a company executive just finish an extensive project that the firm is proud of? Share photos on Flickr or create a video about the project and upload it to YouTube. These tools will put a company’s portfolio on display for a wide audience.
- Improve SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing the number of visitors to a website by getting a high ranking on search result pages. One of the main benefits of social media is that it directs traffic back to a company’s website and increases SEO. From there, the website can showcase even more work and provide details about services and products. Now a business is on its way to generating leads and improving bottom lines.
As social animals, people love to share good things as well as bad experiences. Businesses need to humanize their image and create a personal appeal that resonates in their market. Companies must begin to find out what people are saying about them on social channels. When they start to monitor these avenues, companies can discover useful information on how to further position the brand to reach company goals. Companies must ask themselves whether they are listening to what is being said.