If you work in the residential construction industry, you’re constantly looking for ways to earn the trust of your clients. Social media is a great way to position your residential construction business as a trustworthy company in the local market. Whether you’re a home builder taking steps to create social accounts for the first time or you’re looking for ways to improve your online presence, this article will help you tear down common roadblocks and implement social media marketing for your business. Sites like Facebook and Instagram can feel daunting but once you start using them as marketing tools you’ll be reaping the benefits in no time. After implementing social media marketing, you’ll see an increase in lead volume, earn greater brand awareness in your area, and develop better relationships with your clients.
Digital marketing has never been more important than it is now in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. As more events are cancelled and people are asked to stay home, finding new projects and clients will require increased creativity, and might even prove difficult. With Covid-19, word of mouth referrals at neighborhood block parties and school fundraisers are harder to come by. Now, more than ever, is the time to enter the social media marketing ring.
Engaging your target market online
In 2005, 5% of adults in the United States used at least one social media platform. Now, that number has grown to 72%. Seven out of ten people you meet every day are on social media. What does this mean for your company? If your residential construction business doesn’t have a presence on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, you’re probably missing out on business. The median age of homebuyers in the United States is 47, and 82% of 30 to 49 year olds use at least one social media site. In order to stay afloat in the digital age, you need to develop a social media marketing strategy.
How to be consistent
Think about how you will sustain your online presence. It'll be easy to set aside a weekend to build an account and post a few photos, but sustainability is crucial when it comes to online growth. To position yourself as a competitive and reputable force in the area, try to post about two times a week. You’re building a relationship with your followers. The more contact you have with them, the better. When you post frequently, you also make it easier for new followers to discover your account while browsing online. Use your posting schedule to capture the attention of new potential clients while staying competitive with other companies.
Start building a sustainable social media marketing strategy using one of these three approaches:
- Assign a current team member. If you have someone on your team who is relatively tech-savvy and aesthetically inclined, have them set aside time for social media. This individual should spend time developing a social media strategy and content calendar, posting, and creating content for future posts. Creating high-quality content takes time, so make sure you give your team member a couple hours a week to work on social media.
- Hire someone part-time or find a freelancer. If you have a budget, consider hiring someone who is focused on marketing. If possible, find a creative person who can also take high-quality photos so you don’t need to also pay a photographer to get pictures of your builds. This is a great job for students with sharp communication skills. The cost can range anywhere from $400 to $2,000 per month.
- Do it yourself! There are a lot of benefits to running your own social media marketing. As the owner of your business, you know how to communicate your brand’s tone in an authentic way. Social media is also a great way to engage with potential and former clients online and share your passion for your business. If you can set aside one to two hours per week for digital marketing, you’ll start to be consistent in your posting. When you do the work yourself, you get to own your marketing strategy and your brand will develop under your control.
Many companies try to implement social media but fail to commit to a long-term plan. The effort you make to ensure your plan is sustainable will save you money, time, and headaches in the future.
Create a content strategy (where, what, why, when)
Once you’ve set aside resources for social media marketing, you need to build a content strategy for your residential construction business.
A good strategy includes the following four main pieces of information:
- Where - Which social media platforms will you use?
- What - What kind of content will you post?
- Why - Why is this content important to clients?
- When - When will you post the content?
Develop this strategy and use it to measure your success. When you start, set a goal to keep your account(s) growing. Do you want to get 200 impressions in your first month? How about 1,000? Setting attainable goals will drive growth and increase your company’s visibility online.
In the beginning, start posting on Instagram and Facebook. In the United States, there are 169.76 million monthly users on Facebook and 121.23 million monthly users on Instagram. This makes these two platforms the most popular social media sites in the United States. Furthermore, both Facebook and Instagram provide helpful business and data analytic tools to help you track your marketing goals. On Instagram, you can convert your profile into a business account to get access to marketing insights and relevant data. Trends indicate that online marketing through these platforms will soon be considered an industry best practice. 50 million small businesses use Facebook to engage their target market.
If it feels too complicated to run more than one social media channel, just pick one and run with it. Don’t try to extend to other channels until you have a sustainable system in place. Fortunately, Facebook and Instagram are becoming increasingly similar platforms. The content you post on Instagram will also work for Facebook and vice versa.
As a residential home builder or remodeler, there are a few pieces of content you can rely on for social media posts. For home builders, you can post pictures of your favorite projects, your team, and day-to-day life in the field. To show your clients that you’re caught up on all the trends, you can get creative and post about popular design materials and styles. For remodelers, take before and after photos to leave your followers awestruck at your work. In general, it’s a good practice to vary your content as much as possible by posting videos, photos, and graphics. Give your followers content they can really engage with. Be creative! If you’re looking for inspiration, see below for what Cullum Homes is doing on Instagram. They post a wide range of content including examples of their own builds, awards and recognitions, behind the scenes content on the jobsite, and more.
Also, be sure to post about your team members. Get professional headshots of every person in your company and ask them to write a short bio for themselves. Every two weeks, post a “Team Member Highlight” with their picture and bio. When prospects visit your profile, they will be more likely to trust your business if they see photos of your people alongside your beautiful projects. Human-centric marketing content builds trust between a business and a client. When a client sees real people, your building company feels personal and relatable. Keep in mind, your social media feed might be your first impression on a prospect. Make it personal.
There are two main ways to post on Instagram and Facebook. You can post on your Feed or on your Stories. Your Feed is permanent. Everything you post on your Feed stays on your profile. The Stories are temporary. Everything you post on Stories disappears after 24 hours. Use Instagram and Facebook Stories to share casual content like daily operations and uncurated photos. The benefit of Stories is that they let prospects see you in action. Present yourself with professionalism and be genuine.
It’s important to know why you’re posting content. Every post communicates something about your business. For example, if you’re a family-owned company, post photos about family members on job sites or in the office. The more authentic you are on social media, the more a potential customer will trust you with their project. Approach every post with your prospects in mind. How do I want them to feel when they see this post? After scrolling through your account, prospects should see you and your business as trustworthy, personable, and reliable. Even after looking at a few of your posts, a prospect will make snap judgements about your ability to deliver on time, communicate effectively, and build a beautiful finished product. Ultimately, the goal of having an online presence is to generate more leads for your business. To get prospects on the phone, your content should showcase your professionalism. Once you link your residential construction company’s website to your Instagram bio and start posting authentic content on Instagram and Facebook, you just might notice an increase in the number of prospect phone calls.
The timing of your posts is also important. For Facebook and Instagram, research shows that users are most active online between 11 AM and 2 PM on Wednesdays when most people are on their lunch breaks. Pay close attention to your own audience to see when your followers are most active. Tune in to when people are commenting and liking your posts to find the best time.
Instagram also lets you see when your followers are most active. To see this, navigate to your profile and select Insights. Then, click See all under the Your Audience section. Scroll to the bottom of the page to find the Most Active Times section. This section breaks down your audience’s activity by day and time. Use this feature to get pinpointed insights on the timing of your posts.
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you miss the opportune time. You can still post outside of this window. Perfectionism will only hold you back from building your social media presence.
Kill two birds with one stone in CoConstruct
As a builder, you probably already share progress photos with your clients. If you use CoConstruct’s home builder software, you can share these progress photos in the Photos area or via the job log. If you’re already sharing progress photos this way, you can use CoConstruct’s Facebook sharing feature to share project photos to Facebook directly from the software. You can also mention this feature to your clients to create an opportunity for them to market your residential construction business within their network. If enough clients share your work, your visibility will improve in the area.
CoConstruct is also a marketing opportunity for your residential construction company. To differentiate your business from others, explain that your team uses a cloud-based home builder software. Clients will be reassured to hear that you take advantage of every opportunity to execute builds or remodels in a transparent and efficient manner. If you post about CoConstruct, make sure to tag us using @Co_Construct.
Stick with it and keep growing
Running your Facebook and Instagram accounts can be discouraging in the beginning. You’ll start off with 10 or 20 followers and you might only get 5 to 10 likes on your posts. This is normal. If you keep going and stick to your social media strategy, your account will grow over time. To encourage growth, you can try inviting your customers to follow you. You can also try linking your social accounts in your company’s email signature.
Hashtags are also very helpful for growing your account. On your posts, use hashtags like #buildersofinsta, #builderslife, and #designbuild to enter an online community of hundreds of thousands of other residential construction companies advertising on Facebook and Instagram. You can also stay involved locally by using local hashtags. For example, if your business is located in Austin, TX, use #austinbuilders or #texasbuilders to drive local engagement.
Once you get into a rhythm, social media can be really fun. It's a great way to share your work, and passion, with the world and engage with your target market. When your customers are happy with your work, they might refer a friend to your Instagram page to see your past builds or remodels. If you’re prepared with a beautiful collection of content, you’ll benefit from word of mouth advertising in the community. Social media marketing is just one more way you can build your business and keep your sales pipeline full.