Successful Social Media Engagement
Article Date: May 20, 2021
The Building Blocks for Building Materials Manufacturers
In the past 20 years, social media has revolutionized how we interact and engage as a society. It began as a phenomenon geared toward college students (think Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook). Today, it has evolved into an unmistakably powerful societal tool, one that occupies hours in a person’s daily life and consistently impacts everything from the flow of information to the outcomes of elections.
- Facebook has nearly three billion users worldwide.
- On Twitter, users sent out an average of 6,000 Tweets per second.
- LinkedIn has 722-million members.
As a building materials manufacturer, you may be confounded by social media’s ever-changing landscape. As part of an integrated marketing program, social media is critical to relationship building and sales generation for your business.
Finding the right audience, giving them knowledge or new perspectives from what you share, and continuing to grow your presence is imperative to making social media an effective digital marketing tool for your building materials brand.
Here are five tips for making social media effective for your business.
#1. Know your audience and build relationships with them.
Research the demographics of your followers – contractors, specifiers, architects, distributors, and more. Achieve an understanding as to how they best receive information. Engage with followers, respond to their comments quickly and in helpful ways, use hashtags your audience is using, host live streams to share behind-the-scenes access, and collaborate with other brands or leaders in your field to expand your viewership and your relationships with the industry.
Once you understand who your audience is, the next step is to choose appropriate social media channels for engagement based on where each audience more readily interacts. It is also important to understand the dynamics of each channel and customize your approach. For example, Facebook is typically best when an organization seeks to showcase its company culture. It can also be a tool for recruitment. On the other hand, LinkedIn serves as a valuable tool when seeking to share business and industry news or position a company as thought leader.
#2. Have a social media strategy.
Effective community building and engagement on social media requires a carefully crafted plan. This includes conducting a social media audit to determine your current presence, having specific social media goals that align with your overall marketing goals, and creating a content strategy that allows you to achieve those goals. If a social media channel is the engine, content is the fuel for that engine, and the two must work together.
You must also understand your brand’s persona and determine how you will measure success.
#3. Balance curated content and created content.
A good balance to aim for is 40 percent created and 60 percent curated. This allows your building materials organization to showcase your personality with thought leadership, employee spotlights, and business news while connecting with the industry through curated content. And remember, only 1/3 of your social posts should be about self-promotion. All of the content should flow into a carefully planned content calendar – by the day, the month, and the year.
#4. Be visual.
Engaging with your audience starts with catching their attention with the media they want to see. Using photos, posting videos, and sharing gifs and links all help to make your content more visually appealing and memorable. Post a photo of your product or a product where it is featured, and you increase engagement levels while telling a powerful story about your expertise as a building products manufacturer.
#5. Lean into each platform’s strengths, and optimize posts.
Start by testing both headlines and posting times to find out when and how your audience engages with your content the most. For some, that’s after work, and for others that means lunch break. In addition, changing phrasing between platforms helps to appeal to that specific demographic best.
Some guidance for each platform:
- For Twitter, though the platform allows for 280 characters, it is best to be concise and aim for 120 characters and a maximum of two hashtags when relevant. Twitter is great for sharing links and posting content multiple times to reach more viewers in the feed. Due to the fast-paced nature of Twitter, it is also acceptable to post three to five times a day if you have that much content available.
- For Facebook, similar to Twitter, it is best to aim for 120 characters for your caption to get readers' attention without wavering. Facebook posts should feature a call to action to click a link or talk to a sales representative. Facebook is best for posting one or two times a day and using hashtags sparingly and only when necessary for cross-tracking campaigns.
- LinkedIn allows your business to position itself as an industry leader, and by posting regularly, your professional audience will grow. Using visuals and social cards for links, mentioning others in your posts, and using hashtags minimally are great ways to increase your engagement.
- Instagram is designed to tell a visual story of your brand – particularly of its product and innovations – and to engage with followers on a more personal level. Using one or two hashtags in your post improves your brand’s discoverability, but more than that can be distracting. Sharing the additional ones in a comment can be helpful. Instagram tends to reach a younger and more active audience. Posting times can differ from other platforms, so it is important to test what works best for your brand.
BLD Marketing can guide you through the entire process, from conducting a social media audit to developing a strategy for your building materials brand based on your budget and organizational goals.
BLD Marketing is a results-based, digitally-focused, full-service strategic marketing firm exclusively serving the commercial and residential building materials category.