April 15, 2024

Target Smarter, Reach Further: Social Media and Building Products Manufacturers

Social Media

Meet Your Audience Where They Are

As a building materials brand, you know that social media should constitute a meaningful part of your marketing and communications efforts, all designed to identify and engage a community of followers and advocates. From digital advertising to community management, meeting your customers where they are is integral to your company’s success – both in person and online.

Similar to expanding your building products business into new territories and services, growing your social media presence via new and different platforms enables your brand to reach additional target profiles and discover more about current and future customers.

How do you know your building materials brand is where it should be on social media? How do you go about identifying the right channels to reach the right audiences?

Looking at the Larger Picture

Start by researching platforms you seek to add to the mix. What are your goals as a brand and how does each platform fulfill those needs? Like your building materials brand, each platform has their own mission statement that may help to guide your social media strategy. Consider how those platforms can help deliver results, then look at those audiences. Do those audiences correlate with the ones you seek to reach and engage? Additionally, consider each platform’s rules of engagement, and decide what you are prepared to offer as a brand.

Confidence is key when analyzing the efficacy and potential impact of various social media platforms to add to your social media strategy. Any analysis must determine which ones have engendered the greatest trust and confidence with brands.

According to Hootsuite’s 2024 Social Trends report, LinkedIn, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook are the top social media platforms brands trust for positive ROI, followed by BeReal, YouTube, and TikTok. However, between 2022 and 2023, WhatsApp, Pinterest, and X (formerly Twitter) had the highest losses in users based on ROI and brand goals.

These concerns are not unfounded. According to Hootsuite, social media users are logging in to seven platforms a month, spreading users thinly across each one. This means competition to capture your audience’s attention is much higher.

Whether you are looking to expand into unknown territory or strengthen your social media strategy on specific platforms, here is some guidance so you can make informed decisions for your building materials brand.

Zeroing In: Finding Your Ideal Platform and Next Customers

Now more than ever, businesses are looking to strategically condense their activity on social media. Top concerns include ROI after investing time and money, as well as the accuracy of platform reporting and success metrics for paid campaigns. Connecting the dots between your business goals and social media goals is also a concern among users (find more help on that topic here and here), and making that personal connection with followers is necessary in today’s fast-paced, digital world.

Based on research and our experience as a building materials brand marketing partner, we’ve compiled a list of channels for your brand’s consideration, prioritized from “must-haves” to “nice to haves”. As you review, consider your own brand’s goals and available resources in time, money and man-power to execute a successful social media strategy.

LinkedIn: A B2B Must

LinkedIn is a no-brainer for B2B. Users on LinkedIn have their own personal profiles where they can share their work experience and interact with others. Think networking, business news, and sharing company accomplishments. Additionally, users explore LinkedIn to find your company page, learn more about your brand, and further validate it.

  • LinkedIn’s mission:
    • “Connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”
  • User profile:
    • Decision makers and “high income” audiences
    • Millennial (47 percent) and Gen Z professionals (29 percent)
    • B2B marketers (80 percent)
  • Best uses for building materials brands:
    • Awareness
    • Engagement
    • Recruitment
    • Maintain professional relationships
    • Increase site traffic
    • Professional news and thought leadership
    • Lead generation (paid)
    • Conversions (paid)

Pro Tip:

Brainstorm ways you can create a symbiotic relationship between your LinkedIn and Facebook strategies to achieve big wins for your brand! Research suggests that 70 percent of B2B buyers will use Facebook to research and inform purchasing decisions. These same users are likely connections and targets in your current LinkedIn strategy.

YouTube: The Home for Video

Millennials and Gen Z have a soft spot for YouTube, most likely because these generations were among the first to take a pixelated home video on their phone or digital camera to upload and share with the world. Video production and presentation have come a long way from the early 2000s, and YouTube is now the home of long- and short-form video content for DIYers, curious researchers, and music lovers worldwide.

  • YouTube’s mission:
    • YouTube’s goal is to “...give everyone a voice and show them the world.” It is the second most visited website in the world after Google.
  • User profile:
    • Millennial males (54 percent)
    • Daily viewers averaging 19 minutes per day
    • DIYers and product researchers
    • Content creators
  • Best uses for building materials brands:
    • Video views
    • How-to and installation videos
    • Engagement: educate users through comments section
    • Curated playlists: educate users about your brand or product
    • Google paid SEM campaigns
    • Waterfall video teasers to other social channels

Pro Tip:

Longer watch times speak to YouTube user’s intent to learn and explore. Capitalize on this time to create short- and long-form video content. Consider your strategy and production capabilities to implement professional, scripted content that will appeal to audiences.

Pinterest: The Long Game

Pinterest users aren’t valued for their frequency as much as they are for their intent. While Pinterest user logins on a monthly basis are a far cry from Facebook, which reports daily logins, the average Pinterest user is actively seeking products or ideas that will encourage them to buy. Plus, they are open minded when it comes to trying new products and brands.

  • Pinterest’s mission:
    • “Bring everyone the inspiration to create a life they love.”
  • User profile:
    • Monthly logins from users
    • Women and Gen Z males
    • Open-minded shoppers researching new brands and products
    • Inspiration seekers for DIY projects and purchases
    • Home decor enthusiasts (78 percent of Pinterest users)
  • Best uses for building materials brands:
    • Video views
    • Pin saves
    • Educational, short video clips
    • Aesthetic product images
    • Evergreen content
    • Trending content creation within “Architecture” and “Home Decor” categories
    • Curated Pinterest boards for research and SEO

Pro Tip:

More than 30 percent of Pinterest’s audience is actively interested in the “Architecture” category, and “Home Decor” resonates with 78 percent of users. When creating content, utilize Pinterest’s audience and trend analysis tools to take advantage of trending content. Then, source aesthetic views of your product with unbranded copy to capitalize on reach.

Facebook: Classic Connections

Facebook is a powerhouse for connecting users to each other and your brand. Users are often eager to share their experiences with you directly on your business page or with each other in Facebook groups and general public posts. Because Facebook and LinkedIn may have overlapping audiences, consider the more personal approach on this platform to showcase an active company culture and encourage engagement.

  • Facebook’s mission:
    • “Giving the people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.”
  • User profile:
    • Millennials and Gen Z users with daily, 30-minute logins.
    • More than 56 percent are men; more than 43 percent women
    • B2B marketers conducting product/services research
    • Video viewers
  • Best uses for building materials brands:
    • Engagement
    • Video views
    • In-feed installation/how-to video teasers
    • Product posts
    • Increase site traffic
    • Company culture posts
    • Behind-the-scenes videos and photos
    • B2C paid campaigns (Facebook and Meta)
    • Customer support

Pro Tip:

You might think of Instagram, another Meta platform, or TikTok when it comes to vertical video assets. However, on Facebook, there is a 35-percent higher click-through rate on vertical videos with audio. Consider this by cutting longer how-to/installation tutorials from your YouTube channel to create a symbiotic relationship, and select the appropriate link based on your goals

Instagram: Inspired Imagery

Similar to Pinterest, Instagram is prized for its visual aesthetic and short video reels. Whether users are sharing relatable reels with their friends or creating content themselves, the platform encourages users to “find something new” by following people and topics of interest, even browsing for products to buy directly in the app. Read the facts:

Instagram stats to consider:

  • While the platform is considered mainly for B2C, 49 percent of B2B marketers say Instagram is one of their most trusted social media platforms.
  • In a 2024 social media marketing trends HubSpot survey, 43 percent of polled marketers planned to increase their investment in the platform, thanks in part to rising shopping trends on social media, which Instagram fully embraced with their in-app shopping capabilities.
  • One third of all stories viewed are from businesses, and 15 percent of influencers will use stories for sponsored campaigns.
  • More than 30 percent of Instagram users are Gen Z, and all users spend about 33 minutes a day on the app.
  • Instagram’s Mission:
    • “Capture and share the world’s moments.”
  • User profile:
    • Gen Z users with daily, 33-minute logins
    • B2B and B2C marketers
    • Social media influencers
    • Shoppers and B2C brands
  • Best uses for building materials brands:
    • Company culture posts
    • Product posts
    • Engagement
    • Video views
    • Follow trends and trending audio to create educational, brand-oriented reels
    • Maintain customer relationships
    • Cross-posting stories from customer tagged/mentioned posts
    • Sponsored influencer opportunities

Pro Tip:

In a Hubspot survey, 43 percent of polled marketers plan to increase their Instagram investment thanks to rising shopping trends on the platform. Consider ads with aesthetic visuals or a sponsored influencer program to encourage channel growth and lock-in customers.

TikTok: Continued Growth

TikTok’s specialty is bite-size snapshots of everyday life, viral trends, and product plugs, giving it an edge that allows audiences to keep scrolling and find seemingly limitless new content. Influencers who are promoting products are especially active, and trending content often waterfalls (more on that here) to Instagram Reels. Creating TikTok product tutorials or how-to videos with trending audio is a solid way to engage with B2C audiences worldwide with long-lasting content.

  • TikTok’s mission:
    • “Inspire creativity and bring joy.”
  • User profile:
    • Gen Z users, 24 and under, who use the app 95 minutes daily
    • Fashion, beauty, and home decor enthusiasts
    • Browsers looking to buy products
  • Best uses for building materials brands:
    • Video views
    • Product features
    • Waterfall short educational content from YouTube or Instagram reels
    • Company culture videos following trends and trending audio
    • Consider influencer programs to showcase the product and reach additional audiences

Pro Tip:

Due to TikTok’s younger demographics, nearly constant video capture needs, and impending litigation in the United States, pursue this strategy with thorough planning, accounting for time and resources. While the channel continues to evolve, adding this platform may be a long-term goal as your resources expand.

X: Consumption Over Creation

Formerly Twitter, X is a social media platform that allows users to post short quips and news with imagery. The platform experienced changes when it was sold to Elon Musk in 2022, and while Meta has attempted to roll out Threads in response, X continues to hold its own as a news outlet for viewers.

  • X’s mission:
    • “The future state of unlimited interactivity...”
  • User profile:
    • Monthly news and entertainment consumers
    • A growing base of Gen Z users
  • Best uses for building materials brands:
    • Company news and crisis management
    • Reshare paid and earned media content from other accounts
    • Video views
    • Paid opportunities

Pro Tip:

Ten percent of users are responsible for more than 90 percent of tweets in the United States, while the other 90 percent log in once a month. Consider maintaining the channel for crisis communication, and evaluate Gen Z as they continue to embrace the platform.

Reaching Your Customers Where They Are

Any effective social media strategy requires a comprehensive analysis of the channels that make the most sense for your building materials brand based on the audiences they will deliver. It also requires a candid assessment of the content your brand is capable of producing, how that correlates with each platform, and your building materials brand’s goals for each channel (see our social media KPIs blog here).

Harness the full potential of each social media channel, and your building materials brand can develop and cultivate long-lasting relationships through thorough planning, reporting and optimization. This, in turn, can encourage users to actively scout out your services, products, or employment opportunities.

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