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Social Media benefits for the Property and Construction Industry

Industry Developments
Social Media in Property Industry
24/06/14

Social Media benefits for the Property and Construction Industry

Social media now plays a crucial role in determining how businesses approach marketing, recruiting, and customer service. Companies selling fast moving consumer goods to the mass population have already discovered the best possible ways to leverage their social media presence. However traditional sectors like real estate and construction are yet to master the art of wooing customers through social media, although they too have started adopting this new platform in a big way.

 

Researches show that almost 97% of professionals working in the construction industry now use social media to market their projects. It is a 7% increase over the last year. In addition, 93% of these people manage their social media campaigns on their own. LinkedIn seems to be the most popular platform for construction professionals, and is used by almost 91% of them.

 

Customers now increasingly turn to social media for advice and opinions. Here is what they expect from professionals using these networks.

 

Twitter

Your client is very much interested in finding out whether you have a presence on Twitter. And if so, are you tweeting? Are you engaging?

 

LinkedIn

Clients would like to know whether you have your company profile on LinkedIn. They are equally interested in knowing whether you have created any groups.

 

Facebook

Does your company have a Facebook fan page? If so, how many people like it? Do you frequently update your Facebook page with information that is not readily available on your website?

 

Google+

Clients will want to know whether you have established your presence on Google +.

 

The most popular platforms (other than LinkedIn) among construction professionals are: Twitter (84%), Facebook (83%), YouTube (68%), Blogs (47%), Google + (40%) and Pinterest (26%).

It should also be noted that the construction industry has embraced newer networks like Tumblr and Instagram.

 

As far as paid advertising is concerned, the construction industry is yet to warm up to that concept. Only around 12% construction professionals try paid advertising on LinkedIn. Facebook is the second most popular network for advertising. Almost 11% construction professionals advertise on Facebook. Twitter gets around 2%. Interestingly, 83% of these professionals who are active on social media sites don't use advertising at all.

 

Advantages of advertising your business on social media

 

  • Wide reach: Your social media ads will be seen by a huge number of people.
  • Targeted marketing: By posting useful content, you can cater to the unique needs of your customer.
  • The trust factor: We all choose products that our friends recommend. When a client likes your Facebook page, they are publicly endorsing your brand. This might encourage other people in their friend circle to also like your brand. This increases your reach.
  • Free customer feedback: Social media is a great platform to get direct feedback from your customers.

 

Disadvantages

  • One-dimensional: Your customers read your posts, watch your videos, and listen to your podcasts. However, they don't get an opportunity to experience your brand. This lack of interaction restricts customer engagement.
  • Requires hard work: Launching a highly effective campaign on social media is a lot of hard work.
  • Posts on social media are increasingly being used as a technical reference rather than ‘pinch of salt’ guidance opinion – people are dangerously relying on this information as a source of fact.

 

Can social media replace direct face-to-face interaction?

As humans, we make connections through communication. Studies have proved that only about 7 percent of the communication is based on the spoken or written word. That means 93 percent of the communication happens through nonverbal cues. This is particularly true in the real estate industry.

 

Social technologies help us to interact with each other 24/7. In the workplace, electronic communication is replacing face-to-face interaction by a huge margin. This shift is driven by two factors: First, most companies have branches in different parts of the world. Second (and more worrying) a growing section of employees are not comfortable with interpersonal communication.

 

Businesses now increasingly rely on emails, texts, instant messaging, blogging, and social media to get their message across. This often gives rise to misinterpretation. It is therefore imperative that businesses use the right mix of personal interaction and social media.

 

The importance of social media

Social media was created with the objective of helping people connect with one another and share their knowledge. The construction industry uses these networks for the same purpose. The industry itself is a real social network with contractors, sub-contractors, engineers, architects, and designers interacting with each other just like users interact with others on virtual social networks.

 

These 'users' communicate locally with one another. They also connect with the larger network on virtual platforms to understand industry wide trends. This kind of communication isn't much different from the way people interact on LinkedIn or Twitter. On these networks, too, people communicate with their close circle of friends and connections. They also connect with the larger groups to access information on a large scale

 

Future

In the future, social media will play an even bigger role in shaping the way the construction industry communicates and collaborates. Newer technologies will help it to become tighter with more clearly defined goals.

However it is important to remember that social media is one of many useful tools to utilise, rather than the answer to all challenges.