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Social Media Cannot Work in Construction

Social Media Cannot Work in ConstructionI recently read an article from ENR entitled Hashtag This: Social Media Risks and Rewards in Construction. This article addressed the concerns that contractors have finding value in communicating in social media platforms. After digesting the information, I found myself convinced that social media cannot and will not work in the construction marketplace.

The construction industry is too mature to embrace a new means of marketing communication like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. It continues to do things just like they did 50 years ago, so why would it want to change now? The focus should be on bidding more work – because that is the only way we can be successful, right?

If you haven’t realized by now, I am intentionally trying to stir the pot. By following groups on LinkedIn (for example) like McGraw-Hill Construction, Construction Marketing Association, and Construction Executive Leaders, I am informed everyday on the innovation that is taking over the construction industry. From 3D modeling to Trimble Units and Conceptual Estimating Databases – innovation is bringing more value to our clients than ever before.

The only way to make positive improvements in an industry as mature as construction is to look at things through a different lens. Today we use iPads on jobsites and employ early trade involvement delivery methods on projects, so how can social media help us deliver that message?

Speaking from an organization that started being active in social media just over two years ago, I can tell you that it is not the silver bullet that will suddenly result in massive inquiries for your service. However, it is a great way to tell your story and tie together all of your marketing messages. Recently Charlie Fredrickson, one of our blog authors, wrote about the advancements Faith Technologies and the construction industry have made in design/build type delivery methods. Not only did that article receive positive feedback from the readers, we also received information that was helpful and informative on what other companies are doing.

By changing the means of marketing communication, it is not all about what YOU are getting out of it. If you are in it for yourself, you are probably not going to see any benefits. You need to be in it to be social – to network and help others. So yes, there is a place for social media in the construction industry. If you are still skeptical, I encourage you to join and check out some of the LinkedIn groups I referenced above. You will see that there is a lot to learn, and you may have a lot to share that can help the industry.