When thinking about your social media strategy, it is important to remember that 82% of B2B prospects are active on social media. That means the architects, designers and builders you are marketing to are engaged and ready to listen on these platforms — but only if you are doing the right things to get their attention.
Learn how to craft the most impactful social media strategies designed to attract the right audiences to your building materials company.
Define Your Audience
Building materials companies may target a diverse range of audiences. Your product could be designed for builders and contractors, architects, homeowners or a combination of these audiences.
Understanding your audience is important so that all of your social media content focuses on creating a positive experience based on their needs. A lot of manufacturers make the mistake of focusing too much on product posts. But to truly engage and convert your followers, you need to post through the lens of helping them solve a problem. And that’s not going to be the same for everyone.
Before you can make an authentic connection over social media, you need to understand who you’re actually trying to connect with. List out your audiences so you can craft an effective social media content strategy.
You don’t need to have a presence on every single social media platform; quality is always better than quantity. If you’re just launching your company’s social media presence, choose one or two to start with, then grow as you get your systems in place. Here’s a quick overview of the most popular social media platforms. There are building material manufacturers who are killing it on every single one of these.
YouTube: YouTube was the most popular social media platform in 2021. It’s perfectly designed for how-to videos and other instructional content for both professionals and DIYers.
Facebook: With nearly 70% of U.S. adults on Facebook, it’s smart to develop a presence here. Keep your company’s contact information up to date in addition to posting visual content.
LinkedIn: If your company sells B2B, LinkedIn is a great place to connect with other industry professionals who may benefit from using your product or services.
Instagram: Instagram utilizes both photo and video content to connect with followers. It’s also a great place to connect with industry influencers.
Twitter: Twitter users are highly engaged, making this platform an effective place for interacting with followers and uncovering industry trends.
Pinterest: This is an ideal platform for showing off products and projects. Quality content can lead to increased leads and revenue.
- TikTok: TikTok is the new kid on the block, and maybe even the coolest. It features short videos, often edited with music, that can quickly go viral.
Establish Your Tone and Voice
It goes without saying that the more genuine and authentic you sound, the more successful you will be with reaching your target audiences and developing closer relationships with members of your industry. That’s why it is so important to establish a consistent tone and voice with your brand.
The more relatable and “human” your brand sounds, the more it will resonate with your customers. The right tone shows that by selecting your services or products, they’re choosing more than just a brand or name; they’re choosing to collaborate with a business that is run by experts who want to help customers achieve their end goals.
Create a Consistent Posting Schedule
Consistency is an important part of success in any new venture, and posting on social media is no exception. Create a social media calendar to designate what you’ll post on each platform and when. If multiple people are working on the project, you can also designate responsibilities. The process doesn’t have to be complicated. A simple spreadsheet or calendar app can hold all the information you need.
Aim for at least two to three posts per week. Platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn could also handle more frequent posting.
When building out your calendar, start off by adding major holidays. You can extend greetings and let customers know about any office or warehouse closings. For more social holidays (like Halloween or Valentine’s Day), you can plan fun, related content.
From there, work in any marketing promotions on the horizon, such as sales or new product releases. Then you can fill in additional days with informational content rather than sales-based posts.
Post Engaging Content
So what exactly should you do as a building material manufacturer once you’ve created a social media profile? Here are eight strategies that can help you grow and engage followers.
1. Use Photos and Videos
It doesn’t matter what platform you’re posting on — you need strong visuals to accompany your posts. Both photos and videos are going to draw your followers’ attention and get them interested in what you have to say. Anyone with an iPhone can craft a visually compelling social media post.
However, a lot of manufacturers bristle at the idea of creating videos. The good news is that your video clips don’t have to be polished. People love to see behind the scenes and feel like they’re interacting with the brand in real-time.
2. Offer Inspiration
Use your social media platforms to promote project ideas with your product. Both industry professionals and DIYers are always looking for project inspiration. Even if your product isn’t used for aesthetics, you can still find interesting ways to demonstrate its value on social media. For instance, a sound-dampening tile company could post before-and-after videos showcasing how much quieter a room is after installing their product.
3. Tailor Your Content for Different Platforms
You can repurpose content across multiple social platforms, but be sure to tweak them based on where you plan to post. Facebook and Instagram can handle lots of text alongside your image or video. But Twitter and Instagram Stories come with character limits. And While TikTok and YouTube are completely video-based, Instagram is also becoming a platform that is heavier on the video side so planning to add captions to your videos is a good best practice. Designate how to repurpose each of your content assets when you’re building out your social media calendar.
4. Interact with Followers
Your social media job isn’t done once you schedule your posts. You also need to interact with followers. The more engagement you have on a post (such as likes and comments), the more it will be promoted on the platform, allowing more people to see it.
Ask questions or include polls to get people to engage with your posts. You can also hold contests and giveaways to grow your following. Just be sure to follow all of the relevant rules on your chosen platform.
5. Take Advantage of User Generated Content (UGC)
User-generated content is an easy way to post interesting content while also engaging your audience. If someone tags your product in a post, reshare their project on your own page. This provides a couple of different benefits. First, it creates a more loyal customer because you chose the original poster to showcase on your brand’s account. Second, it gives third-party validation that your company offers a quality product.
When sharing UGC you must give credit to the original poster otherwise it could appear you are sharing the image as if it is your own when it’s not. If you can, reach out and ask for permission and be sure to tag other people involved like photographers who may have ownership to the images.
6. Incorporate Customer Service Into Your Responses
You may feel some vulnerability in exposing your brand to a public forum. Enter the situation by creating a response plan in advance for both positive and negative comments. Assign a point person (or persons) on your customer service team to connect with anyone who negatively posts to try and rectify the situation, and to give a shout-out to those who comment about a great experience. It increases interactions, engagement and adds a level of transparency that customers appreciate.
Social media is also a great platform to share company news. Definitely follow the 80/20 rule. Post 80% educational content, which can consist of posts about company culture, community involvement and trending business related topics for the industry, and then only 20% promotional content. Social media can be a great place to announce things like new launches or product availability updates.
8. Go Live
Livestream videos are a fun way to engage with your audience via social media. Don’t feel concerned about being completely polished. This strategy is meant to humanize your brand and provide your leads and customers with real-time interactions with the experts on your team.
If you're concerned about questions and comments live during the feed, you can hide them and then answer them at the end to keep your plan of action clear and organized.
Follow the Right KPIs
Once you have a social media content strategy in place, it’s time to determine which Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to monitor to ensure your efforts are reaching your target market. This goes beyond counting your “likes” on Facebook and Instagram or your retweets on Twitter.
There are many things you can measure to gauge how well your business is using social media. It’s important to focus on KPIs that reveal how well you’re accomplishing your marketing strategies in multiple areas:
Are people paying attention to your brand? Look at follower counts, impressions, web traffic and share of voice (how your business compares to others in the same platform).
How often are people engaging with your business? Look at how many clicks, likes, shares, comments and mentions you are getting. These show your level of impact on your audience.
What is the rate at which engagements turn into conversions? Google Analytics can help you get an idea of how your lead conversion rate is impacted by social media, but it is important to consider non-revenue conversion as well. For example, how many people signed up for your e-newsletters or downloaded a form from your site?
What is the overall impact on your customer base? Evaluate the quality of content and how well you’re connecting with your customers to keep them engaged. This involves knowing your cost per lead, how well you resolve issues and concerns raised by your audience and how you enhance the value of your business with the content you provide.
We recommend using one of the many KPI dashboards/software and tools available to track your KPIs all in one place.
Network With Relevant Stakeholders
It’s always important to recognize and network with the decision-makers in your industry. LinkedIn specifically gives you access to some important influencers when it comes to helping builders make decisions.
Think about the other types of businesses builders may use to complete their projects and any professional associations that would give you all-around access to these current and potential customers.
As construction projects are becoming less and less siloed, use your networking opportunities to win over the whole team by reaching out to them about the benefits of your product.
Create a sales approach that also addresses the concerns of subcontractors, architects, installers and general contractors. One way to get in this mindset is to think about the following questions:
Who makes the purchasing decisions for your target customer?
Who is the group or audience that will help you learn more about industry trends and what buyers are looking for in building materials?
Promote Partnerships and Collaborations
One of the best ways to generate leads using social media is by building trust and providing valuable resources. By showing examples of how you’ve helped other clients solve a problem or achieve success, you are positioning yourself as a trusted partner and collaborator.
There are many ways you can do this using social media. When you post blogs, how-to videos, infographics, galleries and informative newsletters, you’re offering proof that you’re a go-to resource for your industry, and you have the answers your current and potential customers need. This makes you a company of choice that your audience will consider working with in the future.
Create Targeted Ad Campaigns
Advertising on social media is becoming one of the best ways to promote your brand and products. But first, you must know your target groups. Having a clear picture of your intended audience is key in any marketing strategy — and you should understand how your products can solve their problems.
Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn all provide opportunities to reach key audiences using strategies and tools that will help you specifically target the right people. These platforms let you target ads to specific audiences. You can also create sets of ads that allow you to test different variations to determine the most effective one for each audience.
Facebook Ads Manager
Facebook Ads Manager lets you set specific marketing objectives when setting up your advertising campaign. You can look at ad performance and narrow your audience into more targeted groups that can mean more sales and engagement for your products.
For example, you can focus your efforts toward members of the National Association of Home Builders or target millennials with a certain income level that may be interested in home renovation projects.
Facebook also gives you access to Instagram, which has its own unique aspects (like Instagram Stories) and skews toward a younger, more design-driven audience, giving you another type of audience to market to and collaborate with.
LinkedIn has a Campaign Manager to walk you through the process of setting up your ads, complete with targeting specific audiences. The platform also offers multiple ad formats, including single image, carousel image, video, text, spotlight and follower ads.
Because of the professional nature of LinkedIn, you can also advertise to people based on job titles, industry, company and the groups they belong to. This is a great way to target your advertising to specific decision-makers in the industry.
For more inspiration and ideas on how to evolve your strategy for marketing to builders, check out our free report on marketing to builders or explore our blog for more marketing tips and advice. And be sure to listen to our podcast for insightful and informative episodes every week from leaders in the industry.