Social media marketing is no longer just a trend; it's the new way of doing business for building materials manufacturers.

The average adult in the U.S. spends 2 hours and 3 minutes on social networks every day — using them to interact with their favorite brands, find products and consume content.

With the right social strategy, building materials companies can overcome competition, drive traffic to their website, increase visibility and generate sales.

I'd go as far as to say that if you don't use social media marketing in 2021 and beyond, you're a ghost. How else will you get seen by the 3.96 billion people using social media worldwide and market to them? Sure, there are many other channels like online ads and branded websites but you can't rely on just one.

Let’s discuss some important data on social media use in 2021 and what it means for building materials manufacturers.

YouTube is the most popular social media channel in 2021.

According to a study by PEW Research, 81% of American's say they use YouTube on a regular basis.

Manufacturers can use YouTube to display products, their details and how they can be used. This is helpful for those who have already purchased products and those who are still in the consideration stage of the buyer journey. Elaborate on the benefits of how the product will help them and what makes yours better than what's on the market.

YouTube can also be used to deliver tutorials, how-to and installation videos. Don't always sell. Educate and inform. Build trust and authority with your audience by making them better building professionals.

Don't be afraid to show behind the scenes of your business too. It's easy to focus on selling and forget that people love connecting with brands. Show off what goes into your manufacturing, marketing efforts and community events.

Repurpose these videos on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn and other networks to maximize reach.

Facebook and Instagram are still important for marketers.

Next up, Facebook. 69% of U.S. adults use Facebook, and while its growth has leveled off, it still remains a staple channel for marketers and manufacturers.

77% of people aged 30-49 use Facebook and the numbers are similar for younger and older groups. No matter if you're targeting young tech-savvy architects or veteran builders and contractors, you need to be active on this platform.

Optimize your Facebook page to include high-quality photos, updated hours and correct business information. Strike a balance between promotion and value. Share design inspiration, tips and news. Then, mix in some promotions, sales and product hype. Keep in mind the highest engagement time is Wednesday at 11 a.m. as well.

Instagram isn't far behind either. 40% of adults say they use Instagram, and it's an effective channel for visual content. Show off your latest products in lifestyle settings, company events and your team. Oh, and use hashtags too. It'll help expose your business to more audiences.

Don't underestimate the power of Pinterest.

31% of U.S. adults are active on Pinterest. I know it's not always the first channel you'd think of using as a manufacturer but hear me out.

Marketers can leverage Pinterest as a social media channel to generate traffic, leads and revenue. How? First by creating an account and boards for specific topics. These should be for individual product categories and content.

Pinners use Pinterest like a search engine and are 70% more likely to engage with product tags in scenes. Show the product you’re promoting in action versus basic photos of it.

Target building professionals on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is the place to be for targeting a professional audience. In fact, 28% of Americans use LinkedIn, and 51% of users have a bachelor's or advanced degree. You can take advantage of LinkedIn as a marketing channel by optimizing both your personal and company profiles.

Add a professional photo to your profile and write a killer headline. It should summarize who you help and what service you provide. Think of it like getting your foot in the door. You can also add keywords that your audience searches for to get discovered. Go into detail about your education, work history and the results you've generated within the about section.

Create a company page next. Fill out all of the basic information like location, size and industry. Share engaging content that benefits your audience. This includes blog posts, podcasts and videos. Build up a community by engaging with each follower, asking questions and starting conversations.

Conclusion

There are always new marketing trends and channels to follow. Building materials manufacturers must keep up with these to drive the most conversions, leads and sales. Social media is one of those trends that’s not going anywhere.

YouTube is the most popular social network with 81% of Americans using it on a regular basis. Companies should publish videos about their products, behind-the-scenes activities or educational content.

This is followed by Facebook. It's used by 69% of U.S. adults and remains one of the best channels for sharing content, building a community and investing in paid advertisements.

Instagram, used by 40% of U.S. adults, is ideal for visual content. Think product photos, design inspiration and user-generated content.

Manufacturers can reach the 31% of individuals on Pinterest by creating boards dedicated to different products and content categories. Pin on a daily basis and join group boards to reach a larger audience.

Lastly, don't neglect LinkedIn. Optimize your personal and company profiles for industry keywords to increase visibility. Post thought leadership content to increase trust and authority. Engage with followers and jump into conversations.

As a building materials manufacturer, use social media for what it's for — being social, engaging and starting conversations. It'll help you stand out from competitors and build brand equity that converts into dollars.

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This article was originally posted on Forbes.com.