There are a lot of social media platforms out there, and it can be intimidating for builders to create a marketing strategy around them. However, builders who want to increase their pipeline of prospective customers should look into what these platforms can do for them.
For one thing, these are free tools for builders to reach their customers. Although many platforms offer ways to pay for boosted or sponsored posts, companies with a dedicated strategy (and some discipline) can grow their networks with no other investment than time.
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Brad Leavitt, president of AFT Construction in Scottsdale, Arizona, has done just that. He has had a dedicated social media marketing strategy for about three years, he said. Since then, his business has “more than tripled” in revenue, and he and his team have been able to “understand our niche in the market, our specialty, and really have a more targeted approach instead of a shotgun approach” to taking on work.
He prefers using social media to do the legwork of identifying potential clients himself instead of outsourcing that to a lead generation company because the quality of the leads is higher.
Leavitt said that identifying the right platforms takes a bit of trial and error. AFT has a robust presence across multiple platforms: Facebook, Google, Houzz, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
“We do not use Twitter,” Leavitt said. “Twitter just doesn’t cater to what we do.”
That’s an important factor in deciding which platforms to focus on. Twitter has a huge network with an average 66 million monthly active users just in the U.S., according to the network’s fourth-quarter earnings results. However, that number doesn’t mean anything to builders if the platform doesn’t let them do what they want with their marketing strategy.
Houzz stands out because it doesn’t have the daily or weekly workload of other platforms. “We finish a project. We upload 40 pictures of that project and put it out there, and people ask us questions. That’s how we get leads” from Houzz, Leavitt explained.
Other platforms will require a bigger time investment. Builders who use Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn need to post at least daily and be active on other people’s posts, according to Leavitt.
He said the most common question he gets from peers is about how to increase engagement with their followers.
“It’s just like anything in life,” he said. “You’re going to get out of it what you put into it.”
He continued, “For you to be successful, you can’t just put something out there and hope it’ll do its thing. You have to be actively commenting on other people’s projects, networking with them, liking their photos … . If I have a hundred comments, that shows you that I’ve already commented 100 times on their work.”
Danielle Andrus was previously the managing editor for Colorado Builder, and is currently Editor for the Journal of Financial Planning.