Posting tips for the most valuable form of social media today for General Contractors
June 10, 2022
9 min read
Founder at Buildr
Between giving quotes, completing projects, and acquiring new customers, many general contractors have a difficult time planning a solid marketing strategy to expand their client base. However, general contractors can hone in on one aspect of marketing so they won’t be overwhelmed by the big picture. That one aspect of marketing we’re referring to is social media. LinkedIn, in particular, has 500 million users, with 40% of them using the platform daily.
Organic LinkedIn posts are a great way to keep your business top of mind for your potential clients. Because you’ll be dealing with competition, you must have a solid strategy for posting on LinkedIn and think outside the box.
LinkedIn is without a doubt the most valuable 20 minutes you can spend a day on a social media. From the folks at the GCs we've talked to, LinkedIn is the closest thing to a universally adopted platform for business development. If you haven't yet integrated LinkedIn into your daily sales habits, there's a treasure trove of newfound networking success just around the corner.
To succeed with LinkedIn marketing, it’s important to think about your overall content strategy. And your audience should be the center of it all. After all, they’ll be the ones consuming your posts. So, you must cater to their interests and make "sticky" posts; one's that'll attract and provoke engagement. A "call-to-action" is important to end on. What do you want your audience to do when they're done reading your post? Whether it's an answer to a pain point or an anecdote, tell them exactly what you want.
As a business development professional at a general contractor, your audience will be anyone in the construction-sphere (thus, you can probably guess what the content should be focused on) though obviously inching toward future clients is an idealized, though subconscious goal.
Besides the topics, it’s also important to figure out other characteristics of your audience. There is a granular, hyper-specific type of data that can only be found through trial and error. For example, what types of posts does your audience engage with the most? Do they prefer graphical content? Those endless string of one-liners posts (you know the ones)? What about text-avalanche thought-leadership posts?
There is no catch-all rule for what works and what doesn't and will vary by simply the types of people you're currently connected with on LinkedIn. Look for patterns of what gets traction and continue to build on it. The more construction "influencer" individuals you follow, the more your feed will point you in the direction of the types of posts you should make. Pay attention to what type of content gets the most likes and comments everyday.
Insights such as "when is the best time to post?" can be attained by viewing your analytics within LinkedIn and is again a trial and error situation. You can also look at competitors’ profiles to see how their audience engages with their company. It's helpful to follow business development professionals at competing general contractors that are larger than yours, and around your size, in terms of annualized construction volume (ACV). You can have healthy networking opportunities and draft off of their reach merely by interacting with their posts (we'll get to interaction techniques next time).
Getting to know your audience and their behaviors will help you develop a solid content marketing strategy on LinkedIn. This will allow you to maximize engagements, bringing you one step closer to winning over future clients.
Videos and presentations can be a great way to build trust with your audience and show them you’re an expert in your industry. Through videos, you can educate your audience in an alternative way on topics that are relevant to their pain points.
Videos can be an excellent way to do that because they’re far more engaging than text and pictures, and the novelty and slightly elevated effort level needed in producing them over writing a blurb means the LinkedIn algorithm favors them. Some people may enjoy reading an interesting post, but being able to listen and/or watch something catch everyone else's attention when reading gets stale. This is especially true when your company is trying to illustrate innovative tricks of the trade, trends in the construction industry, latest news, or behind the scenes of your projects or work-life.
There's no need to be overwhelmed by adhering to well-produced, high-budget videos here. You don't need a Marvel budget to drive engagement on LinkedIn video content. They could be as simple as recording yourself on your phone chat about a topic you alternatively could have written out and posting as-is. Transparency is in, and there's no reason to put time and money into producing videos on LinkedIn when you could do a selfie-video several times a week for free and get way more engagement.
To keep your content fresh and engaging, consider posting a variety of content types. Don’t just overload your audience’s eyes with lots of text. But at the same time, don’t overwhelm them with tons of videos and images. Also, don’t bombard your network with a bunch of links that point to your website or other page. Social platforms don’t want audiences to leave their platforms. So, link content often gets buried in the feed, where not many people will see it, resulting in less engagement.
But when you post a variety of content, the algorithms are more likely to be in your favor. Plus, your network will be more likely to trust the valuable insights you bring, which means they’ll check out your link content (when you do occasionally post those).
Time to put your Don Draper tagline thinking cap on. This is where copywriting is an innately powerful magic wand, and Ogilvy on Advertising comes into play despite it being decades old.
When people scroll through social media, they come across lots of content. And chances are, many posts will be ignored until they see something that catches their eye. That’s what you can do with a high-performing headline. To get a sense of what a compelling headline is, head over to some of your competitors' profiles and look at their posts. What kinds of headlines do they use? What sort of language? Which ones do you think are drawing the most attention?
By taking note of the format and which ones perform the best, you’ll be able to see the types of headlines that resonate the most with your audience. You can also use keywords that are known to perform well on the platform. Words like “habits”, “mistakes”, “successful”, and “leader(s)’ get tons of shares and engagements. Again, trial and error. Find what words catch your audience yourself.
LinkedIn isn’t just a platform about finding jobs, workplaces, job offerings, product promotions, and bragging. If you really want your business to stand out, your content should be about more than just promotion. People are more drawn to businesses that aim to connect with them on a personal level. So, you must humanize your brand by being relatable. People interact with people, and that's why LinkedIn engagements are highest between people posting rather than businesses. The businesses that have weaponized their employees as LinkedIn soldiers are the ones that are going to gain success quicker.
You can find success by talking intimately about your personal life (though, you know, not TOO intimately), experiences, opinions, and insights. What gets you out of bed in the morning, what keeps you engaged during the workday, the way your family weekend in Tahoe reminded you why you do it all in the first place. Sometimes your tagged place of employment after your name on LinkedIn is advertisement for your GC enough. This brings the human element to the forefront, and shows potential clients that you’re more than just a person at a company trying to make a name for itself. It reminds them that an actual human being is behind your brand.
Next time we'll get into LinkedIn interactions, the true lifeblood of the platform. Stay tuned.
Seriously, you should sign up to be a construction insider. Everyone will be so jealous of you.