In today’s world it’s a given that you’ll need to be on social media. But with so many social sites to choose from, it can be incredibly overwhelming to figure out which ones are worth your while.
You already know you want to find an audience of architects, engineers, contractors and designers, but a social networking strategy for building product manufacturers (BPMs) should start with setting goals for what you hope to accomplish. What’s your objective? It’s important when prioritizing different online opportunities.
“Unfortunately, not all of traffic-building advice will be effective for your building materials manufacturing business,” says Matt Lee, founder of Lead Generation Experts, a full-service Digital Marketing company for building material manufacturers.
If you’re looking for a one-size-fits-all recommendation on the “best” social networking sites for BPM’s, this blog may disappoint you, but here a few key sites that are good for any BPM to explore as options.
With more than more than 1.9 billion daily active users worldwide, Facebook is where the majority of everyone’s audience is. That’s why it’s bound to get mentioned when discussing social media platforms.
While it’s more and more difficult for businesses to get organic traffic from Facebook, the company is constantly refining and improving its advertising options for businesses. Facebook advertising campaigns come in all shapes and sizes and can be adapted to fit any budget — no matter how small. In addition to the name change, there are also big changes coming to the platform.
Facebook explained in a blog post announcing their name change in September, “One of the main takeaways is that the metaverse is coming within the next 10 years, not immediately, and it will provide an incredible opportunity for businesses big and small. We are approaching the shift to the metaverse with the same excitement as the pivot from desktop to mobile. The mobile internet has shown that when we level the playing field, we see increased economic opportunity for everyone.”
Facebook ads are sure to be integral to the new metaverse, and as Lee explains, should be an essential paid traffic source for BPMs. “Facebook Advertising (another paid traffic source) is interest-based – meaning that users are targeted based on their specific interests,” he says.
“You can set certain parameters on your Facebooks ads to target users of a particular demographic (age, location, gender, and the like) and what their interests are. For example, if a user is interested in home makeover shows, DIY projects, and interior design, they may be interested in your content as well.”
LinkedIn has recently grown beyond the traditional online resume to include a huge variety of professional tools for businesses and individuals including company pages and sales tools for prospecting.
There’s also an opportunity to advertise through ads or sponsored content.
According to Lee, LinkedIn is a premiere B2B networking site for BPMs of all shapes and sizes.
“As a building material manufacturer, you’re not always targeting the average homeowner. You may be wanting to reach professionals in your industry – such as contractors, architects, builders, and designers. LinkedIn allows you to do just that.”
He continues, “No one likes to be spammed with messages and blog posts – especially industry thought leaders and professionals. That’s why simply cold pitching people on LinkedIn isn’t an effective approach. You will want to extend connection requests to users that are your target demographic. Most people will include some indication of this in their profile. Then, make an authentic introduction and ask them if they would like to connect.”
Successful BPM’s are already aware of the power of video content. YouTube is currently the most popular social media platform in the US with its 1.9 billion logged in monthly users. It’s also the second largest search engine and another great for platform for knowing how your brand is perceived and staying in touch with customers.
“Video content allows you to turn what would otherwise be “boring” content into interesting, share-worthy videos,” Lee says.
“How-tos, tutorials, expert interviews, product reviews, and promotional videos are all types of videos that building material manufacturers can create and share on YouTube.”
It also gives you a way to communicate with your clients. People write comments for you, and you have an opportunity to respond — the part of social networking that’s so important.
Pinterest is a “visual discovery engine” for finding ideas like construction, style and building inspiration. The site is about 12 years old with more than 400 million monthly active users.
“Pinterest isn’t just for mommy bloggers and arts-and-crafters. It is actually an extremely powerful (and underutilized) search engine that can drive traffic to a variety of industries,” says Lee.
“In fact, content relating to building materials, interior design, construction, and remodeling is very popular on this platform. Pinterest utilizes keywords in order to direct users to content as well. So, not only can you master the art of Pinterest SEO, but you can attract Google traffic to your Pinterest posts as well.”
It’s also a great platform for BPMs selling both commercial and residential products. Lee says, “Pinterest is perfect for businesses that sell to homeowners that are looking for design inspiration, tutorials, and interesting products. A highly visual platform, posts about siding, interior design, acoustic panels, reclaimed wood, and other aesthetic components perform particularly well.”
Niche interest sites
Beyond the major players, there are a few niche social opportunities that would be a great fit for you and your business, and there’s plenty more out there that you might not even think of. You might even consider a platform like Reddit or Quora, if it’s where you can have a presence and provide expert advice or suggest products — and boost brand awareness for your building materials.
“Don’t forget about other online communities like Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups, and Forums. You can find groups related to construction, homeownership, interior design, landscaping, and nearly any other category in the building materials niche,” says Lee.
“These communities are often overlooked, but you need to make sure that you follow the rules and do it right. This strategy works best if you take the time to get to know the community and provide consistent value, without spammy self-promotion.”