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Social media use in the construction industry

Social media use in the construction industry

Social media enables professionals to develop new business relationships and enhance existing ones, increase brand awareness and keep up to date with the latest industry news, among other benefits. When managed effectively, this can open up new opportunities for companies, and for building product manufacturers - help products get specified.

It can be argued that the construction industry has been one of the slower industries to become active social media users and benefit from the opportunities these platforms present. However, a recent report on main contractors’ use of social media by Pauley Creative states that ‘70% of construction companies are starting to engage with followers compared to 55% in 2014’ indicating that there has been a promising growth in social media usage within the construction industry.

Research from Competitive Advantage’s Construction Media Index (CMI) also sees a growth in social media use. LinkedIn states that of the 15 million members in the UK there are now over 370,000 engineers using the platform, with construction the second most represented industry. The CMI research confirms the popularity of LinkedIn across the industry, but finds other social media channels are also widely used for work. There is recognition among respondents that each has a different purpose such as networking, staying informed or sharing information. The key is discovering which platform works best for each marketing function, enabling effective engagement.

There has also been a shift in how people access digital information. The latest research from OFCOM says that the Smartphone has overtaken the laptop as the most important device for connecting to the internet. For construction, the Desk PC and Laptop remains the most popular devices for accessing the internet for work, with almost 3 times as many people using them as Smartphones or Tablets. However, the most popular device to access social media networks is still the Smartphone, with the most popular time of day being between 12.00 and 2.00pm.

It is clear that social media presents an additional opportunity for product manufacturers’ marketing teams to build new relationships and enhance existing ones. But for those new to social media, it can be confusing to know where to start - which channels should be utilised and how?

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