by Bonnie Chomica
Is social media essential for your business? It depends. It depends on your goals, what you’re willing to invest in, and where your ideal clients hang out. Chances are you should be using some form of social media, even if you don’t think it’s for your particular industry.
If companies aren’t being social in your industry, that’s all the more reason to delve in and stand out from the competition. Be different.
Here’s a story of how one company made a difference, with social media. You’ll see that it doesn’t have to be complicated.
MAKING A CONCRETE SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY
You may not think concrete is very sexy, but if it’s your business, you have to make it look appealing. A.J. Hustins, owner at Nanaimo Precast, has done just that. His company manufactures and delivers structural precast concrete products for commercial, and large highway and bridge projects. Not a business you would initially think of to be using social media, but A.J. took the initiative to make his company look different.
Facebook for Brand Awareness
Starting with a Facebook Page, A.J.’s posts have mostly been photos of the projects they were working on in the shop, or in the field. This approach was successful on four fronts.
- It showcased the type of things the company builds, working as an educational component (always great for social)
- With mentions of their client jobs which the photo relates to, it built credibility that they have been hired for large, or important projects
- It highlighted the employees on these projects, bringing a friendly, human element, and not just the cold concrete product part
- These posts received decent engagement (likes, comments). Employees are proud of the work they do, and people usually ‘Like’ a post when they see someone they know
All these elements created great brand awareness for Nanaimo Precast, showing their attention to quality work, and appreciation for their employees. Presenting this way, through social media, showcases the positive values of the company, and why they’d be excellent to work with.
Staff Recruitment Through Facebook
Previously, Nanaimo Precast used Craigslist and Kijiji to advertise their job openings. Once the Nanaimo Precast Facebook Page was getting some traction, A.J. posted a job opening for carpenters, spent only $150 for a Facebook Ad targeted to a specific age and location. He received 6000 views of the ad in just a couple of days, and conducted 4-5 excellent interviews. Much better results than his previous approach – more responses, and better qualified candidates.
So for A.J., creating brand awareness, and attracting quality employees, was a direct result of consistent and thought-out Facebook activities.
Linkedin Is Your Network. Use It.
As a company providing precast products all over B.C., A.J. doesn’t have time to meet the right people face to face, so he introduces himself through Linkedin. He is discerning with who he connects with, though. They need to be industry-specific, or related to his business or community interests.
Building Relationships: The Massey Tunnel mega-project in Vancouver had a bid meeting, where interested suppliers gathered. A.J. had already met several of the people who attended on Linkedin. So when he met them in person, he recognized them from their photo, and had an easier start to further build their relationship.
Building Credibility: Being active on Linkedin is similar to Facebook, but has a different result. A.J. shares interesting articles, or comments on others’ posts, which shows that he is interested and knowledgeable in the topics he shares. It gives him visibility in front of those who follow him, and those interested in the topics he shares. By also publishing his own articles on industry, and personal development, shows his qualities as a business leader. These elements combined build A.J.’s credibility and authority, attracting the right people who want to work with him and his company, or further build a mutually beneficial relationship.
YOUR UNIQUE SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY
What Nanaimo Precast did is neither unique nor special in the grand scheme of things, but it is different than their competitors. They have recently increased the frequency of their blog posts, which will continue to make them stand out from other precast companies who only post on social media once a month, if at all. A.J. has put valuable time and effort into learning the Facebook and Linkedin platforms, and has delivered value and built relationships to create significant brand awareness.
If you’re going to use social media of any kind, you can’t just dabble in it, you need to become a student of the platform you’ve chosen, and make it work for you. Posting once a week to Facebook is not going to gain you an audience, or entice people to rush to your website, because they’ll never see your posts.
The other option is to outsource some or all of it if you don’t want to be that student. I’d be thrilled to help you discover how social media can help your business, or how you can improve what you’re already doing. Contact me for a complimentary 30-minute consultation, and we’ll set up a time for a phone or Skype call.
PHOTO CREDIT: Nanaimo Precast