Social media and marketing for architectural, engineering and construction companies: What you really need to know to achieve profitable results has been published, and you can purchase it through a diversity of online retailers including Amazon.com, the Apple IStore, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and others.(Ironically, the one place you can’t purchase the book is directly — the challenge is that several e-book formats have different publishing standards. We use a wholesaler, smashwords.com, to co-ordinate the distribution.)
I presented the new book’s concepts to the Greater Ottawa Home Builders Association (GOHBA) renovators’ council. The advice: Be cautious, prudent and don’t rush into spending huge sums of money in building your social media presence because extensive research has not indicated an immediate and measurable pay-back. However, despite that rather less-than-enthusiastic endorsement, the evidence I’ve seen so far suggests social media can be really useful in maintaining and enhancing client relationships and you can learn much about potential new clients — allowing you to modify your sales approach and achieve quicker rapport.
At the meeting, some renovators asked how they should manage and find time for social media. I suggested that contractors with enough staff should invite their office staff to spend some time at social media, answering and communicating with clients and potential customers one-on-one in real time. Done right, this will allow some employees not traditionally associated with sales and marketing to contribute useful skills without significantly increasing business overhead.
After the meeting one of the region’s largest contractors invited me to provide some direct consulting. This business has an office staff of several dozen employees. We agreed that not every employee is suitable to be a social media ambassador, but the company’s managers could select those with the right qualities and interests, and these could help out part-time in the media monitoring and communication. Notably, this contractor, which spends tends of thousands of dollars each month on marketing and measures everything carefully, said he hasn’t been able to track any business from social media yet.