Social media and the nature of construction marketing influence

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social media book
My social media e-book. I

Social media has undoubtedly changed the rules of the game for architectural, engineering and construction marketing. But how? The answer — and it is difficult — is individual, because social media users set their own course, rather than following the paths decided by others (even the social media organizations can’t really control this dynamic — see for example this story about Facebook’s ill-fated venture into the mobile phone space.)

Take a few minutes to review your Facebook or Google Plus timeline or circles. Outside of paid ads (which you generally quickly discount for relevance), you’ll notice that your groupings are self-defined.  My story won’t be the same as yours, but I’ve noticed some interesting things, which seem to match in part this infographic, describing various types of influencers.

However, (as a “journalist” — see the infographic above, gleaned from this Socialmediatoday.com posting) I’ll go outside the bounds a bit and describe a bit the people who influence me:

Family – first and second degree relatives (brother, nieces, nephews, son)

Only a few of my generation (50+) are using social media intensively within my family, but plenty of nieces and nephews including their in-laws are. Lots of family images, updates and the like. Not terribly influential from a construction marketing perspective, of course, with one exception: One of my nephews (and his wife) have rather senior responsibilities at Microsoft in Redmond, WA. So I watch what they say for an inside peek into the their world.

Concrete slip-forming experts

Long story here, but this group results from a early reader of my Construction Marketing Ideas book, who led me to investigate and research a micro-world (and closed to the public) Facebook Gomaco slip-forming social media group.  One of the leaders, based in Sudbury, has built (largely through Facebook) a vibrant international consulting business, and when he isn’t advertising for people to work as labourers and technicians on the Gomaco machinery, he is telling about his visits to places like Australia, Iran and Bosnia. Just looking into these out-0f-range places makes his postings interesting.

The retail marketing guru

A former neighbour left for the West Coast and a job as a marketing director at a major  retailer. He uses Facebook to post relevant links and references (directly relevant to my marketing interests.)

The Tulsa genius  (and his rather bright network of fellow geniuses)

This is probably my most unusual source of social media insights. I can peek into the world of extremely intelligent people and their interests, while learning about restaurants in the Oklahoma city. Sometimes this stuff is way beyond me (such as a tantalizing YouTube video — in Dutch — or some of the more arcane scientific discovery postings. I’ve been invited to a closed group of about 700 people whose IQs are somewhere in the stratosphere. Wild, eh.

You probably have your own social media collection. The argument, rightfully, is that some people influence much more powerfully than others — and the biggest influencers either generate really interesting and relevant content for their audience, or (more important for marketers) pick and choose relevant messages to share where they think the information may be most useful. If you can get in their good books, you can of course extend your reach, quite effectively.

But how do you influence the influencers? I’ll share some thoughts in tomorrow’s posting. You can also read my book about social media marketing.

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