Just before the Christmas holidays, Neil Brown’s Construction Marketing Association distributed a blog describing BuildBoom as a new social media service for the construction industry.
James Faulkner, president of SiteMAX Systems Inc. (parent company of BuildBoom), understands that relationships are everything. He discovered how quickly connections between individuals fade once a project is complete. His partner, Doug Scott of Wales McLelland Construction, has been on the forefront of transparency and accountability with his company throughout this venture.
Millennials are replacing older generations in the industry, with social media being their primary method for communicating and sharing information.
To date, they have been constrained to using general social channels that have no particular content focus. Construction professionals are passionate and proud of their work, yet they are lacking a space to share accomplishments amongst their own industry.
Posting construction related content onto mainstream social networks is irrelevant to a large percentage of the audience. This realization is what triggered the creation of BuildBoom.
A virtual place where the construction community can communicate in an environment free from the distractions of unrelated content.
BuildBoom allows its users to connect in many ways. Each member has a public profile that showcases a history of employers, as well as current and past projects. This enables people and companies to have a public record of their project accomplishments. BuildBoom users can also create company pages, pin their projects on a map, list their capabilities and share their favorite brands.
The value for each user is different depending on their role in the industry. General contractors, for example, can post bulletins and safety information that will reach the attention of field workers.
Similarly, field workers can post progress images and other related content that their superintendents and project managers can view. By connecting on BuildBoom, users can build and maintain long-lasting relationships with co-workers even after a project is complete.
BuildBoom is here to modernize communication in the construction industry.
It is early going. Social media relies on the network effect to be viable. Until enough people with the relevant interests and connections participate, you can feel like you are roaming around in an empty room. As well, there is a risk that as the site gains traction, spammers and other useless (even harmful) elements will attempt to attach to the platform.
On the other hand, if you market products or services to the construction industry, an early “stake out” here may be valuable to give you first mover advantage if the site/network catches on. You have a trade-off to consider in your involvement, of course. If you do it right, you’ll engage with high quality content in what may seem like an empty space. If you urge friends, colleagues, and clients to the site, you are doing BuildBoom’s promotional work for the network’s interests more than your own. And if you half-do things (like a quick look through and set up) you’ll probably find you have just another orphaned loose end?
Conclusion: Probably you should work on this stuff if you are an active social media co-ordinator/contributor, since your work will be incremental. If your business has a diversity of potential clients within the construction community, the early adaptor advantage may outweigh the time waste risk. Otherwise, right now, I think participation here should be seen as strictly optional.