Fraley Construction Marketing has committed to Instagram and set up an active presence. The million-dollar question: does it make sense for your heavy construction company to follow suit?
No Need to be on Every Platform
The decision to join a new social media platform should never be taken lightly because it requires time, money, and commitment. For a small outfit like Fraley, this point is especially salient. Regardless of whether you handle social media in house or outsource it, it will cost you.
Your company doesn’t need to be on every social media platform. It’s better to go where your target market is and master a handful of platforms rather than diluting your efforts by trying to be everywhere. Click To TweetYour company doesn’t need to be on every social media platform. It’s better to go where your target market is and master a handful of platforms rather than diluting your efforts by trying to be everywhere.
This is a hot button issue. When I see an equipment dealer on Pinterest, for example, I suspect that a vendor put its bottom line before the needs of the customer. The other possibility is that the vendor has no comprehension of what works for the heavy construction market and believes contractors are on Pinterest shopping for bulldozers.
Is the Heavy Construction Industry on Instagram?
We focus strictly on the heavy construction market so the issue of whether the industry was on Instagram was first and foremost in the decision. Managing a newer Instagram account for Equipment Corporation of America allowed me to peek under the hood so to speak. The conclusion was that nearly all of the large players and forward-thinking smaller companies in the industry are there, and more are coming.
You will notice that Instagram has a lot of personal users that don’t necessarily identify their companies. This makes it challenging to figure out whether these individuals are relevant to your cause. The solution, although tedious, is to check out each profile.
Instagram: Social Media’s Rising Star
Understand that Instagram has been eating Facebook’s lunch to some extent. This is why Facebook paid $1 billion for Instagram in 2012. Social media is becoming more image-driven, especially for younger generations. It’s also possible that we’re becoming numb to some of the vitriol on platforms like Twitter and Facebook and opting for the serenity of pictures instead of the personal agendas that can be included in copy.
The Instagram community has grown from 90 million monthly active users in January 2013 to 1 billion monthly active users as of June 2018, according to Statista. That makes it larger than Twitter (326 million users) and several other platforms. These figures suggest that Instagram is becoming too big to ignore.
Eye Candy on Heavy Construction Jobsites
Instagram is dominated by large images. You can still include lengthy descriptions but it’s not as common as it is on platforms like LinkedIn, which is refreshing for companies that lack the time, writing skill, or creativity to create interesting copy.
Getting results on Instagram is largely driven by posting high-quality photography and social graphics. Click To TweetGetting results on Instagram is largely driven by posting high-quality photography and social graphics. Heavy construction jobsites with massive machines, flying dirt, and falling slabs of concrete and rebar are ripe with opportunity. It’s also a place to show off the more personal side of your company so make sure to highlight the team if you join.
Heavy equipment and miscellaneous jobsite photos have a large presence on Instagram. Creative shots also score extra brownie points. There are companies, for example, that post various closeups of the machinery components they manufacture.
Use Multiple Hashtags to Find Your Audience
One of the most interesting opportunities on Instagram is the use of hashtags. Let’s clarify the term for the old school readers. This is a hashtag: #. One of the hashtags Fraley uses most often is #constructionmarketing.
Hashtags are simply a way of organizing content on social media, allowing you to be found. Click To Tweet Hashtags are simply a way of organizing content on social media, allowing you to be found.Let’s say a user is interesting in tower cranes. He or she can enter #towercrane into the search engine on Instagram and see every post related to that topic.
Each social media platform has its own best practices for how many hashtags to use. Generally speaking, more than two would be frowned upon on Twitter or LinkedIn. The beauty of Instagram is that you can enter several hashtags, allowing you to find and use several variations, which improves your odds of being discovered and followed by the right users.
Dig Deeper Before Taking Action
A sizeable cross-section of the heavy construction market is on Instagram and the evidence suggests new users will continue to trickle in, but that doesn’t mean you should throw caution to the wind and set up a presence. Maintaining an active presence on social media is an investment of marketing dollars and should be evaluated carefully.
Visit the platform and search for a sampling of customers and prospects. Also, check out the hashtags that make sense for your business to get a feel for the content being posted. You might even consider setting up a personal profile and watching the activity before creating a company presence.
If the results are convincing and you decide to join Instagram, give us a follow.
Need an Instagram presence set up or fully managed? Click here to find out how we can help.