Research shows that almost 97% of construction industry professionals now use social media to market their projects, and LinkedIn is by far the most popular platform, with 1,080,000 UK Construction and Property members (Jan 2016).

 “Over these past 3 years there has been a real shift within construction organisations, from generally not wanting to engage with social media, to some companies now fully embracing what it can offer in terms of engaging with clients, people and communities.”

Martin Brown, The Guardian Professional Network

But having a coordinated and effective digital marketing strategy is paramount, especially when you consider the massive opportunities social media offers to the sector.

Increased Collaboration

The key to successful collaboration is sharing information across organisations. In this way it can address the challenges presented, for example, by BIM (Building Information Modelling), a project driven by government, which aims to collaboratively generate and manage digital representations of buildings prior to construction. Social media facilitates collaboration through supply chains to prevent BIM models (and other collaborative construction ventures) failing at an early stage. Live presentations, sharing of knowledge and best practice case studies and promotion of events are just some of the ways in which social media can enhance the collaboration process.

Faster Response to Sustainability Initiatives

In order to respond to sustainability issues, construction companies need to stay up-to-date with the latest developments, government initiatives, announcements, case studies and news items. Social media networks communicate this information rapidly, allowing companies to not only keep abreast of developments but also to make suggestions or to ask any questions they might have.

 “There is probably no better, and certainly no more accessible, tool for keeping abreast with sustainability thinking, development, papers, case studies and failures than twitter.”

Martin Brown, The Guardian Professional Network

Access to Skills 

The construction industry is facing a skills shortage, which are forecast to cause crippling delays and spiralling costs for housebuilders.

“As the market continues to pick up, the biggest challenge for construction is finding enough skilled workers to meet demand. All of us – that’s the industry and government – need to do better to attract new people into the profession otherwise we’re heading for an acute skills shortage as projects come down the pipeline.”

Mark Reynolds, CEO of Mace, talking to Building Magazine in January 2015

According to Rics UK Construction Market Survey, bricklayers and quantity surveyors are hardest to find and 61% of construction firms have reported a sharp rise in wage costs.

Social media is a cost-effective and highly-targeted recruitment tool, helping construction companies and housebuilders find the right people with the right skills to fill these gaps. A well-targeted advert on Facebook, for example, will save time and money in the search for the right candidates.

Improved Communication

According to Martin Brown, an improvement consultant and advocate for the built environment at Fairsnape, the majority of construction problems are related to communication. Withheld information, and information that is not shared, updated or communicated to the right people at the right time, can lead to communication failure, which can jeopardise projects. Social media plays a key role in improving these issues, providing a platform where companies and individuals can access all the information they need.

The world of digital marketing is evolving rapidly. Digital media expert, Andy Harrison, is holding a FREE webinar to help you grow your profit with digital media. Places are limited, so for more information and to book, please click here. You will gain an understanding of how digital media will move your business to the next level and learn 7 little-known digital media tools to boost your lead generation process.