HOW INSTAGRAM CAN GET YOU WORK IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY / by Kimberly Kane

I know you’re probably the typical contractor that thinks social media is evil and will ruin the world, but if you haven’t noticed yet, Instagram has blown up the construction industry. From large brands to small contractors, Instagram has been the major medium for businesses of all sizes.

Attention wins all. If one was to look up #construction or #contractorsofinsta you’ll find over a quarter million tags of brands and companies all around the world posting and sharing their product or service.

Smaller contractors have had the early, quick success which in turn, have become famous and wealthy off promotions and brand deals through the platform.

Instagram has over 600m users posting over one million posts a day with the same in the “stories” product, which offers pictures or videos to be seen for 24hrs. From my experience, stories are proving to be a great tool for interaction and engagement with users.

Even tradesmen like painters, who are highly active, are networking with General Contractors on the platform for bidding and pricing. In the past, we’d have to knock on doors and shake hands or rely on the other man’s word. Even though that still happens today, the access and speed of reaching out through a DM to a contractor (who will see the message comment or like notification and respond) is ten times faster than taking time to physically reach out and/or cold call.

Think about it - when a there’s B to B move on Instagram, the two parties can see the other’s work and automictically get a feel for each other.

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I help run the social accounts for R.L Baxter - a General Contractor based out of Poughkeepsie NY in the Hudson Valley. We’ve used social media for brand awareness, networking and as a relationship building tool with architects, contractors, designers and subcontractors.

Through the last 10 months, liking, tagging, posting and commenting on architects, engineers, subcontractor’s posts and profiles, we’ve been able to actually land work. This is how we did it.

I started by researching the hashtag #architectny where I came across an architect’s account based out of Accord, NY.  After looking through their profile, these were the steps I took:

1. Followed the account

2. Liked and commented on photos on their page saying, “love your work, would love to connect”

3. Followed-up with a brief DM to their profile

Just 20 minutes later I received the same love back from the owner of the architecture firm looking to set up a time to chat.  Our Director of Business Development and I spoke with her on the phone for a half hour, from this meeting we set up a time to meet in person at one of our restaurants we’ve developed and built.  After our physical meeting, we were sent an RFP for a Bed and Breakfast in Woodstock NY (by the way if you haven’t been there, your missing out). We bid the job, won the job, and have mobilized to break ground come spring 2018.

This approach works, its takes time but that’s the cost of doing business and sales. But this real-life example is proof that Instagram and other social platforms can be a great tool not only for brand awareness, but an actual lead generation tool for your construction business.