In his latest blog post, Overcoming fear of the social media unknown, Paul Wilkinson quotes research about organisations’ use of social media for marketing purposes which found that:
68% of respondents organisations are using social media in their marketing mainly through social networks like Facebook or Twitter (only 10% of these respondents – IT, marketing and business leaders from public and private sector organisations – used their own branded social networks or Web 2.0 platforms).
Reading this sentence (and the rest of the post), it struck me that organisations are missing a trick if they think that Facebook and Twitter are effective ways to market themselves – particularly in the harsh commercial world of the construction industry. And own-branded social networks are unlikely to succeed due to the very fragmented nature of our industry.
As we have promoted tCn to architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) businesses – and to organisations like the 9,500-strong Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT), which now has a prominent presence on The Construction Network – we have encountered several that have tried to block employees from using social networks like Facebook on the grounds that they are, well, too ‘social’. We set up tCn to try to overcome this objection, creating an independent network that is more about business, and also focused on the needs of people in the AEC and property-related sectors.
We hope companies will identify tCn as a ‘safe’ way for their employees to engage with their peers online. We also wanted to create an online environment that would be attractive as a business-to-business (B2B) marketing tool – helping businesses wishing to promote themselves to other businesses in the AEC sector, and we already have several organisations taking up the opportunity to advertise on tCn.