Kirstie Colledge was among the earliest people to register with tCn – The Construction Network – and, as well as being managing director of construction PR consultancy Simply Marcomms (now rebranding as SMPR), is also a committee member of CIMCIG, the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s construction industry group – which recently set up a community on tCn (I’ve had some good chats with her CIMCIG colleague Ross Sturley).
Kirstie has just written an article for Building magazine: Surviving social media (registration may be required) in which she mentions tCn as one of the growing number of social networks shaping how business is being done in construction. She goes on to talk about how you manage your involvement with social media, and then stresses that:
Construction industry business development and marketing functions should already have plans in place for social media, as an integrated part of the modern marketing mix.
They should have identified their target audience, set clear objectives, be working to a social media plan using specific tactics to share your firm’s social media content through the various social media platforms.
I am talking almost daily to construction businesses which are waking up to the idea of social media. However, some are worried that they don’t have sufficient knowledge about the different platforms to make an informed choice on the right tactics – or enough time to get up to speed.
As a result, they have no strategy to integrate social media into their PR, marketing and sales processes or into other aspects of their business like customer service, supply chain management or community engagement. They are also anxious that they may be losing out to competitors which have already begun to develop a social media footprint.
As a result, we have identified opportunities for social media practitioners to help new tCn partners make informed decisions about how best to engage with both mainstream platforms like LinkedIn or Twitter as well as industry-specific networks. Kirstie, for example, is organising online webinars on social media for construction businesses; we have also recommended consultant Paul Wilkinson to organisations wanting to understand how Web 2.0 might augment their existing communication channels. Experts like Kirstie and Paul can help businesses fast-track their way into social media, adding the new tools – and hopefully tCn! – to their marketing mix.