Facebook Versus LinkedIn- Which Social Networking Site Is Better For Your Construction Business?

Facebook Versus LinkedIn-  Which Social Networking Site Is Better For Your Construction Business?

For some people reading this, social networking may be a foreign concept, especially in the construction industry. How could blogging, tweeting, or posting possibly help a construction business? Believe it or not, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Youtube and all of the other social networking and sharing sites, can be a HUGE marketing opportunity for your business- regardless of your specialty or expertise. Some companies try to utilize all of them, without focusing on the ones that will give them the best return for the time and money. The major social networking sites offer a lot of leverage simply because they are popular and people trust them. Think about your own decisions. Are you more likely to trust a company that your friends or a family member recommend or “like”, or are you more likely to trust a company that posts an ad in a magazine? The power of the social networks is grossly under utilized in the construction industry.

Even within the major social networks there is a lot of debate as to which ones are most appropriate for promoting a business. Facebook and LinkedIn compete with each other most directly (Twitter is a microblogging platform that offers different sets of services than most other social networking sites). There are two schools of thought as to whether Facebook or LinkedIn is most appropriate for growing a business.
Facebook unquestionably has more traffic than any other social networking site. Many people use this fact in and of itself to justify prioritizing developing their Facebook presence. Others feel that LinkedIn is more professional and can’t see why they should invest their time and energy in a social networking site that is filled with college students misspending their youth.

Ultimately, your company culture and mission is the key factor in this decision. LinkedIn’s attempts to maintain its professionalism has kept it from developing applications to provide new services for its clients. So if you are a commercial remodeling company, odds are you will want to target LinkedIn to generate more business contacts and network within corporations. Facebook has an advantage in helping users network with each other with tools such as their “Friend Finder” which can provide suggestions on people to network with who have similar backgrounds and interests. In my own business, I use Facebook to showcase our work and display our kitchen cabinets. We deal with a mix of contractors/builders and homeowners, so for us to have satisfied customers “like” and “share” information about our company with their friends and family is a huge form of marketing. We also get customers to leave testimonials and social proof that we are reputable company. Facebook also offers a unique application that can be integrated into your main website, which will allow people to “like” your website, and share it on their facebook page. More social proof that other people trust your company.

The personal social networking aspect of Facebook can be a double-edged sword. People can share photos of their friends and family and discuss other interests. This helps businesses reach people on a personal level, which can be a great way to build trust or find common ground. On the other hand, it can also take away from the professional feel that they are typically going for when they use the site if they start posting their personal views or thoughts (you would be amazed at what people will put on there!).

The real bottom line from using social networks is the conversions they provide, which is mostly dependent on the demographics that you are going after. If your particular business offers a service that is primarily social or consumer oriented in nature, Facebook is hands down your best option. If you are providing a business-to-business service, LinkedIn may offer more of what you are looking for. You may not be able to extend your message to as many people with LinkedIn, but you may still have a larger number of target customers within your network. You also won’t have to spend hours sorting through the various groups and events that are completely unrelated to your business.

There is no best option when it comes to using social networking sites. Many businesses have entire social media strategies listed in their business plans, so the decision should not be made lightly. How you go about using social networking depends on your own company’s mission, not those of others in the industry. Before you can decide which site you are going to focus your efforts on, you must make sure that you take the time to carefully understand where you are going with your business and what company you would like to keep. Regardless of which strategy you decide to implement, if you are not using social media at all, then you are missing out on a huge marketing opportunity for your business.

For more strategies and tips on using social media in your business, check out our social media page.

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