Daniel Maddocks recently posted an article about how Tarmac is using social media in construction, and their presence online is certainly impressive. Unlike most construction companies they have RSS feed buttons on their websites, a blog, twitter account, facebook fanpage and YouTube channel. Admirable.
Daniel is currently studying Construction Project Management at the University of Salford and is taking a keen interest in how construction companies are using social media, and of course I think this should be encouraged. He asks if social media will come standard practice in the construction industry.
I’ve taken a look at Tarmac again thanks to Dan’s article and have a couple of things to add to his, which I hope might provoke debate. I thought I’d post my comments up here too, as they may be useful to discuss with the audience here. But you’re also very welcome of course, to go over to his site and add your 10p.
Tarmac have a blog with 17 posts so far.
But no comments on any of the posts. Wonder why?
Tarmac have a facebook fanpage with 365 ‘likes’.
But looking down their wall people aren’t commenting on the posts. Some likes – wonder who is liking and why they don’t post a comment.
Tarmac have a twitter account but they haven’t replied to anyone in at least the last 40 tweets. Why is that? Is anyone talking to them?
Check twitter search for @tarmacltd and you’ll probably see no-one is.
Does this matter? I think it does.
Social media isn’t just about sharing stuff though this is important. It is also about other things.
Social Media requires Listening. You need to listen to your target (usually your customers) and find out where they are, what they are talking about, and whether they are talking about you, or things you know about and can help with.
Social Media is interactive. You need to reach out to your audience and help them with their problems. You need to get to know them and provide useful information. You need to find what they care about and discuss it with them. You need to foster debate.
A blog without discussion is just a website which is easier to update. It might improve their SEO but it won’t lead people to recommend them. Recommendations come through human interaction, and this is what Tarmac is not facilitating, at least, not on their blog, twitter or facebook pages.
If construction adopt social media like Tarmac have, I think in a few years it will all have come to nothing because it won’t get any significant results. Indeed, if construction companies think this is what social media is, then they’ll probably be getting out of it pretty soon, unfortunately for them.
Social media is a conversation, not a monologue.
Do you agree?