Social Media In The Construction Industry

This is the latest and probably largest report of its kind to be carried out in the UK.

Sales And Internet Marketing partnered with The Building Centre and asked its members to take part in a social media survey.

The aim was to find out who currently uses it, what for and what if there’s a plan use social media more heavily in the future.

1. What is your company’s main line of work?

Architect:  26.7%

Contractor:   8.7%

Manufacturer:  31.1%

Surveyor:  6.8%

Other:  26.7%

 2. Where is your company based?

UK:  91.9%

USA:  0.6%

Other:  7.5%

 3. Do you trade predominantly…

Business to business:  64.6%

Business to consumer:  35.4%

 4. Do you currently use Social Media on behalf of your company?

Yes:  66.5%

No:  33.5%

5. What is the main reason you do not use social media?

Lack of knowledge:  48%

Lack of resources:  12.0%

Can’t see the point:  28.0%

Other:  24.0%

6. When do you plan to start using social media on behalf of your company?

Within 6 months:  26.0%

6 months to a year:  24.0%

Longer:  28.0%

Never:  22.0%

 7. What social media platforms do you use?

Twitter:  80.8%

Facebook:  62.6%

LinkedIn:  77.8%

Blogs:  30.3%

YouTube:  38.4%

Google+:  11.1%

Pinterest:  9.1%

Other:  6.1%

8. How do you plan to use the following platforms in the next year?

Same More Less Won’t Use At All
Twitter 21.7% 71.7% 0.0% 6.5%
Facebook 26.4% 54.9% 0.0% 18.7%
LinkedIn 22.0% 73.6% 0.0% 4.4%
Blogging 13.6% 60.5% 0.0% 25.9%
YouTube 16.7 65.4% 0.0% 17.9%
Google+ 11.6% 50.7% 1.4% 36.2%
Pinterest 13.3% 35.3% 0.0% 51.5%

 

 9. How long have you been using social media?

Less than 6 months:  23.2%

6 months to a year:  26.3%

1 – 2 years:  39.4%

2 – 3 years:  8.1%

Longer: 3.0%

10. What do you use social media for?

Tell people about products and services: 79.8%

To engage with customers:  76.8%

Customer service support:  24.2%

Research:  25.3%

Brand awareness:  68.7%

Build partnerships:  32.3%

Other:  7.1%

11. When you started your social media marketing did you have a strategy?

Yes:  36.4%

No:  63.6%

 12. Who is responsible for your social media campaigns?

In-house:  97%

Outsourced:  3.0%

 13. If in-house did they receive any social media training?

Yes:  34.5%

No:  65.5%

 14. How much time do you spend on social media per week?

Less than 1 hour:  24.2%

1 – 5 hours:  59.3%

6 – 10 hours:  12.1%

11 – 15 hours:  2.2%

More:  2.2%

 15. Is social media an important part of your marketing mix?

Yes:  72.5%

No: 27.5%

 16. What social media platforms would you like to learn more about?

Twitter:  49.5%

Facebook:  35.2%

LinkedIn:  50.5%

Blogs:  45.1%

YouTube: 31.9%

Google+:  53.8

Pinterest: 36.3%

Social bookmarking:  39.6

Geo-location – 28.6%

Other – 3.3%

17. How many people in your company?

Just me:  9.9%

2 – 10:  20.9%

11 – 50: 31.9%

51 – 250: 27.5%

251 – 500:  6.6%

500 – 1000:  1.1%

1000 – 5000:  1.1%

5001 – 10000 – 0%

More than 10000: 1.1%

18. What’s your position in the company?

Marketing: 50.5%

HR:  1.1%

Senior decision maker:  5.5%

MD:  7.7%

CEO:  2.2%

Owner: 11.0%

IT:  3.4%

Self employed: 4.4%

Other:  14.3%

 19. Are you…

Male:  49.5%

Female:  50.5%

 20. How old are you?

20 – 29 yrs: 27.5%

30 – 39 yrs: 23.1%

40 – 49 yrs: 19.8%

50 – 59 yrs: 19.8%

60 – 69 yrs:  9.9%

70+ yrs: 0

Summary:

These results were collated from the responses of 167 people, 93% of whom are UK based and mostly from within the construction industry sector.

65% are Business to Business companies 35% trading to the consumer.

The amount of companies using social media provides a similar breakdown  – 67% currently use it and 33% don’t. We cannot tell from these figures how many are B2B and how many are B2C.

Almost 50% said the main reason for not using social media is due to lack of knowledge. 28% said they couldn’t see the point, though arguably this could also tie in to lack of knowledge. Lack of resources was the reason given for 12% not using it.

Those not using social media were asked when they planned to start and the results were similar, they answered: within 6 months, 6 months to a year, longer and never.

Twitter is the most preferred platform, closely followed by LinkedIn, then Facebook.

One of the most interesting results comes from people already using social media – the figures show that everyone plans to use it more intensely. This suggests that those using it find it beneficial.

97% of respondents started using social media two years ago or less, this might explain why there’s a significant wish to use it more in 2013.

Telling people about their products and services (80%), was the main reason given for using social media, closely followed by wanting to engage with customers, building brand awareness came third.

We know that using Twitter and Facebook etc., to sell needs to be approached carefully – 78% of people don’t trust marketers, so it’s important to build rapport, demonstrate expertise and build trust before going for a sales pitch.

When asked if a strategy was in place before starting with social media 64% said no. Without having clear objectives it’s difficult to measure what works, engage with a target market or define success. Social media is often seen as being free, but the resources aren’t, at best it can be a waste of money – at worse a business can be ruined.

97% said social media was managed in-house, but only 35% doing it had received any training. Yet 73% went on to say social media is an important part of their marketing mix.

There was a fairly even spread over the platforms people want to learn more about – Googe+ just slightly ahead of Twitter.

The companies that participated in this survey were SME’s with mostly between 11 – 250 employees, the split between men and women being almost exactly half and most working in marketing. The age range was evenly mostly spread.