Community management has evolved over the years as the social aspects of our lives, both personal and professional, occur more and more online. Companies have often had community affairs personnel (or for those with a more targeted audience, public affairs or government relations personnel) tasked with creating awareness of their efforts to support the community. With the introduction of social media into the marketing playbook, community affairs has become one of community management. But what if that community lies in the construction industry?
My next homework assignment has me creating a step-by-step plan for developing a community around a company on a social networking site of my choice. Before that, I have to write a post practicing what I learned in the class before, an introduction to search engine optimization, to discuss this company using the keywords I researched.
I will be developing a community management plan for a general contracting company located in the greater Pittsburgh region. Because this company deals in commercial construction rather than residential, it needs a B2B marketing strategy. A look at this company’s website shows potential for integrating social media for community management into its current marketing efforts.
- There are a number of press releases that could be turned into blog posts, especially about those projects highlighting their green building expertise. The marketing team at the company may have to help those with the expertise to write them however.
- There are ample opportunities to showcase their commercial construction work through pictures and videos that could be hosted on sites like Flickr and YouTube.
- This company has a great corporate responsibility program, so highlighting those stories of community involvement by tweeting or posting updates on Facebook and Google+ would increase their SEO ranking and build awareness.
- This company has been in business since 1967, so there is a lot of history and expertise that can translate into valuable content. Experts could blog, tweet or participate in forums related to commercial construction, commercial real estate, construction management, and commercial restoration, to name a few.
- Finally, there is the opportunity for the company to build a LinkedIn profile as well as all the professionals employed there to grow their circles of influence (I guess I have to include Google+ then too) to build relationships and establish partnerships.
I do believe you can build a community around all types of businesses, even a construction company. And I believe in the ROI as a business development strategy. My first step in developing a community management plan for this company is to research the other members of the Master Builders’ Association of Western Pennsylvania, Inc. (aka the competition) to see what they are doing, and do it better!
Are there any angles for a B2B construction-based business that I missed?