By Monica Pitts

In our ongoing construction marketing benchmarks survey we ask construction companies, “How are you meeting people and finding new hires?”

Not surprisingly, many said social media. And survey participants all agree Facebook or LinkedIn are the best networks to be on.

Isn’t Facebook supposed to be “dead”?
Facebook may seem a bit old school since it’s been around for a while now. Here’s the thing, people have been trying to kill Facebook off for years.

Every three months or so, I swear there’ll be a headline like “Facebook is Dying, and No one Uses It.”

However, we can log on to Facebook and find that’s just fundamentally not true. If you’re trying to reach anyone in their mid-30s and above, it’s the platform they are most likely to be on the most often. Research compiled by Hootsuite shares 69% of Americans over 18 use Facebook, and it is the most popular social network for users aged 35-44.

Facebook allows businesses to reach many people quickly and consistently.

This means there’s definitely a place for your construction company, especially if you are trying to talk about projects you’re working on, gain new business or hire new staff.

Building a following
Get staff buy-in.

You can’t expect people who aren’t directly connected with your company to like what you’re posting and like your Page if your staff doesn’t. Let your team know you have a Page, and they should like and interact with it.

Have everyone invite their friends.

Go into the Page, click the Invite button and invite the people who work for you directly through Facebook.
Once your people have liked your Page, encourage them to invite their family, friends and coworkers who you weren’t Facebook friends with to expand your audience.

Think about what you have at your disposal you can leverage to get Facebook followers.
If you’re posting about one of your clients, make sure you tag them in the post and then send them an email letting them know when you’ll be featuring them on your Page and ask them to share it.

You can also advertise.
Facebook has different goals you can set when advertising and boosting posts. You can choose to get more clicks, get more likes, get more visitors to your website, whichever goal makes the most sense for where you’re at with your Page. Choose an audience that is either a lookalike to the people who already follow your Page, or create a specific audience.

For example, if you’re looking to meet potential hires, think about who’s following your Page and their age and other demographic information. This can work especially well if you’re looking to meet new people who might be potential hires because they likely fit into a relatively specific demographic and interest set.

A few real people will always be better than hundreds of fake people on Facebook and in life.

A good thing to remember is steady, consistent growth is always better than sudden, exponential growth. Many times, those hundreds of new followers who showed up overnight will never interact with your Page. Or, three months from now, you’re back down to just a few followers because they were bots.

Getting people to interact with your content
Engagement is what Facebook calls people interacting with what you post, and is the metric to watch to keep content in front of your followers. Likes, comments, video views, click throughs to your site and shares are all types of engagement.

How to create content people engage with is a mystery we’re all trying to figure out. But after managing client Facebook accounts for years we do know some things consistently do well.

Focus on people-centered content.
People want to know about your people. Think about how you can feature what’s going on with your company from a person perspective. Do you have a cool project? If so, the post could be a photo of one of the people who worked on it and a quote from them about how working on the project went for them or what the project’s goals were.

Highlight your participation within your community.
A fun community engagement thing you participated in would do amazing on Facebook. We had a client who did an angel tree over the holiday season and had some photos of their staff wrapping presents. We got tons of comments, and people shared it with their friends.

While it seems a little counterproductive because it’s not specifically about what you do or directing traffic to your website, it’s keeping people interested. Once you have them interested, you can sprinkle in the more salesy content.

Show off the work you do.
Some of our favorite emails to receive from companies we work with are the ones that say, “Hey, we blew some stuff up this week. Here’s the video.” We’ll sit and watch it multiple times because it looks cool. Then we’ll type something up to go with it and post it on Facebook.

Another cool thing is drone footage. If you’ve got a big quarry or a plant, and have overhead shots or video from a drone showing the whole scope, definitely post it.

Employee engagement is your biggest asset online when you’re hiring.
If you are trying to use Facebook to hire, it is okay to see your employees continually interacting with your content. If they’re interacting with it, it’s more likely to be seen by their friends, which is what you want, to meet more people like the awesome people who already work for you.

Facebook Job Posting Etiquette
If you are posting open positions on Facebook, you have to monitor the conversations in Messenger. We’ve had clients who posted about jobs on Facebook and got a great response and needed to monitor their chat regularly to respond in a short amount of time. Once you open up the conversation on Facebook, be prepared to continue the conversation on Facebook. Don’t expect to move into an email.

Also, if a job posting has gotten a lot of interest and you’ve gotten comments and messages about it, post an update when you hire someone. Either edit the original post to say this position has been filled, thank you for everyone who applied, or post a separate update.

Stay interesting but relevant.
At MayeCreate, we have experimented with human stories, like what are our favorite shoes or what are our favorite beverages. By looking at the analytics, we’ve found those posts are too far off of the center point for our audience.

When we post about going to trade shows, people will interact with that content. When we post thank yous, people interact.
Don’t go so far away from your core values you miss the point of sharing at all. For example, “meet our team” is great content. “Meet our team’s pets” may be a step too far unless you’re an animal rescue organization or you have office dogs. Stay within your company culture and brand.

Experimenting is ok.
Go a couple of months with a particular approach, and then assess how that’s working for you. If it’s not, try something new.
You might find your company can be a little funnier on social media than you thought. Or maybe you’ve gone a little too lovey-dovey about your employees, and it isn’t resonating with your audience. Feel free when you notice those things to shift and make a change.

So there you have it.
How to use Facebook to promote your construction company in a nutshell.

Creating and using a Facebook Page can be a great asset for your company as long as you build a following, post engaging content, evaluate what you’re doing and try new things.

Remember, Facebook is just another tool for you to use to promote your business. Its success all depends on how you make it work for you.

Monica Pitts is the founder and Chief Creative Officer of MayeCreate Design. She spends her days constructing a marriage of form and function; creating art with her design team to grow businesses through websites and online marketing. Monica considers herself an artist, marketer and web dork with the ability to speak geek and English.