For a couple of years now, I’ve had contractors ask me about social media and whether or not they should participate on behalf of their business. My answer is always “yes,” and everyday I learn more and more contractors agree with that response.

I recently attended the Clearwater, Fla.-based Concrete Sawing and Drilling Association’s 2011 Convention, and one of the workshops was entitled “Using Social Media to Market Your Company.” Erin O’Brien and Russell Hitchen of the CSDA provided an overview of social media and how it can be effectively used in the construction industry to the few dozen contractors in the audience. Although the attendees understood and participate in social media, there were two concerns:

1. How can social media positively impact a contracting business?

2. Is social media worth the time and effort?

O’Brien discussed the benefits of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media outlets, as well as various strategies a contractor can incorporate to build upon their current efforts. These included giveaways or coupons aimed at current and potential customers; jobsite updates with pictures; and jobsite profiles that show off completed, successful contracts. All of which are excellent examples of how social media could impact a contractor’s future business.

So, is this social media-related work worth a contractor’s time and effort? From a marketing and public relations standpoint in regards to your business, the answer is a resounding “yes.”

As with anything new, there is a learning curve. I agreed with O’Brien’s comments that it does take time for contractors to develop and implement their social media strategy. But it is not necessary for an employee to have social media as their sole responsibility. At least one person in your office should be knowledgeable about social media and take the reins on your company’s effort. If that person doesn’t exist, learn social media yourself.

Start by taking a look at CC’s Facebook page. I found a great example from City Concrete Pumping of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Clicking to their page, I immediately reviewed profiles from a variety of their residential and commercial jobsites. Or, head over to CC's LinkedIn group to find news and technical questions answered from CC and contractor members. Currently, the CC Group has more than 1200 members. Finally, don’t miss out on the conversation on Twitter. Follow @ConcreteConst and @CCProducts for the latest in news, industry trends, products, and more.

These are just a few examples of the limitless social media possibilities for your contracting business.

Are you interested in starting your social media efforts? If so, get in touch with CC for a walkthrough the basic steps as well as offer tips and tricks for an effective social media strategy for contractors. You can also reference our helpful social media page for more information.