Fresh Approaches in Social Media for Home Builders

While most builders suspect social media can be more than selfies, research has revealed few embrace it. Here's how social media can give your business a competitive edge in 2024—building trust with prospective clients and accelerating the sales process.

Anita T is an award-winning marketing consultant with 15+ years of experience.

In the rapidly evolving social media landscape, research has identified the construction industry as a sector still lagging in harnessing the potential of social media. (Azhar & Abeln, 2014) However, those that do invest resource into it are achieving competitive advantage.

The key to success isn't necessarily found in hefty marketing budgets, but rather in encouraging more personal conversations with audiences. This approach not only differentiates businesses from competitors, but also deepens trust among prospective clients—a value most builders need for smooth sailing in project execution.

social media as a one-to-one Conversation

In 'Investigating Social Media Applications for the Construction Industry', author Salman Azhar explains that most firms use social media sporadically to talk 'at' their audience as opposed to with them.  (Azhar & Abeln, 2014) Renowned copywriter David Ogilvy spoke to this decades ago in his advice, "Do not... address your readers as though they were gathered together in a stadium. When people read your copy, they are alone." Treat your social media presence as a one-to-one conversation with your prospective customer.

Treat your social media presence as a one-to-one conversation with your prospective customer.

A personal approach builds a stronger connection between the business and prospective clients, setting up foundational trust—a crucial element in the builder-client relationship.

Brand Consistency Across Platforms

Consistency in brand presentation across various platforms creates a reliable and professional image that builds trust. Image consistency extends beyond a logo, it includes factors like image style and tone of voice. Whether your business tone of voice is authoritative or friendly, consistency promotes recognition and familiarity. People are more likely to trust what's familiar to them.

The Brand Archetype Assessment can help you identify these brand attributes.

This well-documented effect is called the mere exposure effect. People develop a preference for what's familiar with them. This is a significant reason why a builder can benefit from running a budget-friendly brand awareness campaign, leading to increased levels of trust and confidence due to repeated exposure to the brand. This increase in trust reduces the cost of acquisition across other channels, such as Google Ads.

Select Focus Channels for Maximum Impact

Choose platforms where your target audience is most active. Instagram and Pinterest are invaluable for showcasing visual content, while TikTok serves as an effective platform for reaching younger audiences. Facebook tends to have an older audience. Which ever you focus on, test and learn what type of content resonates best on each.

You may be interested in: Choosing a Social Media Platform as a Home Builder

Use Creative Flexibility as your Strategy

Most builders have used creativity to maximise a budget—the same can be applied to get the most out of social media. Platform functionality and user behaviour is in a constant state of flux, so approaching a social media strategy as a flexible framework rather than a rigid rulebook allows builders to adapt the conversation and maintain relevance and engagement. (Schaffer 2013)

Develop Forward-Thinking Content

Creating content can suck resources dry and quickly. Mitigate this risk with prioritization, creativity and organisation. Content managers often create content around specific themes or 'content buckets' that they then divvy into different formats and time slots depending on the platform. This process can streamline creation and help maintain consistency of posts, which in turn, supports engagement algorithms.

Encourage communication rather than avoid it

Sometimes I'm added to clients' pages and witness prospective clients waiting for days for a reply to their enquiry. Responding to page enquiries and comments is one of the easiest ways to encourage interpersonal connection through social media. Valuing these interactions as opportunities can fast-track the sales process.

You can also:

  • Offer virtual home tours.
  • Create behind-the-scenes video content.
  • Invite your audience to community events such as partner fundraising events.
  • Use quizzes or polls to create conversation.

Personal interactions such as responding to comments and participating in discussions build trust, which are critical to prospects within the sale process.

Pay-to-play: increase engagement with Paid Ads

The notion of "pay to play" on social media platforms has become increasingly prevalent, especially as these platforms adjust their algorithms in ways that can limit organic reach. Essentially, businesses are finding that they often need to use paid advertisements to ensure their content reaches a broader audience. Organic content, while still valuable, must be balanced with paid content to achieve reliable reach and engagement.

Play the long game to shorten the sales cycle

Home builders that invest resource into social media long term can swap their social media presence from a traditional broadcasting channel into a dynamic tool to engage with potential clients. If you believe your team could benefit from a specialist's support, contact me and I'll help your business adopt a flexible, personal approach to social media that facilitates trust—a mechanism to fast-track the sales process and cement a stronger builder-client relationship.


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