Today social media is prevalent and almost everyone uses it – politicians, presidents, and even pets.
However, many construction companies aren’t familiar with the benefits and problems that social media can bring to their company.
Companies work hard at building a good reputation. They sometimes spend huge amounts of money on building their brand, their websites, and their advertising. Unfortunately, this can all be for nothing or can be destroyed quickly by poor media, an accident, bad workmanship, an unhappy client or a disgruntled employee.
Benefits from social media
Social media can be a valuable advertising tool for:
- Attracting new clients, advertising the company.
- Attracting the best talent, the best employees.
- For engaging employees.
Dangers of social media
- Social media can be difficult to continuously track. Often management doesn’t know what’s been said about the company on social media – or if they hear about it then it’s several days, or weeks, later and damage has already been done to the company’s brand.
- It can be time-consuming. Many smaller companies can’t afford to employ people to track everything that’s been said about the company. Often management takes on this role. This takes time away from running the business. In fact, management can be distracted by social media – sometimes even consumed by it.
- It can lead to a war of words with disaffected customers or disgruntled employees. Social media is a very public place to get involved in arguments with customers and employees, especially about trivial matters. Rather try and solve these issues directly with the person.
- Employees spend time on social media instead of working.
- Employees are focussed on their mobile devices and social media accounts which could lead to accidents because they are distracted. This is particularly a problem on construction projects.
- Photographs and videos of mistakes, quality problems and accidents can spread rapidly on social media sites.
- Disgruntled employees and unhappy clients can write bad reviews, even spreading false stories.
Harnessing the power of social media for the good of the company
Regularly posting positive images, updates of projects, success stories and features on employees, will all portray the company in a good light.
Implement rules for employees to regulate when they can use social media during working hours.
Encourage employees to use social media to show the company’s achievements.
Employees should know what are unacceptable posts which won’t be condoned. Employees shouldn’t engage in behaviors that could bring the company into disrepute on social media.
Managers must avoid engaging in disputes and arguments on social media with unhappy clients and employees. Rather contact the person directly to resolve the problem. Engaging in public disputes often inflames the situation and gains more bad publicity.
Always stick to the facts on social media and avoid emotive and slanderous language.
Ensure that the company has a visible presence on social media and that this is kept up to date and always portrays a professional image.
Update employees and clients on new projects, important milestones, and employee successes.
Ensure someone is keeping track of what’s said on social media about the company.
Don’t be too hasty posting a comment or an update on social media. Consider how others will view the comment or post. Have others in the company check your post before sending it out. An inappropriate social media post has tripped-up many politicians and companies.
Social media can provide valuable free advertising, but it can also do irreparable damage to a company’s reputation. Employees should understand the importance of the company’s reputation.
It’s vital that construction companies understand social media and that they have a good presence on social media.
Questions to reflect on:
Does your company have a positive presence on social media?
Do your employees know what is acceptable and unacceptable regarding social media and the company?
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