Social Media satire 4: Reading between the Social Media lines

 

Today is April 8th, I have had some technical issues and this is Social Media satire 4 reposted, the original was posted Monday 4th April.  It’s a long story and it will become a Blog post later today!!  The irony is that in this post I mention how we are all at the mercy of computer geeks, bless their hearts!

Sorry to ALL those people who Stumbled this already and sorry to Pritesh and Ayaan from Pauley Creative and others who had been kind enough to comment on my Blog posts this week.  Yesterday was a nightmare, but all is well thanks to a computer geek. (Is that a bad thing to say??)

Read on and enjoy!

My recent Social Media satire series has been very well received for the simple reason that people need something to laugh about, the sun maybe shining a little now and spring is actually here at last, but as far as the construction and property sectors are concerned, times are still pretty tough out there.  Having said that, I’m still very optimistic about 2011 and I think it’s going to be a great year for Social Media and the start of a turnaround in the construction and property sectors.

My time spent with the directors of various construction companies recently, helping them understand that Social Media is not that difficult and that it really can help their companies improve the bottom line, has been very enlightening.  I’ve finally realised what the BIG issue is with senior construction management and connecting with Social Media.  I now know the problem!!

Senior construction management think Social Media is like IT!!

Sorry guys, Social Media is a very different creature and I’m about to explain exactly why!!

 

As the cartoon highlights, I’ve not had an easy time explaining the real benefits of Social Media to senior construction managers and now I know why!

Any good sized company, whether it’s construction, property, or whatever, needs an IT department, or at the very least an IT specialist available 24/7, right?  Oh yes, we all grind to a halt when the computer system goes down, we ALL rely on our computers; whatever we do and however much of it we do, we can’t deny that we rely on our computers.  Like it or not, that’s life in the 21st century!!

Due to the fact that construction and property are literally very tangible ‘bricks and mortar’ businesses, those involved don’t really like intangibles, they really don’t trust stuff they can’t feel or see.  It’s a fact!

Can you see a computer system back up?  Not really!  Can you pick up hard drive content and see if it’s OK?  I don’t think so?  But you need these intangibles to survive as a company in the 21st century, there is no alternative.  You have to depend on microelectronic specialists; yes, computer geeks, people that stare at screens all day and speak in another language.  The truth is, like it or not, to a certain degree, your construction company is at the mercy of computer geeks!

Construction people are obviously aware of this, but they clearly don’t like it and they certainly don’t understand much of the computer geek language and truth be known, they probably don’t want to either!  It is entirely another world and as far as construction professionals are concerned, something best not thought about too often!

 

Traditional marketing is still OK, but...

From my years of experience, construction and property companies were never that keen on marketing to begin with.  The construction sector awarded tenders to contractors and subcontractors they knew or ones that they had been recommended or that had offered prices they couldn’t refuse, whilst the property developers and residential builders, left it all in the hands of the Estate Agents!!  That’s pretty much all there was to it for decades.

However, not only have a lot of the old companies gone now, but things have changed dramatically since the popularization of the Internet and the subsequent Web 2.0 or digital and Social Media revolution!

 

Social Media is not IT!!

So there lies the problem, the construction sector does not like being at the mercy of a bunch of computer geeks and it thinks Social Media is like IT.  WRONG!

OK, that’s an easy mistake to make, given that Social Media is on the Internet and very Google, Blog and website related.

I can understand that construction doesn’t want to be at the mercy of, or dependent on, yet another bunch on geeks, that speak yet another language!!

This makes perfect sense to me, but you know what?? Social Media is NOT that technical, not in principle anyway!!  It’s certainly not difficult to use, if you can send an email, you can use Social Media!! Really!!

 

Blogs are the new improved websites!

 

In the 1990′s we saw the first phase of the Internet revolution, every business just had to have a website or lose ground to their competitors and we saw the Dot Com boom; much has changed since then, we have seen a decade of change in marketing and development of Social Media connectivity.  LinkedIn, the professional networking Social Media platform, began in 2003, Facebook was born in 2004, then came YouTube in 2005, followed by Twitter in 2006 and of course, there’s a host of other Social Media platforms such as StumbleUpon, Delicious, Digg, Posterous, Google Buzz, Foursquare etc.

Basically, we have come a long way in a very short space of time and not everyone has been fortunate enough to have had the luxury of studying these developments on a daily basis.  I am sure that is why some people are cautious and skeptical, the great unknown can often be daunting. ( Let’s face it some of the construction sector here in the UK is still a bit dubious about building with timber frame!  We are a nation that loves tradition!)

But Social Media is NOT difficult!

It is not IT, it is NOT microelectronics, it is communication.  Sending a Tweet with a link is like sending an up to date brochure, but fast and very cost effective.  It’s easier than sending an email, quicker and it potentially reaches millions of people!

Writing and publishing a Blog post is like sending out a magazine or newspaper article, but very cost effective, in colour and with video and other features if you so desire.

Blogging is certainly NOT a fad!  As the cartoon says, there are 500,000,000 Blogs currently out there in the Blogosphere.  If you have the time and the inclination it is very cost effective, if you don’t, you just call a professional.  Construction Marketing UK can design and maintain a Blog and it will easily be cheaper and much more effective than the cost of a website, advertising and Yellow Pages combined!

 

No time to Blog? Send us the details and we'll do the work!

Most construction and property people don’t get too excited about the prospect of Blogging, they prefer to be on site and getting on with what they do best, that’s why we provide a full service.  All we need are some quality photographs, an idea of the development and what’s happening; we can then produce quality articles and send them to everyone who is likely to be interested.  It really is that simple!  Potential customers are bound to be impressed with and intrigued by the different methods of communication; plain old emails, letters and adverts tend to get a lot less attention than they used to.  How many emails do you delete every day??

 

New marketing platforms, new methods of marketing.

Construction Marketing UK have been in marketing, construction and property for many years (decades) and strongly believe that traditional methods should not be completely ignored; however, Social Media is very cost effective (or can be in the right hands), but it is not a miracle worker.

If your company is NOT up to standard or competitive on price, Social Media really can’t help you!   If you try and use traditional marketing or hard sell methods with Social Media you won’t see good results!

You might well be thinking, ‘New names, news faces and new approaches to everything! Where do I begin?’  Don’t worry, no one expects you to know as much as the Social Media professionals, but at least try to keep ahead of your competition!  Watch some videos on YouTube if you want to learn about ‘permission marketing’, just type in Seth Godin or Brian Solis and you’ll find loads of interesting stuff. As a construction professional you may not be totally enthralled by these marketing authority figures, but these guys have been Social Media advocates for a long time now, they know what’s happening better than most!!  If it really doesn’t appeal to you, don’t worry, we know what’s going on, we’ve been living this stuff for years now!

 

Seth Godin an authority on Social Media

 

Read 'engage' by Brian Solis and check out the Social Media Examiner on line.

As far as communication is concerned a lot of great developments have been made over the last couple of years and Social Media can help all businesses and in many ways!!

 

Baby Boomers should embrace Social Media

If you’re a ‘baby boomer’ like me, you should embrace Social Media!   The fastest growing group of Social Media advocates are 50-65 year old women.  What that means is, it’s the ‘baby boomer’ guys who are lagging behind!  Come on guys, you’re letting the side down!!

 

StumbleUpon a great place to put your Blog posts!

StumbleUpon is a great place for your Blog posts, call us and we’ll explain about how get links to your website and how to get great website and Blog traffic. (Yes, that means potential customers!)

 

Facebook should be used as a marketing tool! It's not just about communication any more!

Facebook, just like LinkedIn, is no longer just a way of communicating, these Social Media platforms are very cost effective marketing tools!

Call Peter on 01473 435308 or email peter@constructionmarketinguk.co.uk to find out more and remember our advice is FREE!

www.constructionmarketinguk.co.uk

We builder the builders!

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About Peter

British born Peter L Masters has been a writer for many years and Cut Limbo is his first published novel. Back in the late 70's and early 80's he was the singer/songwriter for cult punk band Spasmodic Caress. The controversial "Hit the Dead" track was released by 4AD in 1980 and decades later re-released by US punk band The Spits. Subsequent tracks such as "Waiting" "SPG" and "Ambition" are now on YouTube. The inspiration for Cut Limbo comes from a combination of experiences gained whilst travelling and living in Europe and Asia, a love of the punk rock era and everything it stood for, and a passion for books and movies. Cut Limbo was originally written by Peter as a screenplay and inspired by classic movies such as Pulp Fiction, True Romance, Jackie Brown and Get Shorty. (A big thanks to Quentin Tarantino and Elmore Leonard) The story of what went on at Schipol airport, Amsterdam, just had to be told.
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