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Why You and Your Company Need to Get Social

9/30/2013 at 9:44 am by

I am not a social media guru. Nor am I young enough to be a digital native (I don’t even come close to texting an average of 109.5 messages per day). But I am fascinated by social technology and the still untapped potential it has to positively change the way we do business.

I’m not talking just about the use of social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter for marketing, sales, or research. While 72% of companies use social technologies in some way—mostly for the purposes I just mentioned—very few organizations are yet experiencing its full possibilities. In fact, social tools are expected to provide the most value to companies by enhancing communications, knowledge sharing, and collaboration, according to the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), a management consulting firm.

Communication and collaboration are often top challenges I hear expressed by construction and real estate professionals.  And of course, who wouldn’t want to improve employee productivity. MGI estimates that by fully implementing social technologies, companies have an opportunity to raise the productivity of their managers and other high-skill knowledge workers by 20 to 25 percent. (Now that’s something I can get excited about.)

To realize the benefits of social technology, many of us need to step out of our comfort zones and think differently about our organizational structures, processes, and cultures. The good news is that businesses, in general, are becoming less hierarchical and more open—key for social technologies to be effective. But it will also require a new level of trust, both within our own company walls and externally with our business partners.

How can you begin to take advantage of the new social tools?  Join me as I continue to explore and write about the emerging new uses of social technology and how you can put those tools into practice professionally and within in your own construction or real estate business.

But first, let’s get social. How are you currently using social technology in your business? What questions do you have about today’s social media? Share with us in the comments below!

About the Author

Deb Carpenter-Beck is a writer and marketer with more than 25 years of experience in the construction and real estate industries. She often writes about technology and best practices and is passionate about helping contractors and real estate professionals achieve their business goals. You can follow her on Twitter @DebCBConstruct.

5 responses to “Why You and Your Company Need to Get Social”

  1. Carrie says:

    All we have done is create a website for our company. We use this mainly for contact purposes, but also for job bidding info. I personally don’t do “social media”. The little I do know is that many do get “sucked in” and “live” on the contact/info so there has to be some value in marketing/making contact at this level. I just don’t know how to make it work for construction.

    • Deb Carpenter Beck says:

      Thanks Carrie! I would say you are already making inroads into social media by reading this blog and starting a conversation. Knowledge sharing is one of the first benefits I believe social media will provide to improve our performance and productivity in construction. I’ll be covering this in an upcoming social technology post. But like you, I’m also on the look out for other examples of how to make social media work for construction.

      Curious what ideas others have on this topic?

  2. We have had a website for several years. We also have a Facebook page. We direct people that call in to our website to see our work or to get ideas. But I don’t feel either the website or FB has brought us any leads.

  3. Let me also say that we use FB as a blog, as well as blog on the website but other than a few “likes” (by the same people) on FB, we can’t see where this helps.

    • Deb Carpenter Beck says:

      Thanks Marian for both your comments. I’ve seen great examples of construction companies like yours that have blogs, are on Facebook, have Twitter accounts, etc. But you bring up a good question about the results from these social efforts. Thought you and Carrie might find this infographic from the Construction Marketing Association of interest. It shows what results contractors are seeing from their social media. Here’s the URL link: http://bit.ly/TbQuG8

      Would love to hear about results anyone has experienced from their social media.

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