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How to Make Strategic Interactions and Industry Connections Online: A Guide for Those in the Industrial Construction Industry

“How can I sift through all of the media traffic to hear, receive, and communicate information pertinent to our industry?”  That was the question from my marketing partner. Good question.

The thing is, we are well-connected in the community and within the state of Indiana. “Good job, Janet, now let’s start thinking bigger,” said my marketing partner. I understood the idea and the need, but getting an actionable plan together would be a bit more challenging.

What can I do to connect with others in my specific industry in order to grow my digital business connections?

For the construction industry, specifically the industrial space, it can be tricky to figure out how to connect outside of in-person events. Conventions and weekly networking events fill our calendar as a essential in doing business. During normal times, this would have been the best way to meet new industry folks and make new business connections. However, times have changed so are ways of doing business networking changing with it.

Strategic Interactions Through Social Media

Digital connections and remote interactions are not only growing, but becoming necessary to know how to do well and professionally. LinkedIn is a great resource for connecting with others in your industry, digitally. But LinkedIn is not like Facebook, simply because it is a social media platform. LinkedIn must be treated as a place of sharing real business ideas and creating real business connections. This means not just posting your content and letting it end there. You must get involved in Groups (specific to your industry) and also communicate with others about their posts and business ideas/information.

Creating Strategic Content for Industrial Construction Companies

As a business owner the time and effort to produce quality content required support from my social media/digital marketing partner. Contributing general or basic business content is no longer the standard because many are doing just that. More now than ever it has to be creative and useful for now, for real impact. So, I asked our social media/marketing partner about how we can change our approach to content and relevant material.

What we found was that our content needed to connect with people on a very specific level; people want to connect and share ideas about how to re-arrange our business practices for the current health issues on job sites, how to engage with customers during such trying times, how to handle employees who may be showing signs of the flu, and how the future will change our industry business practices. People did not want to simply share basic business knowledge; they wanted tools and ideas to evolve in this new time in our world.

For example, we are now showing new job site requirements in action. We take photos of our employees utilizing the new safety measures, social distancing, and hygiene protocol to let our customers see that we are committed to best practices as they evolve and change. We post these on social media, as well as our website so it is easy for customers and project partners to see.

Also, we write blogs explaining what we are doing to ensure these practices, and share it with other contractors in the industry. Sharing ideas and information that are pertinent to what is happening right now is key. If you can share information that will better the practices and understandings within our industry, you are actually creating relevant and shareable content.

It’s not simply enough to get features in industry magazines and write for industry publications. And it’s never enough to simply post photos, publish blogs and let them float into the digital world. You must optimize each post, reply to every comment, comment on other people’s/business’ content, be consistent with your posts and replies, be timely with your replies, and publish optimized blogs, otherwise it is simply a waste of your time. Be wise, digitally.