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Three fresh ideas for generating sales through social media

Social media is still an underused and sometimes wrongly dismissed marketing tool for construction companies. Concerns about how it contributes to sales and how to accurately track and measure the ROI are common reasons for a construction company to not fully embrace social media.

If you feel a bit like this, and have to convince others within your company of the benefits of social media, or perhaps just want some fresh ideas, here are 3 effective ways to actively generate sales leads using social media.

LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn groups are fantastic for generating sales leads. They make it extremely easy to find potential prospects as they group together like-minded professionals interested in a particular topic.

As long as you know who your ideal customer is, you can find profitable groups to join in with and start contributing to the conversation. For example, if you have identified architects who are sole practitioners or work in a small practice, there are groups just for them.

The key here is not to join in and start promoting your products and services to anyone who will listen, but to naturally join in with conversations and answer questions you can help with.

Even better, start your own group around a topic that is relevant to your company. You will have more control over the topics discussed and who can participate in the discussions, allowing you to effectively handpick the best leads.

Twitter Chats

Twitter chats are regular, organised discussions around a particular topic. Hashtags are used to reference and organise these discussions, making it easy for anyone to join or listen in to the conversation.

By joining in with, or even starting your own industry-specific Twitter chats, you can easily find and start conversations with potential customers. The added bonus is that you have the opportunity to help customers who are actively seeking out more information.

Try not to be self-promotional – simply ask and answer questions where relevant. Follow the other people involved and work at developing those relationships.

Google+ Hangouts

Google+ is becoming an increasingly important part of the social media mix and, particularly for B2B marketing, the opportunity to generate leads is growing.

One of the best ways to do this on Google+ is with hangouts.

Hangouts are very similar to Twitter chats. They bring together a group of people interested in a live discussion about a specific topic. The nice thing about hangouts is the opportunity to actually speak to and see the people involved.

There are lots of ways to use Google hangouts to generate leads. You could run a hangout to answer questions about your product or service, you could do an interview with an industry leader or perhaps even a live product demo.

An added benefit is the potential to record your hangout and then make it available on YouTube for those who could not make the live chat – making the value of your efforts stretch even further.

Build relationships and get ahead

Social media is increasingly becoming a fantastic tool for generating quality sales leads and, if you are prepared to put in the effort to join in relevant conversations, you can build great B2B relationships.

Many companies within the construction industry aren’t convinced of this just yet, and that offers you an opportunity to get ahead of the competition.

Darren Lester is the founder of SpecifiedBy, a digital marketing platform for building product manufacturers. Find him on Google+ and on Twitter @SpecifiedBy

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