While nearly every construction firm these days has a presence on social media, not all companies are using it in a strategic way to build their business. Infrastructure Intelligence spoke to the CEO of SoCrowd, a company working with many firms in our sector to enable them to manage social better.
It’s part and parcel of any business’s toolkit these days, but how many companies really use social media strategically as a vital part of building enduring corporate relationships with clients and customers?
Embracing social media can help to build and enhance corporate reputations and it is a huge potential shop window of how an organisation treats its customers. So says James Leavesley, CEO of So Crowd, communications specialists BECG’s social media and reputation management platform.
It’s fair to say that Leavesley and his team at So Crowd live and breathe the world of social media and are evangelical in helping leading figures in the infrastructure and construction sectors reach and influence local and national communities, opinion formers and decision makers across the globe.
And their passion also extends to helping perhaps the more traditionally reluctant industry sectors to embrace the wider world of social media. So, why be on social media in the first place?
“There’s sometimes a hesitancy in terms of adopting social media as a broad and effective communications channel,” said Leavesley. “People and organisations often ask themselves: ‘is it important, or if we put ourselves out there are we going to get slammed all the time?’
“But a lot of organisations often don’t realise they’re already on social media! It sounds obvious, but even if they don’t have an actual social media account, people are still talking about you or your organisation out there in the huge world of social. So, in a nutshell, you need to be part of the conversation. There’s a lot of misinformation out there and therefore social media is vital - both to get your message across and also to be aware of what’s being said,” he said.
Leavesley (pictured above) says that understanding that basic principle is key to successfully embracing social media. “It’s part of building lifetime relationships with your customers and it’s about knowing the value of social media, knowing why you’re doing it and resourcing it in the right way,” he said.
So Crowd is adept at helping organisations meet the ongoing challenges facing organisations the sector by helping businesses take a more strategic approach to the world of social. “We don’t set business strategy, but we professionalise social media for an organisation,” Leavesley said. “We give structure to the content they’re able to plan – and that often means planning content for four to six weeks ahead and then reporting on reaction and interaction and evaluating this,” he said.
Asked about best practice advice for social media, Leavesley said: “Know what you’re trying to achieve. Ask yourself – ‘what does it mean from a sales, customer service and operational perspective?’ – and then coordinate your activity so there’s no duplication or nothing’s getting missed.
“Basically, all organisations want to build strong relationships with their customers. And successful community management involves genuinely engaging with your audience to both enhance and protect your reputation. It’s a huge and open shop window that reflects how an organisation treats its customers and is there to be embraced 24/7 365 days a year. What’s not to like?”
Social media brings you so much potential, but it also comes with potential risks too. SoCrowd offers a simple-to-use tech platform that empowers businesses to enhance and protect their online reputation. By working with organisations as partners, SoCrowd provides a valuable platform, support and an all-important sounding board.
As James Leavesley says: “At SoCrowd we’re all focused on delivering a successful outcome for you and your organisation so you can realise the value of your social crowd.”