Social Media

Five Steps to Develop a Social Media Content Strategy for Commercial and Residential Building Suppliers

 November 1, 2019

By  Madelyn Young


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What do specifying engineers and mechanical contractors really care about?- There is nothing more frustrating than trying to create content for commercial and residential building stakeholders and having no idea where to start and what to post. A social media content strategy is the only way to avoid that situation.

Not having a B2B social media content strategy is like trying to find that new Brazilian steakhouse without a GPS; you’re bound to get lost and end up with take-out Chinese instead.

Social media content is the backbone of your social strategy. If you post quality content, you can extend your brand’s reach, deepen engagement, build more loyalty, and ultimately drive more sales.

But what is the key to great content? — a strategic approach that will provide your construction brand with a roadmap to success.

Let’s take a look at a step-by-step approach to developing a strategic content plan for your social media pages:

Step 1: Start with a Content Audit

Don’t let the word ‘audit’ scare you. A social audit is simply an evaluation of your social media content performance. It allows you to identify what content has resonated most with your customer prospects. While credible storytelling drives informed and confident purchase decisions, overly promotional content can decrease engagement levels and jeopardize trust levels. Knowing this information and your target audience’s engagement triggers will help you decide what type of content to leverage to reach your social media goals. 

In addition to selecting the right topics, application photography is paramount in pulling readers into a story.  Compelling lifestyle images of people interacting with your products can help illustrate key benefits and features. 

Photos are also important in properly positioning your brand. Posts that include high-quality, visually appealing images of your brand’s products will perform better.  

Hansgrohe does a good job using stylish, quality images to showcase their products in a non-promotional way:

social media content strategy

social media content strategy

Start by evaluating each of your social platforms. Identify your highest and lowest performing posts. Pay special attention to content types, engagement, CTAs and social-media campaigns that generated ROI for your company. Creating a spreadsheet containing all this information will help you stay organized. 

You can analyze your data by exporting each platform’s analytics into individual spreadsheets. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest Business, and LinkedIn Business accounts allow you to export page analytics.

Social Media Content Strategy: Content Audit

You can use a social media analytics tool like Sprout Social for a holistic view of how all your social media content is performing.

Step 2: Set your Goals 

The next step to develop a social media content strategy is to establish very specific goals. The best way to think about goal setting is to use the SMART format (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely). 

Here’s an example of how to outline your SMART goals:

Social Media Content Strategy Goals

Specific goals make it easier for you to focus on content that will meet your objective. For example, if your goal is to drive traffic to your building products website, then your content strategy should include posts that will encourage readers to visit your website (clicks) and engage with your content (comments, time-on-page rates, etc).


Step 3: Develop Content That Targets Specific Buyer Personas

Look at your target demographic, who’s on that jobsite, who’s writing the spec, who’s gathering bids?  What topics will resonate most with the specifying engineer and the general contractor? What are key pain points: cost overruns, construction delays, product availability/shipping timelines, preventing callbacks, warranty/service issues, etc. 

Creating a buyer persona(s) will help you:

  • Choose the right social media platform to use
  • Create the best mix of content 
  • Target social media advertising to the right audience

Here’s a guide to creating a Buyer Persona:

Social media content strategy Buyer Persona


Step 4: Conduct a Competitive Analysis

Your brand and its competitors most likely have a similar ideal customer persona. Researching and analyzing their social posts can be a starting point in identifying important content themes and topics you want to explore.

Your competitive analysis should answer the following questions for each key rival:

  • How is their content performing?
  • What types of content are performing best for them?
  • How engaging are their followers?
  • How many followers do they have?

Hootsuite offers a great Competitive Analysis template


Step 5: Create your Content Calendar

Creating your content calendar is the last step to developing a social media content strategy. This is the part where your creative juices can flow (and may require another visit to that Brazilian Steakhouse).

There are many paid software platforms to help to create a content calendar, such as Sprout Social or Smartsheet. But you can also create it yourself with Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets.

Social Media Content Strategy Calendar
Source: Hubspot

When you start creating your content, remember to:

  • Tie each post to your SMART goals 
  • Keep your best-performing themes/issues discovered during your content audit in mind
  • Write to a specific buyer persona’s pain points, questions, buying triggers, barriers to purchase, etc. 

Creating a social content strategy should not feel like you’re driving without a GPS.  A good strategy will help navigate your journey to stronger, more effective content. Use these five steps as the onramp to your social content superhighway.


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