If you’re an engineering firm contemplating a social media strategy, the first question to ask is how your audience uses social media. Congratulations! By reading this blog, you’re already on the right track.
I’ve assisted various engineering companies, ranging from civil engineering firms to silo reclaim manufacturing businesses, in expanding their social presence and engaging with their audiences effectively. Today, I want to share some valuable tips and tricks for successfully navigating social media as an engineering firm.
What we’ll cover:
- Why and when to invest in social media
- Which social sites to pick and what to post on each platform
- Social marketing agencies for engineers
Social Media for Engineering Firms – How Much Should You Invest?
Before deciding which social media sites to invest in, let’s discuss how much and when you should invest in social media. The first question is why you’re interested in social media.
When engineering firms feel the need to invest in a social strategy, they often struggle to determine the specific benefits they’ll gain from it.
In my conversations with engineering firm owners and their business partners, we usually address a common scenario. Your business relies heavily on word-of-mouth referrals and connections due to the nature of your large, time-intensive projects. While you may have social profiles set up, you’re not consistently posting quality content or engaging your audience. So, you want to start taking action but need assistance in understanding the why, when, and what.
The “why” is that investing in social media allows potential employees and prospects to research and evaluate your company before applying for a job or signing a contract. While social media may not directly generate leads for you, it offers an opportunity to engage with potential prospects who may recognize your brand down the line and be more likely to convert. This is good old fashioned branding and identity.
The “when” depends on the stage of your business. If you’re currently struggling financially and need to focus on closing deals, I wouldn’t recommend investing in a social strategy just yet. Instead, prioritize improving your website presence through SEO, PPC, and networking. Once you reach a point where you have enough business to sustain yourself and are already investing in your digital presence through SEO and PPC, then it’s advisable to allocate resources towards a social strategy.
Now, let’s delve into the best social media sites for engineers to determine the “what” for your social strategy.
Best Social Media Sites for Engineers
If you’re looking to reach engineers on social media we suggest the following platforms:
LinkedIn for Engineers
If you only have limited time or resources to invest in one platform, LinkedIn should be your top choice. This is especially important if recruitment is one of your priorities.
LinkedIn is widely recognized as the leading social media platform for engineers and technical professionals. It serves as a professional networking site where engineers can connect with colleagues, showcase their skills and expertise, and explore job opportunities. As of January 2023, the majority of LinkedIn users (60%) fell into the age bracket of 25-34, followed by 18-24 (20%), 35-54 (18%), and 55+ (3%).
What to post: LinkedIn offers ample opportunities for content sharing. One crucial aspect to remember about social media is that people select specific platforms for specific purposes. For instance, when individuals are on Facebook or Instagram, they typically seek mindless and stress-free scrolling. However, on LinkedIn, users are more inclined to seek out knowledge and network for career-related purposes. This presents B2C companies with numerous opportunities to create and share content that aligns with these motivations.
You can post case studies or project reviews highlighting your noteworthy achievements. Additionally, celebrate work anniversaries and recognize employee accomplishments on this platform. Engage with your partners by tagging them in relevant project posts and interacting with their content. Lastly, if you have valuable thought leadership insights to share, LinkedIn provides the perfect platform to demonstrate your industry leadership to prospective employees and partners.
Instagram for Engineers
After LinkedIn, I typically recommend clients to invest in Instagram. The reason behind this suggestion is that Instagram provides a space where prospective employees and prospects can get a sense of your company culture, which may not be fully captured on LinkedIn, a platform that leans towards a more professional tone. On Instagram, likes are not the primary focus – in fact, you have the option to hide them from your profile. The emphasis here should be on creating a visually appealing narrative that conveys your brand identity. In short, provide eye-catching content that quickly resonates with your audience.
What to post: Showcasing your projects, works in progress, or providing behind-the-scenes glimpses into your work life are key. This can range from stunning 3D renderings of projects to photos of your staff enjoying local entertainment options. And of course, featuring office pets is highly encouraged.
X (formerly Twitter) for Engineers
Lastly, if a client has thought leaders and wants to engage in industry conversations, I would suggest utilizing Twitter. However, it’s important to note that Twitter can be more challenging compared to LinkedIn and Instagram. Engineers can follow relevant hashtags and accounts on Twitter to stay updated on the latest developments in their field. I recommend using Twitter only if you have something unique to contribute to the ongoing discussions in your industry. This could be having an expert with specialized knowledge on a specific topic or being at the forefront of an emerging trend. If your company fits into these criteria, then Twitter is a platform worth considering. However, if managing LinkedIn and Instagram already feels overwhelming, it’s better to focus on those platforms instead of stretching yourself too thin. It’s important to remember that having no social profile at all is better than having a poorly maintained one that adds no value to the content universe.
What to post: On Twitter, focus on sharing emerging news and thought leadership on emerging topics in your field.
Social Media Marketing for Engineering Firms
Nover Marketing is a comprehensive digital marketing agency that focuses on the AEC industry. We have successfully assisted brands like Roaring Fork Engineering in enhancing their recruitment efforts through carefully crafted and impactful social media strategies. Whether you need us to manage your entire social media presence, collaborate with your marketing team to develop and implement a strategy, or simply provide consultative advice, we’re here to help. Reach out to us for a complimentary consultation.