2018 Social Media Use in US Building Trades

June 9, 2018












After working exclusively in social media marketing for almost a decade, and for many of the world’s most recognized brands, I am intimately familiar with user psyches and behaviors across platforms. To date, there has been very little quantitative data – in fact, none that I would consider useful – about how professionals in this sector use social media. Now, with over 16,000 participants, this study is incredibly insightful.

Business Use v. Personal Use

Architects, builders, designers and remodelers were asked about how they use social media for work purposes – not for personal use. Therefore, to understand and use the data in this report, you must first understand that context. As you’ll see in the pages that follow, more Americans are using more social media channels, for longer periods of times – and it’s not slowing down. Yet, the findings about how these building trade industries use social media for work purposes doesn’t quite match up to the overall national trend.

This contradiction gets to what I find so fascinating about this report.

Despite the maturation of brand social media marketing and amid the rise of paid social media support, I still see brands treating social media as nothing but another advertising vehicle: print ads oozing with sales messages simply resized as Facebook posts, or a commercial cut down to :30 seconds “disguised” as an Instagram video. Social media is so much more than an advertising channel. It’s a chance to connect one-on-one with customers in authentic and meaningful ways. Salesy and promotional posts are not authentic or meaningful to customers.

For example, if your company has been posting promotional Instagram content hoping to reach home builders, you may want to reevaluate your content approach since only 14% of home builders use Instagram for work. An approach with content and tone that’s more authentic and relatable to the personal aspects of being a home builder may be far more effective.

So, if there is one thing you take away from the data in this first-and-only report, it’s this: architects, builders, designers and remodelers are still learning how to leverage the powerful, influential medium of social media and we can help them.

This post is authored by Ashlie Lanning, our social media strategist. Ashlie was previously the Vice President of Content and Community with Ignite Social Media, the original social media agency. She has guided the social media efforts of industry leaders Jeep/Chrysler/Dodge, IKEA, Lowe’s, Gillette, Lazboy, Samsung, Disney, Nike and Verizon, to name a few.

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