Engaging with customers on social media: Top tips for construction companies
When you are driving around your local neighborhood or visiting other towns, it is certainly not uncommon to come across construction projects.
Whether they are residential or commercial, construction companies are building in multiple parts of the country on a daily basis. Yes, the construction industry has seen some tough times in the last few decades, but many such companies are throwing up projects left and right.
With that in mind, how can construction companies tap into the benefits which social media can bring them?
Put a Plan in Place
Before your construction company rather blindly enters the social networking foray, be sure to put a plan in place so you can do social media correctly from the get-go.
According to a 2013 infographic from the Construction Marketing Association (CMA), 97 percent of companies in the field were using social media to one degree or another. In the event your company is in the remaining three percent, there are some steps you can and should take to join the crowd.
With a plan in place, look to:
- Be relevant – First and foremost, you can’t be everything to everyone. Don’t try and come out of the gates by being on multiple social sites all at once. While it might sound like a good idea at first, you will ultimately find that you can’t properly devote the time or resources, leaving you and your followers on the short end. Start out with a Facebook page, a Twitter page, maybe Instagram etc. and go from there. Once you have built a following on one or two of them, then by all means cross-promote the sites. Show visitors why you are a relevant player in the construction niche with interesting posts, information that is useful and educational to the consumer ;
- Be timely – How many times have you looked at company social media sites and wondered why they are so infrequently updated? Turns out, too many companies do not invest the proper time and resources to their social efforts. As a result, there are infrequent posts and ultimately a dwindling of social traffic. Plan on posting daily or at least every other day, a schedule that should not be all that hard to meet;
- Be inquisitive – Lastly, take the time to review your analytics. If you take part in social media and don’t pay attention to your social traffic, are you really doing your company a true service? It is important to find out who is following you (are they competitors, industry experts, or even potential clients?) for starters. Also measure to see the time of the day and day/s of the week where your traffic spikes. Data such as this can be very valuable to your company’s social networking efforts.
If you are a construction company that can be called a regular in the world of social media or one just looking to get its feet wet, make sure you take the time and resources necessary to build a social leader.
Miguel Salcido has been a professional search marketing consultant for over 11 years. He is the founder and CEO of Organic Media Group, a content driven SEO agency. He also likes to blog at OrganicSEOConsultant.com and share insights into advanced SEO.
Environment Agency clamps down on plastic films and wraps
Businesses in the waste and construction industries must ensure they deal with waste plastic properly to stop illegal exports, the Environment Agency (EA) has warned.
The warning comes as the Agency is increasingly aware of plastic film and wrap from the construction and demolition sector being illegally exported.
Exports are frequently being classified as ‘green list’ waste of low risk to the environment, but are often contaminated with materials such as mud, sand, bricks and wood, posing a risk to the environment and human health overseas, and undermining legitimate businesses in the UK seeking to recover such waste properly.
During the last year, the EA has intercepted shipments to prevent the illegal export of this material on numerous occasions. The Agency inspected 1,889 containers at English ports and stopped 463 being illegally exported. This, combined with regulatory intervention upstream at sites, prevented the illegal export of nearly 23,000 tonnes of waste.
Those convicted of illegally exporting waste face an unlimited fine and a two-year jail sentence. But construction firms could also face enforcement action if contaminated construction and demolition waste plastic is illegally exported.
Malcolm Lythgo, Head of Waste Regulation at the Environment Agency, said it is seeing a marked increase in the number of highly contaminated plastic film and wrap shipments from the construction and demolition industry being stopped by officers.
“I would strongly urge businesses to observe their legal responsibility to ensure waste is processed appropriately, so we can protect human health and the environment now and for future generations. It’s not enough just to give your waste to someone else - even a registered carrier. You need to know where your waste will ultimately end up to know it’s been handled properly. We want to work constructively with those in the construction and waste sectors so they can operate compliantly, but we will not hesitate to clamp down on those who show disregard for the environment and the law.”
There are a number of simple, practical steps that businesses can take to ensure that C&D site waste is handled legally.
Construction businesses should check what’s in their waste
- Different waste types need different treatments and so must be correctly categorised to ensure it goes to a site that is authorised to handle it safely. Businesses can also check if their waste is hazardous as different rules might apply.
- If you are removing the waste yourself, you must be a registered waste carrier- registration can be carried out here. When a waste collector is transporting your site waste, you must check they have a waste carrier’s licence from the EA.
- You must also check that the end destination site any waste is taken to is permitted to accept it and has the right authorisations in place. Keep a record of any waste that leaves your site by completing a waste transfer note or a consignment note for hazardous waste which record what and how much waste you have handed over and where it is going.
Waste management industry must adhere to export controls
- Contaminated C&D waste plastic - including low-density polyethylene (LDPE) wrap and film - must be exported with prior consent from the EA as well as competent authorities in transit and destination countries.
- Those involved in the export of such waste must ensure that it meets the requirements set under the relevant export controls, such as being almost free-from contamination; the destination sites are appropriately licensed to receive and treat the waste; and waste is correctly managed once received.
The EA will continue to actively target those who export contaminated C&D plastic waste illegally, including any accredited packaging exporters who issue Packaging Waste Export Recovery Notes (PERNs) against such material in breach of their Conditions of Accreditation.
Businesses involved in the shipment of waste are required to take all necessary steps to ensure the waste they ship is managed in an environmentally sound manner throughout its shipment and during its recycling.
Anyone with information regarding the illegal export of waste including C&D waste plastics can contact the EA’s Illegal Waste Exports team at: [email protected] or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their website