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Online Social Media FAQS: A Quick Lesson on All You Need to Know to Talk the Talk

One of the hot topic discussions at this year’s Convention was social media. After attending a presentation on social media, many feel energized to start the efforts as soon as they get back to the office. However, it is easy to get stuck taking the next step since you aren’t sure how to get started and where to focus your attention. If so, the following list of Frequently Asked Questions may be helpful.

1) How do you get followers?

There are many ways to gain a following in social media. The first step is to follow others, as they will typically follow you in return. But be sure to only follow people who are your target audience. Also, include a link to all social media accounts on your website, e-mail signature, newsletter and other ways that you communicate with your target audience.

2) What is the best tactic to start with?

There is no magic answer to this question. It depends on your goals and strategy — you must identify which social media outlet your key audience is participating in the most.

3) How long does this take?

We have seen results within the first couple of weeks for some of our clients, but it is necessary to put time and effort into each account every day in order to see success. If, after a year, you are not seeing any results, consider deleting the account.

4) How do I launch a social media program?

You must first research where your target audience is conversing, then go and listen to what is being said. Then, determine you goals and strategy. Start out with one or two outlets and the drafting of a Wikipedia article.

5) What outlets are recommended for those in the AEC industry?

Where should we start? We always recommend a Wikipedia page, as it improves Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and allows people to find you easily. Also, depending on your goals and strategy, LinkedIn, Twitter and blogging should be considered. Further, contributing to forums and sharing sites such as Delicious, StumbleUpon and Digg have proven beneficial.

6) How do I talk to our executives about social media?

How can I convince them that we should be using this? One key means of showing them the possibilities is a review of what your competitors are doing using social media. You could also show them case studies, statistics and studies regarding the medium… there are plenty out there.

7) What about policies? What should it include?

A policy should be discussed and drafted for every company. It is likely that a large portion of employees are using online social media for personal use, and there is an opportunity for everyone to be marketers and talk about the wonderful aspects of your company. You must establish rules and expectations for each employee, including what outlets they are allowed to use from a corporate standpoint, as well as remind them that their personal use can reflect your company — both good and bad.

8) Do you recommend SEO or GoogleAds? Which one is better?

It depends on your goals and target audience. We have found that people are more likely to click on organic search results, not sponsored or paid results. Therefore, if you are going to focus on one, we recommend SEO.

9) What outlets are most popular within the AEC industry?

We recommend LinkedIn, Ning, Twitter, blogging and possibly YouTube, depending on your goals and strategy.

10) How do I measure ROI?

Before you dive in to social media, you must first determine how you will measure it. Will it be from site visits, comments or sample requests? You decide.

11) What does it mean to be authentic, transparent or human?

This means to speak in a conversational tone. For example, avoid using corporate lingo. Instead, talk to your audience in a fun and engaging way.

12) What if they leave negative comments?

Negative comments will happen even if you don’t participate in social media, so it is better to be aware of them and control the conversation.

13) What can a social media onsultant do for me?

A social media consultant knows the ins and outs of the medium. They can research what your competitors are doing, determine how your target audiences are using social media, as well as help you identify a customized strategy, recommend outlets, train you on how to use these outlets and guide you along the way.

14) Do I have to get involved with social media?

Yes — it is the new way of communicating, and it is not going away.

15) I have a small marketing budget; what can I do?

Online social media is a great marketing tactic, as most outlets are free to use. However, don’t fall into the trap that because it is free, you don’t have to go through the diligence of identifying your audience, key messages and strategy. Also, don’t discount the cost of time – those with social media success definitely spend a great deal of time monitoring and participating in their key outlets.


For more information on how to succeed in social media, visit

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TILT-UP TODAY, a publication of the Tilt-Up Concrete Association, is THE source for Tilt-Up industry news, market intelligence, business strategies, technical solutions, product information, and other resources for professionals in the Tilt-Up industry. A subscription to TILT-UP TODAY is included in a TCA membership. Subscriptions for potential TCA members are also available. If you would like to receive a complimentary subscription to the publication, please contact the TCA.