Words and Photos: Paul Cantarella Jr., President at Cantarella & Son Inc.
Editor’s Note: MASONRY Magazine got the opportunity to get tips and tricks from Paul Cantarella, Jr. at Cantarella & Son Inc about the impacts and benefits of social media marketing. Thank you, Paul, for taking the time to answer these questions.
What are you currently doing to market your business?
Our current marketing, besides word of mouth consists of job fairs, pamphlets and social media like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Twitter.
How are the masonry/construction industries unique when it comes to social media marketing?
I think in general masonry construction is unique. I don’t think most truly know what we do as mason contractors and how many buildings and infrastructure contain masonry (hospitals, prisons, educational institutions, government buildings, and industrial). We don’t just build chimneys. Social media is a great way to show people what the masonry industry is all about and the many benefits that come with using masonry.
How do you figure out the right audience to target?
Using hashtags (#), such as #masonrystrong #masonryrocks, that are related to the masonry industry and construction industry is one of the best ways to reach the right audience. Another way is to tag an association that you are part of or publications you read like the MCAA or MASONRY Magazine. ?
What should be considered when creating a budget for a social media marketing plan?
Probably realizing the true benefits behind it, which is it works! Realizing that it’s money well spent. To get started you will not need a large budget!
DIY or hire an agency- which is better for a mason contractor dipping their toes into social media advertising?
DIY for sure. It does not take that much time or money to start on your own.
What does a company need to get started with social media marketing?
The first is signing up for a social media account. From there, some nice pictures of a completed project, the crew working on site, equipment/forklifts in action, specialty tools you may be using, or even your office staff. You can check out the fellow mason contractors’ page to see examples of how they promote their business.
How are successful social media marketing and targeting metrics measured?
We don’t measure. But I can’t tell you the number of times that someone has come up to me at a construction industry event and told me that they love my post and they follow me and to keep up the great posting. After meeting them, I will look on my social media page to see if they have liked or commented on any of my posts, and most don’t. But, what I finally realized was that there are a lot of people out there that do not like to comment or like a post because they just aren’t into interacting on social media but they like to read posts. You truly don’t realize how many people you are really reaching.
What are some tips or tricks for sustaining consistent growth in your company’s social media presence?
One big one is using masonry/construction industry hashtags. You need to look them up on the social media platform you are on and you will be able to see how many people are following them. From there, you want to pick 5-7 of the top ones and use them in your posts. If you have too many its seems, to me, to not be effective and doesn’t reach as many people. Secondly, there seems to be better times during the day to post where it seems to reach more people. Coffee time and around lunch time seem to be the best. I am also starting to see more and more people and companies posting on the weekends. It also seems like short videos are becoming popular. The theory behind that is it takes longer to read a post compared to just watching a video. Basically, people rather the quicker option as time is money in the construction industry! Maybe a video of you walking the job site and showing the crew working or showing your shop manger working on some equipment. The last thing would be that you are better off to post individually on social media sites than to use an app that posts to all of your social media platforms at once. You will reach more people by doing each one separately.
Why is it important for a mason contracting company to invest in social media marketing?
It took me a long time to catch on but social media is, by far, one of the best ways to market your business in this day and age. Everyone is tied to their phones these days, love it or hate it, that is the reality we are in. Add to that the masonry industry, as a whole, whether you are union or open shop, needs to come together and promote the masonry industry so we can get our wall share back. Mason Contractors as a group have been relying on the past, long history of the strength of masonry, starting with the pyramids. But we have sat back for too long sitting on our hands; It’s time to remind and show people why masonry is great!
How does more cutting-edge marketing, like social media, fit in with traditional means of marketing?
At the end of the day, social media is by far the better option and bang for your buck compared to traditional marketing. Traditional marketing will always be there, but the majority of businesses will be leaning toward using social media to reach the new generation.
Anything to add?
The power of social media can be a great marketing tool but it can also be a bad thing for your business. I have personally learned that the hard way. Always remember what you put on social media will be seen by all.