Yesterday I presented the seminar “LinkedIn, Twitter and Web 2.0 for the Construction Industry” at the American Subcontractors Association Arizona Chapter office. While well attended, I found the majority to be in the same boat as most B2B firms… still trying to understand just what Social Networking is all about and how these tools could impact their business.
Interestingly enough, one attendee was from a Lien Service and was successfully using LinkedIn for locating people that had stiffed their suppliers & subs. One designated Twitterer @smallgiants came to see how they could more effectively communicate with their customers with Twitter and Blogging…I actually suggested a forum or discussion group for their clients while using a blogging tool like WordPress.org or WordPress.com to give them easier updating and flexibility.
The contractors present all had the “generation gap” syndrome and needed to understand that this Web 2.0 stuff is not a fad it is about a method of communication that creates a conversation. These conversations can be with employees, customers and vendors but depending upon your strategy you should focus on one group of people at a time in deploying any web 2.0 tools. Another consideration before jumping in is addressing your e-policy to include such things as disclaimers on any employees “freelance” blogging as it is likely they have you listed as their employer. If you haven’t created an e-policy yet I recommend “The e-POLICY Handbook” by Nancy Flynn.
Every construction firm should have their company profile on LinkedIn and at least a few employees, particularly business development and human resources connected to LinkedIn. It is where unemployed construction talent has posted their resume, and it’s where savvy entrepreneurs are recruiting. This morning I received my weekly update from the McGraw-Hill Construction LinkedIn Group and a discussion post included an 8 page summary of Jim Collin’s book “Good To Great” and applying it’s study and conclusion to the business of construction contracting. I guess this just reiterates the message of my seminar, to get started you must first listen to people, then determine your objectives to create a web 2.0 strategy before you pick all the technology for a full court press of embrasing E2.0 or web 2.0 tools.
Have you started a web 2.0 project? I’d like to hear about your experiments, challenges, and success stories. Leave a comment or contact me directly.