Many companies in the boring industries are not active on social media. The big myth that discourages them is that their customers are not social and it’s hard to get them to actively engage on social media.

Contrary to popular belief, businesses of all shapes and sizes can unleash the advantages of social media. In fact, there are thousands of those in boring industries already using it to great effect.

If you’re looking for a way to engage with potential and current customers, raise brand awareness, and increase traffic to your website, the millions of active users on social media could be just the ticket. All it takes is time, energy and some creativity.

Consider these sectors that are currently pulling out all the stops on social media…

1. Construction

Crane

Image Source: Morguefile

You might think it’s all about workmen digging holes and big, cumbersome machinery – why would anyone want to share that? However, statistics show that up to 97 percent of construction industry professionals are using social media as a part of their marketing campaign.

Two of the biggest users of social media in this sector are Balfour Beatty and Carillion. Both of these businesses focus on the benefits of the work they are doing, such as sustainable/green building techniques and corporate social responsibility schemes they’re undertaking.

Balfour Beatty, in particular, uses Twitter to great effect by actually talking to people in a conversational manner as opposed to continuously injecting promotional messages into fan feeds.

Balfour Beatty Facebook

Image Source: Balfour Beatty Facebook

Balfour Beatty Twitter

Image source: Balfour Beatty Twitter

Carrillion Facebook

Image source: Carrillion Facebook

Carrillion Twitter

Image source: Carrillion Twitter

Takeaway: take time to find your voice and even though you might be in a boring industry, it doesn’t mean you have to take too corporate a tone. These are inherently “social” platforms and the best companies use them to ask questions, field feedback (both positive and negative) and host conversation, as well as to spread their marketing messages.

2. IT

IT services aren’t exactly the most visually appealing – a newsfeed populated with images of servers probably won’t get you very far – however, this is a prime sector where infographic marketing can work.

Infographics are eye-catching and informative, as well as highly shareable across everything from Twitter and Facebook to Pinterest.

Take a look at this infographic from a mobile phone security company, which promotes its message in image form, despite representing an industry that’s not so interesting.

How a phone is phished Infographic

Infographic Design by: Lookout Mobile Security

IT companies face a difficult task in launching exciting and engaging social media content, but it is possible. HP has 667,000 Twitter followers, for example, and it regularly uses attention-grabbing images and videos to increase interactions. It also jumps on the back of nationwide events, such as National Small Business Week, in order to connect with its target market.

HP Twitter

Takeaway: Look for opportunities to engage through other media, in addition to your usual blogging and written status updates. Infographics may take a little more time to create in terms of research and design but they can attract considerably more interest than a written blog about the same subject.

3. Comparison websites

On the face of it, websites that allow people to compare the best energy or car insurance prices do not instantly set the pulse racing.

However, with some clever marketing and shrewd use of social media, businesses such as comparethemarket.com have built up an incredible online following. We’re all familiar with the hugely successful “compare the meerkat” campaign, and this is a great example of the importance of storytelling in content marketing.

Compare the Meerkat Twitter AleksandrOrlov

Source: Compare the Meerkat Twitter

The introduction of cute baby Oleg has added legs to the Russian meerkat story, and the firm has capitalised on this by setting up individual Twitter accounts for each character. Amazingly, AleksandrOrlov has 67,000+ Twitter followers – a tally that most humans would be pleased with, let alone a stuffed toy. (See: Compare the Meerkat Advert Video )

Compare the Meerkat Facebook

Source: Compare the Meerkat Facebook

Takeaway: The meerkat campaign underlines the point that just because you are part of a seemingly boring industry, it doesn’t mean your social media offerings have to be dull. Be creative and don’t be afraid to do creative social media experiments.

Red Bull is another good example. The organisation has filmed all manner of daring stunts; including the highest ever skydive, all in the name of promoting a fizzy drink via YouTube.

Social media offers businesses a unique opportunity to connect with a massive online audience and communicate with them. Not every company has the financial muscle of Red Bull or Coca-Cola – another brand that seems to be leading the way on social marketing – but a little bit of market research and creativity will give your social presence a significant boost.


About the Author

Kristin Hodgkinson is the Digital Marketing Manager at Direct365. She writes articles on how companies in less glamorous industries can leverage social media for business growth.