Are you searching for the best pizza place in town or maybe a place to go to for the next long weekend? Nowadays, online search engines are the first and only place you check for answers. In every way, the internet has simplified everyday processes for us - pay your bills, book your appointments, shop for new products … the list is endless. What you probably don’t realise, is that every step of the way, you’re considering a business based on their listing online. You don’t book accommodation that you can’t view pictures of, you don’t even browse the menu if it’s got terrible feedback and you don’t consider a business that doesn’t have an online presence.
In the last decade, hundreds of thousands of businesses have reaped the benefits of the Internet. Take Cordell for example, as a reliable online notice board for construction projects and tenders, they have grown their following over the past few years by opening multiple websites that would cater specifically to industry professionals and their needs.
One by one, businesses have created websites for their companies, embraced showcasing their company profile, and even joined various social media channels to communicate with their customers.
However, we recognise the internet is a scary and vast place for a lot of business owners. It represents a whole new way of conducting business and often takes an a-ha moment to decide to really engage with. Different platforms work best with different industries.
For plant & equipment professionals and subcontractors, we’ve tried and tested a few different ways they can utilise online platforms to grow their business. Below we list a few tips to help you start growing your business through the Internet.
Sign up to different social media channels
The number of businesses joining channels like Facebook and LinkedIn have increase in the last five years. Facebook now has over 1 billion active users worldwide (that’s a whopping 2.7 million people a day on average), whereas LinkedIn has more the 380 million users (an incredible 1.04 million people a day).
So, what’s the difference between Facebook and LinkedIn?
On Facebook, you have a wider array of audience – you have students, industry professionals, professors and other organisations. As the audience on Facebook is more diverse, you have the flexibility to post whatever type of content you want, just trial and test different types of posts (such as photos, funny videos, industry news and articles etc) to see what your audience is most engaged with.
Keep in mind, though, that non-business or non-industry related posts should be minimal. Keep in mind that generic or non-industry related posts should be minimal. The rule of thumb for Facebook: keep the number of posts in a day between 1 to 4 - if you post more than 10 a day, people will start ignoring you and mark you as spam.
LinkedIn, on the other hand, has a more professional setting – this is where industry professionals usually go to grow their network. Here, you can share articles or other posts that’s directly related to your business or industry.
You can grow your brand awareness on LinkedIn by getting your staff to sharing content on various groups and industry channels. Some of our favourites include:
- Plant & Equipment Hire Professionals Australia
- Construction Procurement Specialists
- Civil Construction Projects in Australia
What’s good about Twitter is that you can do multiple updates in a day without having to worry about spamming your followers - you can post quick updates and repost these updates a few hours later. Twitter reels more quickly, so to optimise your chances of your business being seen, it's recommended you post multiple times throughout the day.
Google+ works similarly to Facebook. You can share articles, photos, videos or general updates about your business or industry - with the occasional non-business related post.. Google+ also has a feature called “Circles” where you can segregate your contacts into different categories like “Customers” or “Industry Contacts”.
Forums and Social Media Groups
The Internet is filled with online forums and social media groups that are directly related to your industry or business. Forums and groups encourage industry representatives to interact with each other and exchange ideas and industry knowledge. Forums and groups are categorised by topics (also known as threads), so join the ones that are most relevant to your business. Promoting your company or your services is acceptable in forum or group discussions, especially if your business is relevant to the topic at hand.
We follow multiple groups in LinkedIn where we share and view insights, and exchange ideas with industry representatives. You can view our full list here.
Blogs are a good way to educate Internet users on what’s currently happening to your industry. Insights, case studies, industry updates and other industry related reports are just some of the topics you can write about on your blog. Remember, your blog content should educate your readers – whether it’s about your products and services or an industry update. Having a blog can also help your business get found in search engine rankings. 'Spiders' crawl web pages and determine the most relevant website to list when someone searches for something online. If you have a blog which talks about your business offering or services, chances are you will list higher for those terms - increasing your exposure online.
We at PlantMiner manage our own blog where we post industry updates, project updates, insider tips and case studies where our readers can learn from.
Create a website
If you don't have a website, chances are you won't be found online. Having a website will make it easier for your potential clients to search for you.
The reach of the Internet grows by mind blowing numbers each day and having a strong online presence will help you strengthen your customer base as more and more clients use the internet to search for solutions to their problems.
If you haven't delved too deeply into conducting business online, our Business Development specialists can be used as your lifeline. They are experts in the mining and construction industry, and know what works to get more business online.
For those who already have an online presence, there are a lot of tools that you can use to further your reach. a great tool is Google Analytics and it’s Keywords Tools. If you are unfamiliar with keywords, they are words or phrases that you use to help search engines find you faster and efficiently.
Download our free guide to Google Analytics’ Keywords tools and start maximising your potential to grow your business online.