My first introduction to West Virginia Paving was on Twitter, where I started following the company a couple of days after I set up the Asphalt Contractor Twitter account, which can be found at twitter.com/#!/AsphltContractr.
I recently spoke with Jack Withrow about the paving company's social media participation, and here's what he had to say:
"I'm trying to make use of the rapidly growing social media to promote our business as well as the asphalt industry. I first created the Twitter account in 2010 with hopes to provide followers with information about our projects throughout the state.
"I know how many travelers hate to be caught in construction traffic, and I felt this would be a good way to help them out. Since then I have discussed with our safety director about using it to promote safety within our work zones, and now I want to provide information about the warm mix advantages.
"Being the environmental director for our company, I experience the negativity that our industry endures sometimes, so I also want to promote all the good things that we are doing.
"The benefits we're seeing from our social media participation include keeping our followers updated in real-time on our project status as well as promoting our business. The Huntington street project was covered by the local TV station due to them seeing our project updates on Twitter. I haven't seen any disadvantages to using social media yet.
"I've found these types of social media to be very simple to use. We have three admins for our Facebook and Twitter page: myself (environmental), Chet Rodabaugh (paving superintendent) and Joe Burgess (safety director). We all contribute to the information that is placed on our pages.
"The best advice I can give – keep it up to date!!! Nobody likes to log onto a page or website and see old information. Use pictures. Everyone - especially employees - love to see pictures of the projects that they're working on. Look at other company Facebook and Twitter pages to see what they're doing. Use those ideas and try to expand on them.
Have fun with it and be personable … don’t come off like you’re a computer just spitting information out."