The Digital Evolution

Social media can provide construction businesses with tools they need to communicate with customers.

Within just a few years, the Internet has dramatically changed how we communicate, and how we view the world in which we live and work. The need, and demand, for information has never been greater.

While this bodes well for companies specializing in fiber optic installations, it presents some challenges for businesses trying to effectively communicate with clients, who have limited time and attention spans. It's even more challenging to grab the attention of prospective customers.

Fortunately, with the digital age has come technologies that make it more manageable to reach both. Email, texting and direct messaging capabilities allow for instantaneous transfer of information between computers, cell phones, etc. Mobile apps also allow access to information and programs via various types of hand-held mobile devices.

Social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., has also moved from a purely personal communications service to a useful marketing tool. Several of the construction firms I follow do a very effective job of using these programs to promote their mission as a company, their projects and their services. Some use them to identify their company as active participants in their local communities by promoting community service programs and events. All use them to build their brand identity and to project the image of both an industry and technology leader.

The digital world continues to evolve rapidly, and it's important to evolve with it. Many of the tools available are easy (and free) to use and are far less complicated to maintain than they appear. Once you get started, you may be surprised how many of your customers and prospects are already out there, and are willing to follow back to learn more about your business.

To find examples of contractors that are successfully using social media tools, visit or to check out some of those we follow on a regular basis.

Speaking of evolution

If you haven't already checked out the completely redesigned, I encourage you to take a look. The new version of the site organizes magazine and web-exclusive content together in easy to navigate topic pages, such as Commercial Construction, Safety, Concrete, Road Building, Sustainable Construction, Fleet Management and Business Management.

The home page has also become an even better place to browse and link to the "buzz" in the construction industry, including the latest news impacting construction businesses, new products and video coverage. And, speaking of social media, the five-star rating feature in the comments section of product pages lets you share your experiences with construction equipment.

Please let us know what you think of the new design by using the comment box on any story page or by emailing me at [email protected].