When people think of social media, they typically think of posting status updates, sharing quiz results, and adding selfies to Facebook. But many businesses use social media, too.

In fact, in today’s digital world, a business that doesn’t have a presence on social media risks losing customers on a daily basis. Even construction companies have embraced social media by sharing information about their projects such as videos, the technology involved, and even humorous stories.

To give you an idea of how exactly construction companies are using social media, here are five different social media trends happening right now in the construction industry.

1. Connect with Potential Customers

Social media is perfect for connecting with potential customers. Construction marketing personnel can easily create profiles on Facebook or Twitter and use them to speak directly to customers and potential customers.

Additionally, photos and videos of a project can be uploaded and shared with customers. Potential customers can see just how the company works and what their process is.

This is also a chance to turn a faceless company name into a friendly neighborhood business by showcasing the people who do the work. These behind the scenes looks can be very fascinating to customers if done right.

2. Making it Personal

Customers like to feel like a business is treating them like a person. They don’t want to be seen like a walking checkbook, and social media gives businesses that chance. Businesses can interact with followers on a one-on-one basis, replying to comments as necessary.

In the construction industry, there’s plenty of opportunity to personalize your brand’s messaging to speak directly to your target audience. Everyone’s strategy is just a little bit different, but one approach is to use the chance to establish your brand as the go-to source for expertise on anything related to the work you do. By accomplishing this, you’ll ensure that anyone who views you as an expert source will consider hiring your firm when they’re ready to do so.

Another potential approach is to post content that’s simply engaging. It’s also okay to post the occasional photo, status, or link that’s simply funny or interesting. There’s no need for a business’s social media profile to be full of nothing but posts about the company.

3. Keeping it Interesting

The construction industry is much more complex than those outside this area may realize. That’s why many construction companies strive to keep their social media profiles full of interesting tidbits and facts.

They also want to help educate customers about what goes into the construction of a major building. Even though the average person may have no need for Sage computer programs (formerly Timberline software), a construction company might post something interesting that customers might not know.

There’s room in almost any line of work to post content that’s engaging for people that are outside of the industry. The key is to be focused on who your audience is and what speaks to them. How can your content bridge the gap between the kind of person that might be your client and the work that your company does?

4. Promoting the Business

While businesses, especially those new to social media, may be tempted to post a lot of promotions and other advertisements about their business, the current trend in social media is to only do this about 20 percent of the time.

There’s a fine line between posting too often and losing followers, and too little where the business could lose potential customers. Construction marketing experts have to find the perfect balance between the two, and at the moment, that balance is at about 20 percent of all posts for advertising.

This is the case because, in general, people don’t like to feel like they’re subscribing to a source for commercials. Remember, except in rare cases, ‘commercials’ are considered as annoying. While they might be valuable for the company that created them, the consumers that see them aren’t as likely to be impressed. Balance out this ‘commercial’ style content with content that’s genuinely interesting and engaging to encourage fans to pay attention when it is time to post more promotionally.

5. Engaging in Trending Topics

Finally, businesses that have the most followers and seem to be winning in the social media arena are those that not only share about themselves and their industry but also touch on trending topics.

While it may seem dangerous, for example, to wade into certain political discussions, sometimes it’s possible to win more customers by posting about topics that invite the need for a stance to be taken. Be certain to judge carefully, though, before posting thoughts that aren’t well-supported by facts.

And that’s not to say that all trending topics are controversial! Sometimes it’s appropriate to enter discussions about local sports, news, or other relevant events. Be sure not to stray too off-topic too regularly, but a post that’s outside the ordinary here and there might be enough to keep people engaged more regularly with the variety of content.