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Thank you for tuning into the Let's Fix Construction podcast.  This is an avenue to offer creative solutions, separate myths from facts and erase misconceptions about the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry. Please visit our website at www.LetsFixConstruction.com

Jul 17, 2018

Co-founders of Let's Fix Construction, Eric D. Lussier and Cherise Lakeside, host the latest episode about social media, concentrating on the LinkedIn platform, which was the topic of the latest LFC blog post.

Eric's social media history stretches back 10 years, starting on LinkedIn and Facebook and just about as long on Twitter. Cherise has about six years of experience and she was introduced to the benefits of social from Joy Davis, former Marketing and Communications Manager for the Construction Specifications Institute, after attending one of her presentations. Cherise states that social media is "one of the single biggest benefits to her career and her network in the last six years that she could have ever dreamed was possible"

Eric's pointer before anyone dips their toes into the water on a social platform they don't use is to listen first and interact second. A 101 level of instruction for even the most common social media platforms is needed, even in 2018, and that is what LFC offers with our 'Social Media & AEC' presentation, that alike the Specs 101 (on architectural specifications) workshop that we offer, is needed in the AEC community, and tends to be much more than a traditional 101 class.

Cherise talks about how she sees Facebook (NOT for business), how she views Twitter for relationships, and how she first started with LinkedIn, including sending out "about 6,000 connection requests" right off the bat. Going into LinkedIn jail for 3 months, barring her from sending out new requests, demonstrated to her how to properly listen in and engage with those connections that were accepted.

Eric gives his biggest LinkedIn tip and that is personalizing your connection request. Make sure you have a profile picture and then be sure to add a personal note. So few people set themselves apart by customizing their LinkedIn invitation.

After being downsized in August of 2017, Cherise had a first-hand experience about the power of LinkedIn and how just updating your headline and then an official post about a job loss can lead to hundreds of messages and tens of thousands of views. These messages and views led to job offers and the realization that even when you think people aren't watching or listening, that is certainly not the case.

Eric discusses the importance of being found when you're in sales. Utilize your profile to detail product lines that you represent, including your contact information and more. Ultimately, you want to be found when your business is in sales. And if you want to be found, then LinkedIn is your friend, because Google LOVES LinkedIn, yet not all professionals are using LinkedIn properly, and some not AT ALL.

Cherise was recently at a conference in Maine that involved a number of construction product representatives and 30-50% of the attendees she could not find on LinkedIn. As a construction specifier, LinkedIn is the number one location Cherise uses to find a contact.

Cherise relays a story about how she needed to make a last-minute specification design change for a window and she couldn't get the spec online without registering on the manufacturer’s website, which took days for approval, nor could she find a proper contact on the company website. This company lost millions of dollars in business because they chose to be hidden rather than be found.

Eric discusses how websites by nature are very static and not typically kept up-to-date, unlike social media channels, especially Twitter. Eric relates how he found out about a new product line from a manufacturer that was posted on Twitter, yet the company website had nothing listed at all. Twitter is a great search engine for instantaneous results, but YouTube is better for indexed results. YouTube is the second most used search engine in the world and is owned by Google.

Eric relays the importance to know that if you are relying on Facebook for your social media usage, that only a very small percentage of your likes see your posts. So, be diverse in your usage and engage!

One of the final thoughts from Cherise is that you can make a real impact in just five minutes a day on social media, should you so choose.