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Business Development for Construction and the AEC Industry May 9, 2011

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software.
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Business Development in construction is successful when approached as a long term strategy. With all the social networks exploding many have suggested that LinkedIn is all you need for Business to Business. What I’ve found is that business development requires networking in person and that many conversations can begin or be nurtured on-line in social media. I’ve added extensions to browsers, applications to social networking sites and plugins to email to help the business nurturing process. Here are some of my favorites:

Xobni – A plugin for Outlook (and soon Gmail) that indexes your email and makes it easy to identify the social networks your contacts use. If you have an IT department, you’ll need to have your administrator to OK this.

Rapportive – A gmail add-on that automatically finds the social profile of the email sender.

WhoWorks.At – a Google Chrome (browser) extension that lets you see your LinkedIn connections while browsing a website. This is new but has huge potential once LinkedIn add a company API

Chrome extension for biz dev: how you're connected in LinkedIn while browsing web pages

Here's the WhoWorks.At results when I browse CFMA.org

Tweets – found in the LinkedIn application directory that shows you what connections use Twitter and provides updates from those you follow on Twitter inside LinkedIn. Great listening tool for business connection nurturing.

Signals – from LinkedInLabs.com that aggregates all the Tweets in your network and across an industry. Search for Construction and filter on a geographic area to see the Buzz of what’s being said.

LinkedIn Today – aggregates news feeds from many sources and serves a snippet of hot topics. You’ve probably noticed this just below your status when checking your connection updates. Construction specific if you use the filter.

With the LinkedIn IPO coming later this year, and McGraw-Hill freeing up some of their LinkedIn shares for it…I predict an uptick in LinkedIn usage in the AEC industry. Are the PR and marketing teams in your construction, engineering or architectural firm listening?

Now that I’ve shared my favorites, will you share yours? Please add your suggestions, comments and ask questions. I’m listening.

You may Find these related posts of interest:
LinkedIn Skills Beta: Claim Your Expertise

Tagging LinkedIn Contacts

Social Media a Twitter in Construction

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Comments»

1. Patty Swisher - May 11, 2011

Hi Carol,

I totally agree with your post. I think social media marketing and social networking present a huge opportunity to create community in the AEC industry. I’ve been saying this for months at my firm, slowly pulling in all levels of staff. And I say this, not in any way minimizing the importance of networking in person. The activities and tools must work together in an organized effort.

While the “Social Media Industry” is rapidly growing and maturing, reaching for the top of that life-cycle bell curve, so many other industries particularly professional services are just now jumping on the bandwagon.

As for your suggested apps, I use Xobni (only the free version) and I like it. I wonder if it doesn’t give my outlook trouble though? Have you had similar experience? I definitely use LinkedIn and Twitter (@pmswish) – I’ll have to check some of the extensions you suggest. The IPO will certainly be a development to watch.

I know that SMPS, the Society for Marketing Professional Services, has recently “discovered” social media, so I suspect that the wave will begin to swell as more and more dive in and check it out.

One community I might recommend to your readers is Architizer.com. Specifically for architects, it is like facebook for design professionals. It’s a good place to search and research people and firms worldwide. The other tip I would offer is a tool like Hootsuite or TweetDeck. I am a Hootsuite fan myself; it helps me manage my personal and corporate twitter account, a Facebook page and a LinkedIn page all on the same ‘dashboard’ if you will. Scheduling posts and keeping up on feedback and responses, I find it very helpful.

I’m a new subscriber to your blog. I look forward to future posts!

carolhagen - May 19, 2011

Xobni can make your email a bit slower as it indexes. I’ve noticed issues when I have reminders….seems to have some conflicts there, otherwise great tool. I use it everyday!

carolhagen - January 1, 2012

Patty,
what version of outlook are you using? I experienced a few hiccups on 2003.

2. Business Development for the AEC Industry « SMPS Central Florida - December 12, 2012

[…] recently stumbled upon this blog post on Carol’s Construction Technology Blog: “Business Development for Construction and the AEC Industry“ and wanted to pass along some key information from her post, thanks Carol […]


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