Social Media for Construction – Panel Discussion Highlights

Social Media for Construction - Panel Discussion Highlights

The September 15 Panel discussion featuring managers from some of the most successful construction brands — Caterpillar, USG and Emerson Electric — proved that social media is no longer just for tech nerds and underfunded start-ups. In parallel with other business marketing categories, construction marketers are embracing social media with aggressive initiatives, and measurable results.

Each panelist answered three questions. How does your brand use social media? How does social media integrate with other internet initiatives? And what results have you realized with social media? Neil M. Brown, Chairman of the Construction Marketing Association was the panel moderator.

Melissa York, Director of Integrated Marketing at USG shared how the leading manufacturer of SheetRock® wallboard materials used YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to launch SecuRock® a new line of roofing materials, which integrate with USG’s many internet properties, as well as traditional marketing like trade advertising and a distributor kit.

A YouTube video had over 1900 views, and search results improved dramatically. Monitoring keyword mentions by market segment, USG identified blogs and forums to be significant, while Twitter was used extensively used by architects!

Kevin Espinosa, Channel Development Manager at Caterpillar demonstrated a Facebook page with 13,500 Fans and interactive photo contest. The CAT YouTube channel had 71,000+ views and 356,000+ uploads. Blogs for each product group were impressive with users answering each others questions. Certainly Caterpillar has a huge dealer network that is engaging in social media, along with organic (SEO) and paid (SEM) search. CAT measures Facebook Fans and Likes, Twitter Followers, YouTube downloads, and is beginning to use social monitoring tools.

Carrie Halle, Marketing Manager at KNAACK® Jobsite Storage, a division of Emerson Electric, demonstrated how social media is used to launch new products, distribute news releases and improve search engine results. Knaack’s Weather Guard® truck and van equipment was recognized for it’s outstanding Twitter program. The Weather Guard® YouTube channel realized over 11,000 views. Knaack uses Google analytics to measure page views, bounce rate and stickiness, or time spent on a given site. And Knaack uses email campaigns and microsites with social media for integrated product launches and promotions.

With nearly 100 participants, a number of questions were answered by the panelists. A downloadable Powerpoint presentation is available on the Construction Marketing Association events page at:


Association members can request a video copy (.mov file) of the complete presentation using our contact form at:



  1. Mark

    I know this was a hot topic (the slow adoption of social media by the AEC industry) a few months ago – good to see it has blossomed into the current rage of the industry. It only makes sense – from product manufacturers to firms across the industry, communication is vital (and profitable).

    Thanks for sharing this – if I didn’t believe it I wouldn’t be an advocate of the potential of the Community section (like an AEC facebook) for ‘s web site (I’m the marketing guy).


  2. Jennifer Heitler

    Thank you for posting. As the Marketing Director for a CRM software designed specifically for the AEC industry, it’s so important for me to track the adoption of social media by our clients. I look forward to attending the next discussion on Oct. 15th.


  3. Darren Slaughter

    This was a great webinar, and kudos to the panelists for airing their company’s dirty social media laundry. Social media isn’t something that is easy to convince people to adopt, especially inside companies where the payback isn’t seen for a long time.

    And let’s be honest, it takes a herculean effort to run a social media program wrapped around drywall, so another round of applause goes out to Melissa York for making that interesting!

    -Darren Slaughter

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