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How Contractors Can Leverage Instagram and TikTok

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Think Instagram stories and TikTok videos are just for teens? Think again.
In an Instagram post, a crew member from Boston Exterior Remodeling completes a home exterior with Foundry’s Grayne Shingle Siding.

In an Instagram post, a crew member from Boston Exterior Remodeling completes a home exterior with Foundry’s Grayne Shingle Siding.

By now, many builders and remodelers have a Facebook page, a LinkedIn page, and perhaps a Twitter account. But should you be doing more to stay on trend?

We chatted with two contractors who are continually pushing the envelope on social media—one who’s grown to influencer status on Instagram and another who has built a massive follower base on TikTok—to see why they’re finding success staying on top of the hottest platforms.

 

Why Is Social Media Important for Business?

Remodeler Joe Danz, owner of Boston Exterior Remodeling, has become something of a star on Instagram, telling stories, posting his company’s work, and connecting with manufacturers. “Instagram really has changed the platform, how contractors in real time can show their work, show problem solving, show products,” Danz says. “People are really receptive to that because they enjoy content. Homeowners can see our page and know we’re serious about what we’re doing, that we’re craftsmen, that we take pride in what we’re doing.”

Danz says social media content also helps provide validation. “If someone is looking up ideas and they see the same company over and over, and their friends are following you, they start to vet you. It’s another form of word of mouth.”

In fact, Danz says social media has become an essential lead generator for the company. “I would say 60% of our business comes from social media at this point.”

Plus videos and imagery on social media also provide a more detailed look at quality and craftsmanship, allowing a remodeler to charge more for their work. 

In this traditional Instagram post, Boston Exterior Remodeling showed in-progress and completed images of an 1870s Victorian featuring Boral’s Foundry Grayne siding in Rustic Slate.

Kyle Stumpenhorst, owner of Rural Renovators (aka RR Buildings) in Franklin Grove, Ill., has 1.7 million followers on TikTok, eschewing the notion that it’s an app for youth doing dances. 

On the short-video app, participants use shared music and sounds (or their own original audio) to create content. While widely known for dances and music, it’s quickly become a place for education, demonstrations, and idea sharing. As a result, creative contractors, trades, and manufacturers in the building industry have been jumping on the trend.

Stumpenhorst uses the app from the jobsite to show craftsmanship and installation techniques, both in straightforward videos as well as leveraging the app’s unique features and trends. 

“I just want to bring awareness to the trades, to cool tools, and overall post-frame construction,” he says.

 

Strategies for Social Media Success 

For those just starting out on social, Danz encourages a jump-in-and-stick-with-it approach. “It doesn’t matter how many followers you have or how many likes you get,” he advises. “You just want to show your company in a good way. If you do that and stay with it, you’ll get noticed. It does validate your company.”

Danz also cautions that you need to enjoy doing social media to get the most success out of it. “What you put into it is what you get out of it.”

“I think a big reason for my success was consistently creating unique content that was positive and educational,” he adds. “People could learn something while also being inspired or motivated to do something themselves.”

Boston Exterior’s posts include tips and tricks, such as using the water tube approach to leveling:

Also, revealing new approaches, including this use of Kleer PVC trim:

The type of content varies greatly based on what your audiences respond to as well as the style of platform. For example, Instagram is great for showcasing finished projects or before-and-afters, and Instagram stories offer an opportunity for quick videos of your craftsmanship and process. 

And showing the people doing the work is important, too. “They want to see the faces behind it, not just the pretty pictures,” Danz advises.

And, of course, creating pictorials of completed projects:

Like Boston Exterior, RR Buildings also seizes the opportunity to showcase its attention to detail and expert craftsmanship:

@rrbuildings

Tricky detail... doesn’t go this quick in real time #ScaryStories #construction #satisfyingaf #smooth #asmrtiktoks #metal

♬ original sound - RR Buildings

And within that, tool tests, as shown while Stumpenhorst was installing Boral’s Versetta Stone siding:

@rrbuildings

This thing keeps impressing #tools #dewalt #batterypower #dirtyhandscleanmoney #smoothaf

♬ original sound - RR Buildings

And be sure to adapt your content based on the unique features of the app. TikTok is a platform that thrives on using songs and keeping up with trends. Along with more traditional videos, RR Buildings makes videos to trending sounds or, in this case, playing on viewers’ love of “satisfying” sounds and actions while simultaneously showing its roofing prowess:

@rrbuildings

Installing the standing seam panels… no visible fasteners #tight #satisfying #ceoofconstruction #metalroof #metalart

♬ original sound - RR Buildings

Equipment manufacturer Doosan is an expert at this, choreographing its machines and people to the tune of trending songs, as seen here:

@doosantok

Sorry for the detours this weekend! 🚧⚠️🚧 #construction #doosan #heavyequipment #excavator #calabria

♬ son original - French Fuse

Like other platforms, TikTok is interactive and thrives on engagement, allowing viewers to comment, share, and even “duet” your videos to make them their own. You can respond to questions as a comment or with another video, as RR Buildings did here regarding its timber framing techniques:

@rrbuildings

Reply to @dad_by_day_dj_by_night #constructiontips #ceoofconstruction #nowyouknow #VideoSnapChallenge #postframe

♬ original sound - RR Buildings

 

Ideas for Social Media

Want more ideas for TikTok and Instagram? Here are some fun highlights from around the industry.

Magleby Construction posts its completed homes, such as this house featuring TruExterior Siding, as well as the array of unique details inside and out:

Ideal Carpet & Flooring shows off its pouring technique:

@idealflooring

I don’t want to cut round that toilet 😂#satisfying #foryoupage #skilledtrades #tradie #fyp #oddlysatisfying #fypシ #viral #construction #fy #flooring

♬ I Write Watermelons Not Sugar by DJ Cummerbund - DJ Cummerbund

Mullen Building takes in-progress photos to a new level with an aerial view of a lot getting cleared and prepped:

Builders, remodelers, and DIYers learn what not to do from Inspector_AJ, who has 1.5 million followers on TikTok, many of whom will tag him in other videos when they see strange home details:

@inspector_aj

New construction… fail.

♬ original sound - AJ

Construction Coach provides tips and tricks for building more efficiently:

@constructioncoach

How to Dig a Post Hole the Fast and Easy Way #fence #diy #building #create #house #home #construction #remodeling #digging

♬ original sound - Ilse Interior Finishings

And of course, TikTok is a haven for real estate home tours:

@heider_realestate

What $1,049,000 can get you in Washington, DC #realestate #rowhome #renovation

♬ original sound - Real Estate

 

Love social media? Be sure to follow Boral Building Products on Facebook and Instagram. And check out our 11 exterior brands at www.boralbuildingproducts.com.