How the Construction Industry uses Social Media

Social media should be a key part of every company’s communications strategy. That is an easy statement to make, but much harder to put into practice, not least because of the lack of clear guidance on how it is used. A number of general reports have been published about usage of social media in this country, but how closely does the construction industry follow these trends? Having recently completed the Construction Media Index 2015, here are some useful comparisons:

The Digital, Social and Mobile 2015 Report says 59% of the UK population have active social media accounts. CMI 2015 found that 52% of construction industry decision makers use social media for work.

Ofcom’s Adult’s Media Use and Attitude 2015 report states that four fifths of internet users that have a social media profile visit it at least once a day. CMI 2015 found that one fifth of construction industry decision makers that use social media for work access it once a day.

LinkedIn state they have more than 15 million members in the UK, with over 370,000 being engineers, Construction comes in second as the most represented industry on LinkedIn. CMI 2015 found that just under half of construction industry decision makers are members of LinkedIn.

Ofcom Adult’s Media Use and Attitude 2015 report say that tablets are particularly popular with the middle age groups, with 35-54 year olds higher than all other age groups. CMI 2015 found that usage of tablets to access online blogs and articles by construction industry decision makers was lowest amongst the over 56s, and twice that level for both 19-35 years and 36-55 years.

Ofcom Adult’s Media Use and Attitude 2015 report also says that 6 in 10 adults use a smartphone to go online. CMI 2015 found that nearly 8 in 10 construction industry decision makers use the smartphone to access social networks.

Although these trends reported by the Construction Media Index 2015 are generally similar across categories, there are some noticeable differences. For example those decision makers in Merchants seem to have migrated from reading just hardcopy magazines to only reading online publications far more rapidly than other sectors, in particular Engineers and Contractors where one third still only read hardcopy publications. For social networks Architects are much greater users than other categories and more Housebuilders use Technical Apps than any of the other categories.

For more information about the Construction Media Index 2015 visit the Competitive Advantage website or see Chris’ summary on YouTube:


Chris is founder of Competitive Advantage Consultancy which specialises in market research and training for the construction industry. He is a specialist in specification strategy, a member of the BIM4M2 working groups and serves on the organising committee for CIMCIG, the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s Construction Industry Group.

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