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How do Architects use social media? If you look around the web you’ll see some examples, both good and bad, of Architects using social media. How should Architects use social media?

The American Institute of Architects is in the midst of a Repositioning initiative. We have recognized that we have to transform the way our profession is organized and perceived, the way we market and communicate.

We are in a Time of Change.

If you’re willing to join me, I’d like to explore how Architects are changing the way they promote the profession and themselves. Along the way I’ll share tips and strategies for helping Architects succeed at the business of architecture through Social media.

If you’re new to the Social media landscape you may be interested in downloading “Conquer Social Media.” It’s my free e-book where I look at the 6 most popular Social media platforms and give 10 tips for making the most of each of them.

How do Architects Use Social Media

Let me start with a little introduction. I’ve been working in social media for quite a while now. It started with Renovation Resources, my first blog. Soon, I added an email newsletter for the RR faithful. At some point I posted a profile on LinkedIn.

I’d like to connect with you on LinkedIn if we haven’t already. Here’s a link to my profile.

When Twitter was launched it became my instant fascination.

You can follow my Tweets at @Jeff_Echols if you’d like. It’s still one of my favorite places to have conversations online.

I was dragged, kicking and screaming onto Facebook … and quickly caught the bug.

Are we Friends on Facebook? Get to my personal page and send me a Friend Request. I try to keep things fun and a little bizarre there. Here’s a link.

I’ve dabbled on Pinterest, have a YouTube Channel, I’m on Google+ and Slideshare. All told, between my personal dabbling, professional pages and work for different organizations I have 5 blogs, manage 4 Twitter streams, 12 Facebook pages, 3 Google+ and 2 Pinterest profiles, etc., etc., etc.

To be honest, many of those social media properties aren’t “successful” by some measurement standards; some are quite successful. Each has its own role to play. I’ll share a more in-depth look at these in future posts but as a primer for future discussion I’d like to put two seeds in your mind:

Social media can be an overwhelming time-suck. You have to start with a plan.

Social media success should not be measured in Likes, Favorites and Shares.

Let’s go back to the original question:

How do Architects use Social media?

Should Architects use Social media?

How are you using Social media?

Leave a comment and let me know. My goal is to start an open dialogue and let Architect of the Internet be a forum where we can all learn to have success in the business of architecture through Social media.

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About Jeff Echols

Jeff Echols is the creative Storyteller for Award-Winning architecture firms and the Social Media Campaign Manager for industry professionals. He is a graduate of Ball State University with over 20 years’ experience in the marketing departments of firms ranging from three to three thousand employees.

Jeff spends countless hours studying, developing and implementing strategies for insuring marketing success for Architects and other business owners in the online arena. He documents the good, the bad and the ugly in Social Media at Architect of the Internet and speaks about Conquering Social Media in venues ranging from the Board Room to the Convention Stage.

Comments

  1. We use social media to define/extend our brand. We use twitter to promote our blog posts and engage with other creatives globally. I use LinkedIn to enhance the connectivity that is part of our brand as well as develop a local network. Facebook is used to post updates on current projects and showcase projects. I had but deleted a Google+ account. We use Pinterest merely as a showcase for our work. It is the least used social media site.

    To date there is no tangible ROI but intuitively I know not participating in social media would not be a good thing.

    • Jeff Echols says:

      Thanks for Robert. It sounds like COBROOKE is fully engaged socially. I like the fact that you’ve tried different platforms and then decided what worked for you and what didn’t. I’ll definitely be connecting with you on the social networks.
      Jeff

  2. I am eiher using social media, or consuming it. It proves to be a great place to find inspiring design and informative subject matter. Modus Operandi Design is on FB, Twitter, G+, Instagram and Pinterest. I also have a personal LibkedIN page. I engage other designers best with Twitter and G+, where I have an architect’s community called Big Time Small Firm. We have hangouts at least twice a month. FB and Instagram are for sharing current project and interesting news in the profession. I tend to find some great photography on job sites, and post it. On Pinterest, I just post what I find to be great examples of design, historic architecture, architectural presentation and the occational comic relief. Search ‘modarchitect’ on all platforms if you’d like to connect. ~Jes Stafford

  3. GPI Design uses social media to connect to the industry and expose our process. While I believe that social media can create platforms for broadcasting articles or a completed project (all very polished pieces of information), I believe that a website should convey those polished pieces. Social media should instead try to focus on the humanizing element, showing the process, the people, which makes social media feel a bit like “behind the scenes” sneak peeks. This is easier said than done, and it can be scary to feel like we are “sharing secrets” in an industry where design and intellectual property are the main assets. I am curious how other firms are dealing with this conundrum!

    • Jeff Echols says:

      I think you’re spot on Caitlin. Thanks for your comment. I’m going over to check out GPI’s website to see how you’re doing it. In the meantime do you have a strategy for balancing your content, as-in: highlight some projects, highlight some clients, provide some expertise or industry insight, etc.? Enoch Sears over at Business of Architecture has a couple of great articles that touch on exactly what you’re talking about. My favorite is “Dear Architect, Your Website Sucks.” – Jeff

      • Thanks Jeff. I would be interested to get more insight from you on the social media strategies. Honestly, no we don’t have a balancing strategy, I wish there was more time in the day for that!

        Enoch Sears’ article is great, I am sending it to our web designers now!

        Caitlin

        • Jeff Echols says:

          Happy to help Caitlin. If you’d like to take the discussion offline shoot me an email (button at the top left of the page). It’s like anything else (and easier said than done), a little bit of planning on the front end can save time down the road.

  4. I am just getting started with social media for our company and am trying to “strategerize” where to put my efforts. What I am hoping to do, once our website is up and running, is to start a blog for our company that focuses on our projects, but also gives insights into our design process, our individual passions as designers, and highlighting our areas of expertise. I have really enjoyed Twitter as a source of industry information on design, BIM, sustainability, etc, but since we don’t have any of our own content to contribute yet, I don’t know how much return there is on the effort. We are currently using LinkedIn to connect to colleagues and consultants that we work with. We have talked about starting a facebook page here, but most of us only use facebook to keep in touch with personal connections, not business. My current concern is finding time to blog, tweet, post, etc… in between project deadlines!

    • Jeff Echols says:

      Lauren thanks for the comment. From the sound of it you’re just getting started but you’ve put a lot of good thought into it. A few suggestions:
      Work with your web designer to integrate your website and blog. The mix of content you’re planning sounds great.
      Even if you don’t have any content to push, use Twitter to build strong connections and conversations so that your followers are ready to listen when you have something to say.
      If your ideal client or ideal collaborator is on LinkedIn invest some time in setting up a LinkedIn Business Page.
      If your ideal client is on Facebook invest some time in setting up a Facebook page for your business.
      For a little inspiration on finding time you may want to read: “How Do You Find Time For Social Media
      If you need tips on any of the most popular Social Media platforms may I humbly suggest “Conquer Social Media“?
      You’re on the right track. Now it’s like any good project, you have to develop a good plan and then execute it. Let me know if I can help. – Jeff

  5. Hey Jeff, I was unaware of this website until I stumbled across it. Thanks for the shoutout in the exchange with Caitlin. How long have you had this site up?

    • Jeff Echols says:

      Thanks for reaching out Enoch. I’ve long admired what you’re doing at Business of Architecture. Obviously your title says it all but I find your focus on the actual practice of being in the business of architecture invaluable. I’ve just started building Architect of the Internet and plan to focus on just a small portion of what you cover; utilizing Social Media tools for marketing our services and profession. My goal is foster a community and inspire conversation. There are hundreds or even thousands of podcasts and blogs out there that cover Social Media, Content Marketing or Internet Marketing. Some even focus on specific industries. I want to be the one that focuses specifically on our industry. Thank you for everything that you cover so well. Keep up the good work. – Jeff

Trackbacks

  1. […] Janet Fouts, “The Social Media Coach” did some soul searching recently and decided to kill her Facebook Page. Maybe Architects should too. […]

  2. […] How are you using Social Media? […]

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