Why (and how) is social media for architects so powerful? Well, for starters, it has the potential to impact your business in ways you can't imagine – especially when done consistently and correctly. It's one of the cheapest ways (free, in some cases) to advertise your architecture firm and engage with current and potential clients.
Reach many ideal clients in a short time
What is social media marketing? It's the use of social media channels in order to promote a person, product or service. But that's not all it's for.
Did you know that social media platforms reach over 2.5 billion people across the globe? Can you think of any other way to reach so many people in such a short time? That’s where social media becomes so powerful. A simple message can be liked, shared, tweeted and shared again. Before anyone realizes it, thousands of people all over the world (or more) can see that same message in just one day.
With social media, news and information is instantaneous and deliverable from any platform (although there is a downside to this that I’ll discuss later). You can find almost any business, product or person via a search bar and you have the whole ‘story’ within just a few clicks.
Get leads and promote website traffic
Social media for architects is a huge piece of the content marketing/branding puzzle in your architecture firm and is the cheapest way to promote traffic to your website, interact with your customers and directly affect sales and leads. Here are a few quick facts to help you understand how social media can help you reach your target market.
- Facebook has over a million different users per month
- One million new people per day join new social media channels
- Over 40 million small businesses use Facebook Pages to promote their business
Plan ahead and set goals
Can you see the potential here? If you target the right channels with the right content, the results are literally limitless. Consider the following questions before you begin (or use them as a ‘social media audit’) to make sure you are promoting your brand in the right places.
- What are your social media goals? (traffic, brand awareness, customer service, or community engagement)
- Who is your target market, and where/when do they go online?
- What is your content plan? It’s important to have a good mix of content (blog posts, videos, educational resources, pictures, etc.
- Metrics/Analytics – Almost every social media channel has their own analytics (also called insights, engagements, etc.)
These questions will help you to decide what and where you are going to post. As a general rule, only 25-35% of your posting should be ‘sales’ or self-promotions. Community engagement is just as important and will foster ‘fans’ of your brand. Share a variety of content and your target audience will respond more favorably.
Start with a couple platforms
In order to keep the process manageable, decide on only two or three platforms to start with. Once you know that you are able to post high-quality content regularly, then you can decide to add more. You can see how well you are doing by monitoring the analytics of these channels and decide if that particular platform is working for you.
When it's time to decide what to post, consider what you think your target audience would want to hear about. You can post frequently asked questions, updates and pictures of new or ongoing projects, community activities that your firm is a part of, interesting tidbits about architecture, etc. Don't forget about those educational resources that you've worked so hard on. Send them to your monkey's fist page from social media channels.
Respond to feedback
Something else to consider is the ability to respond to feedback from clients, whether good or bad, in a timely manner. It’s imperative to remember that everything moves faster online; so staying on top of your social media platforms is extremely important.
PRO TIP: Online mistakes can be costly to a business. If you are in doubt, then just leave it out. It’s better to be safe. Social media is a place to keep topics fun, light and positive when it concerns your business.
Once you begin, don’t be afraid to change things up, depending on your metrics. Although it’s important to stay consistent with your brand image, sharing content that is helpful and relevant will showcase you and your business as a thought-leader.
Bear in mind that each platform has it’s own best practices to fully utilize the site. As an example, where you may post once a day on some platforms, it’s necessary to post several times a day on Twitter because it moves so fast. Also, there are even optimal times and days to post. Facebook reported that the best time to post on their channel is on Wednesday at 3 pm. Analytics show the highest engagement during this time. So do a bit of custom research once you decide on a few social media channels so you have the best chance for success.
Where you maintain a presence should be directly in line with your goals, but I recommend that you use Google+ and Facebook no matter what. You can include other platforms later.
Explore other channels like Houzz
Don’t forget about online forums like Yahoo and Quora, as they can greatly impact your social presence. There are many other social media platforms that are profession-related, such as Houzz and Archello are great channels of social media for architects, that you may want to be a part of, too. There are a lot of platforms that social media for architects can utilize.
Routinely reanalyzing your goals and aligning them with your social media activity will lead you in the right direction. In the meantime, don’t be afraid to ‘socialize’ outside the box.
Step into the digital marketing world
To move seamlessly into the digital marketing world, it's necessary to maintain social media, as well as optimized blog posts (and websites) for long-term search engine and market growth. Check out our post on architect blog post optimization here.