You know that social media is a vital part of your marketing campaign, but there are so many different platforms out there, each requiring a slightly different approach. Where should you spend your time and how do you make the most of your social media accounts?
First things first - never underestimate the importance of being active on social media. A recent study shows that 60 percent of clients research professional service providers on social media before making their choice, which means that you can’t afford to sit out of the sharing, liking and following game. Your social media posts also don’t just draw in new customers - they keep previous ones engaged and interested in your growth - a great boon for repeat business and client referrals. And it serves the vital function of driving traffic to your website.
Today we’re going to dive into the 5 best social media platforms for architecture firms and how you can get the most out of each.
Facebook tops our list as the most important social media platform for pretty much any business, and the reason for this is pretty simple - sheer numbers. Facebook is on track to hit 2 billion active monthly users by the end of 2017. Basically, you can’t afford not to be on Facebook.
Fortunately, setting up your firm on Facebook is pretty straightforward, and you probably already know your way around the site from using it in your personal life. To create a business page, click on the link on the Facebook homepage, or just follow this link. The registration process will walk you through each step, and you’ll be up and running in no time.
Facebook is the great catch-all of social media. You can be both business-minded and playful, and both are well-suited to the Facebook community. Post about projects, inspiration, articles from your website and anything else you can think up. It’s all about making a connection. Think of Facebook as your central hub in your social media universe and remember to post regularly and vary your type of posts to keep in interesting.
You’ve heard it a million times, but a picture is worth a thousand words, and nowhere is this more true than on Instagram. Signing up for an Instagram account is quick and simple, and the platform is ideal for architecture firms, since it’s all about the visual. You can even draw in non-architecture types with gorgeous pics and get your name out there as you gain followers.
But remember that it’s not all about you. A vital component of Instagram is sharing the love and posting about companies and beautiful architecture that isn’t yours. Give shout-outs, share inspiration from nature and like other peoples’ posts. It’s how ‘gramming is done.
A great way to spread out posts without being a slave to your Instagram account is to use a scheduling app. You can upload everything you want to post and use the app to automatically publish it at given intervals.
Instagram is a very casual platform and the tone of your posts can reflect that. Go ahead and have fun, build connections with your followers and use hashtags and emoticons to your heart’s content.
LinkedIn shifts to the other end of the spectrum when it comes to professionalism - it’s a business platform that is all about making sophisticated connections with clients and other businesses. You’ll want to put your best foot forward and use more straight-laced language and visuals. Think of it as your online business card.
Networking is where it’s at with LinkedIn and it’s a great place to meet up with other architecture firms and build your reputation in the professional world. You can also give visitors to your page information about your location, size and the type of services you offer.
Creating a company page is easy. Go to this “Getting Started” page and just starting filling in your information. Add a profile and a company picture/logo and you’ll be set to go. A great thing about having a LinkedIn profile is the ability to utilize SEO with your page. You can also add a link to your website and use it as a hiring tool too.
Twitter is probably the simplest platform on our list, both to set up and to use. Short is the name of the game for Twitter, and as such, it’s a great place for promoting events, general advertising and quick shout-outs. Feel free to use hashtags to help people find your business, but be careful not to go overboard with them.
Remember to keep it personal and connect with others on the platform. Find people and other firms to follow, and just like with Instagram, remember to make it not just about your own business all the time. Twitter posts can also be automated to save time and hassle, with tools like Hootsuite.
Last of all, we’re suggesting a site that is quite a bit smaller than the rest in terms of monthly users, but is a growing platform and perfectly suited to architecture firms. Houzz lets you have a business page, similar to one that you might have for LinkedIn, but is also a great place for clients to generate an idea book of styles and inspiration they love. In this way, it’s similar to Pinterest, but it’s specific to the housing and design industries, which is why it’s our pick for this list.
Clients can also leave reviews on your business page, something that can’t be done on Pinterest, and that helps grow your business and draw in new clients.
Things to Remember
There are some important things to keep in mind no matter which social media platforms you choose to utilize. The most important is to take some time before you start signing up for any of these and identify the goals for your social media campaign. Are you hoping to inspire? To draw in new customers? To build relationships? Have a clear goal in mind to guide your posts on all your platforms.
Since many of your posts will (hopefully) bring new visitors to your website, you’ll also want to first make sure that it’s up and running smoothly and looks fantastic. Also make sure have links on your website to all your social media accounts.
Lastly, make it a group effort. Get your contractors and other employees on board with all your social media. Give them the opportunity to post (with approval) and add variety to your feeds. And if this all seems overwhelming, there’s always the option of hiring a social media marketer who can take care of all of this for you.
Social media is important for the growth of your firm and it’s fun too! Just do a little bit each day, and you’ll see your online presence blossom before you know it.