Social Media for architects and designers
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What social networking can do for an architecture firm.
Here at the BUILD World Headquarters we like to stay on top of social media, or if nothing else, we like to give the impression that we’re not being passed up by it. Most architects and designers know that you meet a fare share of clients by showing up to the right cocktail parties, and social media is no different. You can’t make the connection if you’re not there; whether it’s at the soiree over martinis or on twitter over a 140 character discussion about Pacific Northwest Modernism. On top of that, social media tends to be synergistic in that press brings more press. So we’re big fans. In addition to being proponents of social media, we’re also keen on being communicative and transparent –so today’s post outlines the BUILD LLC social media strategy, or if we may be so bold: social media for architects and designers.
This is not new technology anymore. In the architecture industry there is absolutely no excuse not to have an inspiring website complete with nice big images and an interface that’s easy to navigate. An architecture website should be updated on a regular basis with fresh material to let your audience know that you’re up to things. We use liveBooks for our BUILD LLC and SPD websites and we highly recommend their templates.
The benefits of keeping a design blog continue to grow. It’s a great way to connect with the design community and share knowledge; at the same time we learn a tremendous amount from our readers that take the time to comment. The blog allows us to play an active role in evolving the profession; bringing a “rising tide raises all boats” attitude to the veiled and guarded discipline of architecture. The BUILDblog has also become our memory; with over 400 posts and counting, we’ve got a backlog of project specifications, cool modern places around the world, and all the other stuff that inspires us. Oh, and we get to bypass traditional media and self publish ourselves whenever we like.
Our involvement with twitter has slowly but steadily grown. We approached it skeptically at first but we’ve seen some good results over the last year. It’s amazing how quickly a question is answered from people all over the world on Twitter. The 140 character discussion bits keep us in the know and allow quick access to people’s minds. If you don’t already follow our twitter feed, we publish a design quote of the day as well as links to our blog posts, design news and anything else that we think our design tribe would enjoy. We like to use TweetDeck for the twitter interface.
While marketed as a business-related social networking site we’ve never found much use for Linkedin. The only time we visit Linkedin is to accept invitations from other individuals who are presumably conducting business related social networking. However, if anyone can actually provide a compelling reason to use Linkedin as a social media tool, we’re all ears.
We gave Foursquare a solid trial period, but theoretical “badges” of accomplishment only kept us entertained for so long. It was simply a matter of time before the big-brother-ness of someone (or something) knowing where we were all the time superseded the novelty of having a data-base of where we’ve been. While it probably has potential in a more evolved form, we don’t see it as a value add in its current state.
FACEBOOK FAN PAGE
After much deliberation, we did it. We finally dove in a created a “fan page”. Admittedly, we felt like used car salesmen in cheap plaid suits pimping out our fan-page to all our Facebook friends at first. But the more we’ve thought about it, the more we like the idea of the BUILD LLC fan page as a place for all the behind the scenes goodies. People, projects, ideas, whatever is happening on the other side of the camera lens is what you’ll find on our fan page; it’s a good recording of what it’s like to be a design-build firm.
All the categories above make it extremely easy for people and groups to find us. In addition to the volume of work that our social media produces, there’s quite a bit of press that keeps the social media ball rolling. Here’s a snapshot from the last several of weeks:
The sharp-shooters over at Archidose compiled a list of the most popular architecture websites in the world and, much to our astonishment, BUILD LLC came in as the 20th most trafficked architecture website in the world. It’s a little odd to be in the company of Legorreta and OMA, but we’ll take it. Better luck next year Santiago Calatrava –sucka (who came in at a measly 22nd). Traffic to our website relies heavily on the blog, as the website and blog are integral; yet another way that the blog is hard at work 24-7.
BUILD was highlighted at the AIA national convention for our development of social media; Jane Frederick gave a presentation about social media within the profession which can be found here. Subsequently our RSS blog feed doubled overnight.
Having a foothold in social media also brings about great opportunities to guest post for blogs like Life of an Architect.
That’s the quick hit. We’re certainly no experts of social media but it’s working for us and we’re always scouting for new avenues. Social media is all about taking an active role – so hit the comments button below and share.
Cheers from team BUILD.