Architect Marketing Course 2014 – Outline
Level 3 Part B (2014) – Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Houzz, Pinterest, etc.

Copyright 2014 – Eric Bobrow
All rights reserved – do not reproduce or distribute

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LESSON OUTLINE

INTRODUCTION – AGENDA FOR THE LESSON

SOCIAL MEDIA

The Concept of Social Media
User-driven content (vs. consumer)
The Social Network (“social graph”) – shared with friends and colleagues
Primarily personal, but increasingly commercial, starting to be professional
Lots of “buzz” – growing exponentially the past 5 years
Potentially a great way to build “social proof” as well as relationship and engagement (precursors to hiring)

Downsides of Social Media:

  • Multiple networks make it time-consuming
  • Lots of diversions – potentially a big waste of productive time
  • It’s not clear that it will help to actually find new clients or be found

GENERAL ADVICE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

This is NOT a primary priority – your website and email system are much more important; however it is useful as a supplemental effort, likely to be more important over time

SEO BOOST: One good reason to spend a little time on this is that each account you create on social media portals gives you one more backlink to your site – helps your search rankings

Another good reason is that some people will EXPECT to find you – on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn – just like MOST people will expect that you have a website and email – and more will expect this over time – social media is NOT going away. Some people spend a lot of time on their preferred networks and will appreciate that you make it easy to stay in touch.

WHAT WORKS FOR PROFESSIONALS

  • Establish business page (aka “fan page”) on Facebook – because people are starting to expect it – the biggest social network, with over 900 million active users. One can create multiple Tabs in a business page, and each one can be a repository for different types of information, including pictures and videos. In fact, each Tab can contain anything you would put on a standard web page, or show the contents of one of your website pages.
  • Create an account on Twitter – for those who prefer quick updates – second largest network
  • Up and coming – Pinterest – now number three network, coming out of nowhere – very suitable for architects because it’s so visual; caters to “wish list” and reference items – perfect for people researching design ideas and firms
  • LinkedIn – professional focus – more useful in general for connecting with colleagues and peers, consultants, and finding staff rather than building a following or finding new clients. However, LinkedIn is particularly important for firms doing commercial or institutional work, since building owners / clients will be used to this network and will check out a firm and look at their recommendations (aka testimonials / quotes). IMPORTANT: ask for recommendations on LinkedIn using their built-in system to build social proof.
  • Create Google+ page – because Google is starting to display “number of circles” in search results and likely is using as a ranking factor. Google+ is not used nearly as much as Facebook, but Google is working hard to make it more relevant and important, so you “have” to be there.
  • YouTube channel – a place to build up a set of resources and reference materials, build credibility; use it to host videos for embedding / placement onto your website
  • Forums – Generally good for connecting with peers, not clients. Example: AIA, ArchiCAD-Talk, LinkedIn Groups, etc.
  • Link accounts and automate posting to minimize time investment
    • Networked Blogs
    • Hootsuite

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN “SHARING” AND “FOLLOWING”

It’s easy to set up Social Media icons on a WP site to encourage people to “follow” your firm
This will keep them connected to you, they’ll receive a notice whenever you have an update
“Multiple touches” are helpful in building a relationship, increasing likelihood of getting their business when they’re ready to hire a design firm
“Share this” or “Pin this” – an opportunity for visitor to share with others or bookmark publicly
Sharing can be on their own Facebook page, or potentially on someone else’s
Extends the reach of your marketing efforts
Particularly good for articles, videos and beautiful pictures

MECHANICS OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Generally quick and free to set up an account
Facebook – best to sign up for a personal account first then add one or more business pages
Each network has a place for you to add your personal and business info
Important to include a good description (“About Us”) with a live website link (include “http://”)
Use your SEO keywords in the description, as well as in your posts or video descriptions
Can usually place logo or branding to make it visually distinctive – DIY or pay someone or get an inexpensive tool to make it easy

THE BOTTOM LINE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Do this after you have your website set up (lower priority) or along with that work
Spend a little time on this to boost SEO and be there for those who expect or prefer it
Set it up so that it’s quick and easy – automate where you can

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