I think that we all (especially landscape architects, designers, etc) need to realise that there are many benefits of the new media world (including social media). You now have the power to get your ideas, projects, and message out to your clients, allied professionals colleagues, and the mainstream audience far more simply and quickly than ever before. There are no gatekeepers to reaching your audience. It is you who has the power to promote your ideas and message, you have no excuses that you are not being heard.
Below are a few tips on how to get your message out in 2017/2018.
- Setup your social media accounts with the same name as it is then easier to remember for followers.
- Tailor the image and message for each platform and think of how much time you wish to commit to each one.
- use linkedin for your formal news posts and some events, treat it like a industry newspaper or magazine where you publish your news and articles to your company page.
- instagram – I prefer the to go more informal and show everything that i am experiencing on a regular basis (sometimes daily). Use stories to show process such as site visits, sketching, workshop, construction site visit, etc. You can post professional images but be aware it gets a bit tiring see the same images over every platform from a designer. How you use it as a individual and company is different, but remember it is social media and whimsical not too serious.
- facebook – setup a company page and use it for light hearted social moments in your firm whether its celebrations or announcements and then projects.
- pinterest – get your account setup and link all your images from your website to boards that relate to your projects.
- forget twitter, unless you have a current following and have previously posted regularly. twitter conversations are getting lost in the noise. I have found it the most useful as an individual at conferences for seeing who is there and maybe sending a Direct Message to then meet up.
- select one or two platforms and commit to it. Also remember try other platforms to see if will be fun and benefit your firm. All too often people write off social platforms because their clients don’t use and then 6-12 months later are scrambling to get their firm account and connect with clients and other designers.
- your company is made up of many people, so let many people publish to the platforms (preferably those who use it often). Although you are a company remember clients often hire for the people and what you do.
- remember people use social media to be social not read publicity statements or look at reposts of perfect project images. Your company is made up of people so celebrate your people and what they create and be social.
- be consistent – if it is posting once a day, or once a week, keep the posting at a regular interval so that your followers have a understanding and expectation of how regularly you will post.
- use known #hashtags – all too often people start creating #hashtags for a their firm or project. Unless it is known and widely used, you are wasting time. Known ones for landscape are #landarch #landscapearchitecture #landscapearch. Encourage your staff to use event hashtags when they attend. Events such as #ASLA2017 or #ULIFall etc attract thousands of people but it is also a way to network with old and new contacts as people see your there and want to connect and meet in real life. ( I have met people after 3-4 years after following them on social media and it is a real buzz to meet people in real life).
- don’t be afraid to test and trial different methods and ideas – there is no one right or wrong way to post, one post is not going to kill off your following and you can delete a post if it doesn’t work, falls flat or you realise later on it wasn’t appropriate.
- don’t go overboard – it is fun and exciting to start posting images, gain followers and show your hard work, but be careful not to go overboard in the first few days or weeks. I have seen some accounts start posting 10-20 images a day on their accounts and then drop off once they have expended all their professional photography. Remember to be consistent.
- have fun and be social – it is a two way communication tool and these platforms are fun so remember to post more than the finished perfect images and also remember to like, heart and retweet other firms or clients posts as being social and interacting on these platforms along with promoting others work helps everyone get their message out and gives you social currency.
- Follow, subscribe and share others work.
Remember there are two major concepts. It is not about the quantity but quality of followers – 100 great fans and collaborators are worth a lot more than 1000 followers who you have no interaction with. Don’t get sidetracked by trying to publish the perfect image and wording, it is not the nature of the medium.
I hope that this helps those new and old users of social media and new media. I have not discussed Snapchat or Youtube as I am not using them as main platforms. If you have any questions feel free to contact me on the my social media platforms or go old school and email me.
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org