I’ve been working with architects and helping them embrace social media for five years. Social media is a great, democratizing platform that can help anyone find their voice. Here are nine things to think about if you want to get started on social media, or just up your game.
Think of it like a cocktail party and follow the 30-30-30-10 rule. At a cocktail party you wouldn’t spend the whole time talking about yourself, would you? Don’t it online either.
- 30% promote you
- 30% promote others
- 30% personal
- 10% fun
Support others online – promote their cool programs and projects and, in turn, they will likely promote yourself. This is a great way to build up your network and your presence. Everyone loves a good hype man.
You don’t have to promote just anything. Promote the things you love. Enthusiasm is infectious. Social media is an awesome way to learn about what other people love and to find people who share your passions. I’ve seen some fascinating conversations on Twitter where people go deep on concrete, color, urban planning … you get the idea.
This is great for architects because architecture is visual. There’s great photography, cool sketches and process documentation to draw from. Posts on social platforms with a picture or video have greater audience engagement because we all love pictures or a cool video.
What I mean is, pick one platform when you’re starting and see how it works for you. The internet is vast. You don’t have to hop on every new social platform out there if you aren’t interested. If you think Instagram is a good fit for your goals, stick with that and work on your strategy there. If you feel like you’ve mastered one platform, then maybe it’s time to try another.
Whether you are individual or a company, you need social goals just like you need marketing and communications goals.
Some hashtags are funny, others spark activist movements. You can create some order in the chaos of the internet by using hashtags for your content. This might mean using a conference hashtag or sharing your own for a special event or talk. After the event, you can create a storify of the conversation so there’s a record that people can go back to if they are interested in the future. When using a new hashtag, it’s a good idea to search for it online and see if anyone else is using it. If it’s already popular shorthand for another topic, you’ll want to adjust so your conversation is easy to find.
Becoming comfortable and adept at social media is something you learn by doing. Just dive in. There are tons of interesting people and companies to follow, so you can always start by “listening.” Over time you’ll observe how people thread together stories on twitter or concisely tell clever jokes in less than 140 characters.
I’ve found social media to be a great level playing field. You can hear from authors you admire or find people with common interests you might not meet in real life.