Many architecture firms still believe that repeat business and referrals have nothing to do with marketing and everything to do with great service, top-notch design and word of mouth.
However, marketing does play an important role in getting new and repeat work. Prospects and clients-to-be are on social media. And more and more contractors are there too. In order to remain competitive, it’s important to be where they all are. That is to say, social media.
The numbers speak for themselves: according to recent studies, 60 percent of today’s buyers check out professional services providers on social media. And social media has overshadowed formal references as a source of information.
Social media is a huge part of inbound marketing for architecture firms. With millions of users and numerous opportunities for communication, social media networks make it easy for businesses to start a conversation and engage with target audiences.
When we view architecture marketing from this perspective, where marketing efforts aren’t just designed to drive new contracts but also to engage target audiences, establish thought leadership standing and build client loyalty, we realize just how important social media is to inbound marketing for architects.
Read this post to learn how to capitalize on social media for your practice.
5 top reasons for using social media
Here are the five top reasons for making social media an important part of an inbound marketing strategy for architects.
1. Social media helps position your architects as thought leaders
A social media marketing strategy aimed at positioning your internal subject matter experts as industry thought leaders will help consolidate your firm’s reputation and competitive edge. By building detailed profiles of your professionals in platforms like LinkedIn -today’s most important professional network- and having them share their thought leadership content, you increase your firm’s visibility and showcase your “product” -that is, the professionals at the firm.
2. Social media supports content distribution
Creating great content is an important first step, but creating a great content distribution plan is key to attracting clients to your firm. Social media is an easy and effective way to promote your firm’s educational content to a large audience. LinkedIn groups are a particularly valuable way to link to the right audience with the right piece of content, connecting a target market with information that is relevant to them.
3. Social media helps attracts new clients through engagement
By finding the social media networks where clients and prospects come together, you can connect efficiently with your target audiences on a more personal level, and carry on relevant conversations with them. In the professional services field, LinkedIn is the best place to find communities and discussions around issues and topics concerning your industry; other popular networks are Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Google+, and reddit, which also offer opportunities to reach a global audience.
4. Social media facilitates networking with like-minded professionals
The advance of social media has created new ways to connect with fellow architects and influential figures in your practice area. When used effectively, networking through social media can help you achieve many of the same business goals as offline networking. Connecting architects with shared interests can provide insight into current trends, new architectural practices as well as the possibility to gather valuable research. See social media as the online version of networking.
5. Social media is a gateway to your website
Social media is about much more than posting content and increasing engagement. It can also be leveraged to promote your blog and inspire new clients to visit your website, read your educational content and check your digital portfolio, which increases your visibility and expert standing in the eyes of your clients. Social media accounts for a third of all website traffic, and this number is only going to grow.
Like all other channels of inbound marketing, social media works best when there is a well-thought strategy in place. We recommend that you align social media strategy with your inbound marketing, brand building and thought leadership programs.
Be aware that maintaining an online presence requires time and discipline, as well as clearly defined goals for each platform you choose to leverage.