Why Social Media is Important for Architects
The Influence of Social Media on Architecture
As an Architect, the communication channels used with clients vary. In the past these primarily consisted of personal face to face meetings, email and phone contact. Today social media is just as important. The process from a client initially identifying their need, to actually making the move to contact an Architect can be streamlined when social media is involved. But how does social media fit into this process? In this article, we share why social media is so important for Architects.
Architecture Before Social Media
Before social media, print publishing was essential for presenting an Architect’s completed works to the public. Hard copy magazines and books used carefully curated images. These were chosen and edited to present the Architect’s vision as they chose others to see it.
Today, these publications are declining. Influential digital platforms allow the public to view and interact with Architecture on demand, and in any manner they choose.
Image-led platforms such as Instagram and Facebook have democratised Architecture providing immediate access to a global audience. Social media has taken the editing control out of the hands of the Architect, curator or magazine editor and allowed the public to share their views and opinions about Architecture.
This can provide Architects with valuable new insights into how their designs are perceived and used. This is important feedback and allows for refinement of future designs.
Social Media in Australia
Many of us believe that the younger generations are the main adopters of social media for fun and communicating with their peers. That’s not actually the case. Social media is used across all ages and demographics, including for business. Facebook alone in Australia has 15,000,000 daily active users with 50% of the population logging in daily. YouTube has 15,000,000 monthly active Australian users and Instagram 9,000,000 monthly active Australia users. That’s not taking into account LinkedIn (10 million + registered users) and Twitter (5,300,000).
Social Media for Architects
Social media is a convenient way for Architects to stay up to date with the latest news and trends. It’s also a powerful communication channel between Architect’s existing and potential clients.
Direct messaging to a Facebook business page, a LinkedIn page or profile, are good examples. But these aren’t the only benefits. When people comment on an Architect’s social media posts, it’s an opportunity for the Architect to connect and engage. This is not a sales pitch. The key to social media is communication, not selling!
Someone may comment or ask a question about a particular design or project. The Architect can reply and share links to blog posts, other social posts or website for more information. Citing a recent example, after someone inquired about vertical gardens, we commented and shared a link to our post ‘Vertical Gardens – The Ultimate in Organic Architecture’.
Communicating on social media is a way to build rapport with a community and not only post, but also be involved in conversation. As you would in person, you have a chance to help find solutions for your clients and potential clients. With social media it is much faster.
This is not limited to your own social media. Architects can also comment on other social media pages in their local community and Architect related pages such as Dezeen, ArchDaily, DesignBoom, Architectural Digest and Architects Journal. Some of these have websites that have developed as digital versions of longstanding Architectural print magazines. It’s not only Architects looking at these pages for inspiration, but also potential clients.
Best Social Media for Architecture Design
Many Clients collate their design thoughts about a new project using story boards before they contact an Architect. These collages of images identify specific features that the Client likes including finishes, colours and design styles.
As a residential Architect, we find Pinterest and Houzz are popular for both Architects and clients. Architects can upload photos of their completed works to these sites. This assists Clients in finding the best Architect on the Gold Coast, or any specific region suited to their needs. Clients then use their storyboards to communicate to the chosen Architect what they are wanting to achieve. This brief formulation is an essential stage of the design process as explained in our FAQ.
Lea Design Studio have an active presence on Houzz including writing the Expert Eye article ‘ 6 Architectural Trends You Need to Know About in 2019’.
Case Study – Sustainable Architectural Design
Consider if you are an Architect specialising in sustainable Architectural design. A client can easily be overwhelmed by the astounding amount of information available on the Internet. Social media allows the Architect to narrow down the key points to consider in their social posts. The client can look to an authority in sustainable Architecture and save time researching the topic themselves. They then understand what’s important to consider before they engage with an Architect.
The benefit of this is when the client talks to the Architect, they have visual reference points. This can help with communication during the design process. For example, if the Architect has posted about the use of best sustainable materials for residential house design, they can refer the client to their post to read more.
Gold Coast Architects
As Architects, like in any business, it’s important to communicate – and educate. Not only about projects we are working on, but also about what is happening within the industry that may be of interest to potential clients.
Further to this, as Gold Coast Architects, we also need to be sure we are up to date with local events, Gold Coast City Council development and town planning updates and any other things to consider when designing a house on the Gold Coast. These are examples of topics we post about on social media.
This type of information and commentary gives clients confidence their chosen Architect is an authority within the industry.
Lea Design Studio on Social Media
You can follow and interact with Lea Design Studio on the following social media:
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