January 12, 2011 at 3:12 pm #165669Sean D. HendersonParticipant
I have recently been tasked with investigating the possible applications of social media to our operation here. Based on my personal experience and observations, along with a little looking around, I have found a few things but would greatly appreciate some input from others. How are you and/or your company utilizing social media? Have you seen a profitable return on the time invested in terms of work or interest? Have you found a better method of this than the traditional facebook pages and twitter accounts? Do you even believe that our typical client base can be affected by this type of approach? Are you seeing this type of media succeeding or failing in your area?
From what I have found, the social media scene serves much more as a connective tissue for professionals than as a tool for generating business… I know that I personally follow firms and people whose work I like or whose opinions I value. Basically it’s a tool for learning and networking. I understand that there are absolutely people who generate tons of revenue through the social media tools, but their fields tend to lend themselves more to the medium. I’m not so sure that this industry is one of those (but PLEASE prove me wrong). Any and all comments are welcome on this, as I try to assess the potentials and pitfalls. Have a great day Loungers!January 12, 2011 at 4:44 pm #165675Matt SprouseParticipant
I feel like social media contributes more towards the continued branding of our company with its existing clients. We use it the way websites used to have an ‘in the news’ section. It is much more immediate and people who use FB and other forms read it and move on. We also try not to overwhelm our ‘fans’ with posts. once every 2-3 weeks is enough for anybody. For us, it shows we are still here and active. As for actual revenue producing work, I think we are a ways from that happening.
One interesting thing I have noticed now that we have a FB page – students looking for employment tend to go there first and become a ‘fan’. Then, our website is viewed, and we are contacted by email. The days of getting resumes in print form are long gone (sadly).January 29, 2011 at 3:54 pm #165674Ryan A. WaggonerParticipant
I have been involved with companies in updating their social media, but much less emphasis was put on it than other professions. I have seen architects that really keep up on it, and like matt said it is a great way to stay in contact with past and existing clients. In this economy that actually has quite a bit of weight, as most of our “new” clients have been lifelong clients looking for additional work on old properties or new acquisitions.
Personally, I am very active in social media, as I see it as the way to build contacts and networks that you would otherwise not be able to do. The same could be done for a firm to build a stronger network and possibly gain more work, but I haven’t personally experienced that.February 10, 2011 at 7:04 pm #165673Filiz SatirParticipant
I thought I might be able to offer some help (thoughts) with respect to the application of social media and how to identify the platforms that would fit (meet) the needs of landscape architects. I’m presently a student at UW in the Therapeutic and Healing Landscape Design Certificate Program. I’m also a communications professional who may be able to offer you all some insights on strategic communications including social media. Let me know if I can help, and I’ll follow up with you directly. Best, Filiz S.February 17, 2011 at 9:38 pm #165672Ryan A. WaggonerParticipant
Hey Sean, have you checked out The ROI of Social Media Marketing by Augie Ray?February 18, 2011 at 11:06 pm #165671Peter BriggsParticipant
Here’s some related info: https://sites.google.com/site/lpsocmed/ Including the text from an upcoming article on social media for landscape architects. The summary is that social media in our experience has three uses: 1) like a newsletter as a way of communicating with people, 2) for projects where an interactive public/team face is useful (i.e. a project blog), and 3) where a company wants to illustrate a higher level of expertise (i.e. a more focused subject blog). Return on money is hard to quantify… but, in our experience… doing these kind of things for our clients makes them pretty happy. It’s also fun for us.
My favourite related quote: “Facebook feels like a mall. Twitter feels like the street.” William Gibson
PeterMarch 4, 2011 at 6:53 pm #165670Ken JohnsonParticipant
Great article Peter.
I will re-iterate what has been mentioned above. Social media is a great way to stay in front of people. At SiteScapes, where I work, we have added a FB feed to our home page. Our aim is to let our customers know we are busy and keep them up to date with projects we are especially proud of. This is a new undertaking and we are still gauging the effectiveness of this endeavor.
Like Peter’s article mentioned, these tools, provided by social media sites are very inexpensive and often snap into existing web sites and profiles. It is very easy to integrate a FB “like” button and I am excited about the integration capabilities of FB’s new social commenting system.
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