Are you looking for new ways to connect with architects?
Do you market building materials to architects and specifiers?
Whether architects are your direct customers or major influencers in getting your products specified, these social media marketing tips will connect you with them more effectively and more often. Architects are active on social networks, many using several different platforms, and depending on your goals and assets, each one can provide different value.
Share the love. Most architecture firms, as well as many architects online use social media for self-promotion, so include them in your content. If you mention a project, include the name of the architecture firm. If an architect wins an award, publicly congratulate them. The more you promote them; the more positive they will be toward interacting with your brand.
Show off your work. Architects live off of project photos. Architecture firms, publications, and material manufacturers regularly post photos of their finished projects online. And the really social ones even post photos of projects in the construction phase. Take a look at ArchDaily to see exactly what we mean. This post is a great example, and look at the amount of engagement they get.
Lead the conversation. Architects are more than willing to talk about products online, but only when prompted. Twitter chats are a very effective tool in creating these conversations. The American Institute of Architects has a great Twitter chat every month which often discusses different architectural product types. If you want to have real conversations with architects online, this is a great place to start.
And once you have a large enough following, start your own Twitter chat to own the experience and shape the conversation towards the topics you want discussed.
Ask questions. As evident from the ArchDaily post above, architects online are highly engaged with industry publications on social networks. If you are still looking for strategy ideas, sites like ArchDaily, Archpaper, and Architizer are good models to base your posting style on. They post project shots, but they also make sure to ask relevant questions. Relevant questions are the cornerstone of consistent engagement.
Connect digital interactions with real life meetings. Connecting with architects online through social media isn’t necessarily going to get them to specify your product. It is however a way to open the door for Lunch and Learns that provide continuing education credits. With many of the bigger architecture firms limiting the number of meetings with outside sales representatives, unless it involves continuing education credits, this may be the only way in. Every architect is required to keep up with their CE credits, so create a course that qualifies for credits. It is a great way to get in the door and provides an excellent opportunity to discuss your product if the audience asks specific questions.
Social media marketing is also a great vehicle to create greater awareness for your AIA CE course. Twitter, in particular, is effective for directly outreaching to qualified architects online that might be interested in your course. Check AIA’s website for additional resources on AIA accredited courses.
Deliver valuable content. Not just sales pitches. Architects get flooded with product information. To make a real impact with them you need to offer more than sell sheets and press releases. Give them tips and knowledge they can use in their day to day job. By providing value, architects will see your company more than just a provider of products. They will see you as an invaluable resource for their business. Think about content from the perspective of what they want to see, not what you want to tell them or sell to them.
Contests. Not every architect gets to design iconic skyscrapers. Architects seek outlets to demonstrate their creativity. Contests can be effective; what we have seen that works the best involve creativity and awards the winner with recognition and money.
Plan for future customers. Don’t forget that tomorrow’s architects may not work at the architecture firm you are targeting today, yet. Get involved with architecture students by donating to their projects. Repost jobs openings that you see from architecture firms. Don’t miss an opportunity to connect with architects online and offline even before they become your prospects.