Social Media in Action: Comprehensive Guide for Architecture, Engineering, Planning, and Environmental Consulting Firms is, first and foremost, a how-to guide. Using facts, figures and a wide range of research to back up its claims, the book lays out exactly how Architecture firms can get the most bang out of their social media buck.
But the book also takes the time to establish the why of social media – particularly post-Recession – and offers a fascinating glimpse into its future relevance. As the authors explain in the very first chapter: “This new form of media is not a trend. It is the way businesses communicate.” As an Architectural Blog, we see the power and reach of social media strengthen everyday, and couldn’t agree more.
If you have wet feet about jumping on the social media bandwagon, whether out of intimidation or a lack of time, be aware that that many have already dived right in, and, as Walter and Berkley put it, are “riding that wave with some exciting results.” So, let us stress: if you haven’t jumped yet, you need too. Social Media in Action is a good way to start.
For more tips about improving your social media presence from Social Media in Action, read on after the break…
One of the strengths of Social Media in Action is its plethora of helpful strategies, especially useful for the social media novice. Each chapter logically flows into the next, establishing how to enter the social media world (beginning with “Focus on the End Result” and “Finding Your Target Audience”) and eventually conquer it (ending with “Building and Nurturing Communities” and “Evaluation Strategies”).
The book explains the importance of using social media not just to promote, but to build relationships and become a valuable, influential member of your online community (what Walter and Berkley call a “cultivator of community”). They also stress practical measures you should take: tailoring your individual networks to their particular audiences, leveraging your employees’ knowledge and individual reputations, setting up Google Alerts to keep up with influencers and Google Analytics to evaluate your traffic.
But most fascinating of all, was the final chapter on “The Future of Social Media” (almost better suited as an introduction, in my opinion). Walter and Berkley predict that the rise of smartphones will make location-based technologies such as QR codes, Foursquare, and Broadcastr more relevant -and the integration of place more important to consumers’ digital lives.
The ramifications for architecture could be significant – imagine walking down the street, scanning a building and having instant access to its architects’ entire digital presence. Just as architects will need to take this digital layer into account as they design space, so too will they have to take command of social media for the success of their own practices.
Walter and Berkley stress that we are entering a “Reputation Economy” – what Dan Schawbel described in his “Personal Branding” blog for Forbes as “an environment where brands are built based on how they are perceived online and the promise they deliver offline.” In other words, no matter how well you can deliver in the physical world, the opportunity will only arise if your social media presence is strong in the digital world… so what are you waiting for?
010 Common Web-based References
012 How A/E Firms Use Social Media
015 Chapter 1 Focus on the End Result
027 Chapter 2 Finding Your Target Audience
063 Chapter 3 Amplifying Your Communication Efforts
099 Chapter 4 Engaging Your Most Valuable Asset
127 Chapter 5 Expert Positioning
163 Chapter 6 Building and Nurturing Communities
195 Chapter 7 Evaluation Strategies
213 Chapter 8 The Future of Social Media
229 Glossary of Terms
Publisher: Watermelon Books
Authors: Amanda Walter and Holly Berkley