Social Media Aec Plans

12 Feb, 2014

Getting Past Policy and Into Strategy: A/E/C Social Media Marketing Plans

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Some firms are so worried about formulating the social media policy – to the extent that sites are blocked to avoid employee abuse – that they are missing out on the huge benefits of social media marketing. They’re deeply aware of the draw of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other sites, but rather than embrace them as part of an integrated marketing plan, they condemn these tools as a diversion.

Some A/E/C firms are hung up with the policy concerns rather than with the strategy and implementation. This is a shame, as most A/E/C firms have portfolios filled with the kinds of projects that could spawn amazing content for social media platforms. Think about innovations you’ve produced; why not share the pictures or video of your last big job? Or, if you’re having trouble recruiting the right people, social media is the perfect means to reach out beyond the usual stale candidates. A short “day in the life” video might win over potential hires—and give prospective clients a taste of your culture and capabilities as well.

To get the most out of your social media marketing plan, here are some things to remember:

  • Keep at it! You can’t post to Facebook once—or even once a week—and expect significant leads. For noticeable results, you should expect to spend at least half an hour on each site each day.
  • Birds of a feather flock together. Connect to LinkedIn Groups where your industry—or the industries your serve—share content, connect, and discuss current trends and issues. Contribute thoughtfully to increase your reputation and your visibility.
  • When you don’t have time to share a thousand words… photos and videos convey volumes quickly and easily. Not everyone knows about the portfolio on your website, but showing off your work on Facebook, Pinterest, or YouTube can bring many more eyes—and potential customers—to your projects.
  • Sharing is caring. Share posts, articles, portfolios, and videos of others in your field (and in the industries you serve); they’ll likely return the favor. You’ll not only reinforce your professional relationships, but you’ll each reap the rewards of greater visibility as well.
  • Educate! Change is everywhere, but A/E/C in particular deals with constant variation in regulations and standards. Social media is a great way to educate prospects on your industry’s shifting sands in real time. They’ll regard you as a generous resource and an industry expert. This sort of reputation and visibility puts you in your prospects’ minds when their next project rears its head.

Professional services firms with high growth generate more leads online than their lesser-performing counterparts. They do so by employing all the digital tools and strategies at their disposal—including a social media marketing plan. With even a modest investment of time, you can take great steps towards becoming more visible and better connected to potential customers—and, in doing so, facilitating your firm’s growth and profitability.

About the Author:

Sylvia Montgomery, CPSM is a Senior Partner at Hinge, a branding and marketing firm for professional services. In addition to leading the firm’s A/E/C Practice, Sylvia is a frequent author and speaker on topics related to strategy, branding and marketing. You can find her on twitter @BrandStrong.