It is no secret that creative type businesses such as architecture, commercial photography, and ad agencies generate 80% or more of their commissions from referrals and repeat clients. As small business owners we are always worried. Is the well of repeat clients and referrals going to dry up in the future? One way to help keep the well flowing is Social Media Marketing. Social Media Marketing by itself will not solve all of your marketing issues. However, it can help you grow your brand, Extend your reach in your marketplace beyond the local market, and done well may help you generate leads in The Other 20%.
- Before you actually dive into social media marketing it is important to sit down with your team to clearly define your brand, who your target market is, make sure your website and blog are up to date, company logo, and company info is easy to find.
- In fact this is exactly what HPD Architects of Huston, TX did. HPD is a 3 person office that started their practice in 2009 with an economy tanking and no website.
- Katie Sanner of Hinge writes: HPD Architecture gets it Plain and Simple: This three-person Dallas-based architecture and interior design firm has made progress in the social media world that you just don’t see every day; especially compared to other professional services firms.
- By blogging, podcasting, and interacting with the design community online, these guys have raised their visibility to a national level. And in a world of referrals and word-of-mouth marketing, they are driving serious traffic to their website and generating targeted, qualified leads online. https://hingemarketing.com/blog/story/hpd_architecture_a_study_in_social_media_for_architects
- Is It Worth It? Skeptical at first, Larry Paschall of HPD Architecture notes “in the last two and half years, our online presence has led to our being interviewed for various publications, speaking at industry conferences, and being seen as a go-to resource both inside and outside of the design community. More importantly, new clients are finding us online.”
HPD still is heavily involved like in generating leads for their firm the old fashion way of in person networking. Each partner gets out to all the local business events each month. But by committing to social media they are finding the other 20%.
Now It Is Time To Really Get Started:
The next step is deciding which social media platforms will work for you and your firm. Some are familiar some may not, this month we will cover Facebook and Instagram. Two of the most popular social sites on the planet.
Facebook Setting the Stage
- In order to have a face book business page you will need to create a personal page first.
- You will need a name for your business page.
- The about section tell people about yourself and your practice. You will need to insert a profile photo and a cover photo on your page. Use your logo for the profile image .The profile image needs to be 170 pixels by 170 pixels.
- Every time you post on your wall the profile image (Logo) will appear. This is a great way to build brand awareness with each post.
- Your cover photo will display at 820 pixels wide by 312 pixels tall. This photo appears at the top of your page. It is the perfect spot for a great portfolio worthy image from your favorite project.
- Last item in setting up your page is to install a call to action button that will direct clients to your website or to call you for more information.
Time to Post to Facebook
- A great time saving tool that face book offers is you can schedule your posts weeks to months in advance.
- You get to decide what time and what day the post will show on your page.
- Studies show 3:00 pm till 8:00pm are the best times of the day,
- Fridays and Mondays are the best days for traffic to face book.
- I spend about 2 hours per month setting up all my posts with content and images for a 4 week period of time.
- Single images posted will need to be 476 pixels tall and 714 pixels wide for landscape oriented images. This size is a 3:2 aspect ratio.
- When you post multiply images the primary image will post larger than the other images in your post.
- With multiply images you will want to maintain that 3:2 aspect ratio for the best quality images.
- When posting images tag your clients.
- Instagram is a social media app that allows users to share images from their mobile devices.
- With over 300 million users, instagram is seen by many people as the number one social media photo sharing site. For businesses.
- Instagram is a great way to build your brand, showcases new services, highlight employee activities.
- It is an an easy way to build your social presence.
Evan LaPage of hootsuite blog writes before jumping on the instagram band wagon “It is important to do research, try it out before creating a site for your business, check out the best businesses currently using instagram, and most importantly craft a social media strategy with achievable goals that fits into your broader social media marketing plan”
8 Easy Steps for Instagram:
- Download the app from Apple or Google to your mobile Device.
- Create a Profile.
- Follow Industry leaders you like and can learn from
- Post Images that are relevant to your brand. Recommendations are for 1-3 times daily. That is a bit much for me. I try to post 3 times per week.
- What is a hashtag? Hashtags provide an easy way to search similar topics for people who are interested in what you’re posting.
- Gramblr: is an app that lets, you post to instagram from your computer. It allows me to post high quality client ready images to my instagram page.
- Follow back and do not forget to comment other people’s posts.
- Statigram is a great tool for finding brands and hashtags that relate to your brand. Simply enter the brand name or hashtag into the search box and click Search.
Next month we will cover how to use Houzz, Linkedin and HootSuite. The key to using any social media platform is consistency, quality images, engaging in the social media world and posting shareable content that helps people not just how wonderful you are as a business.