Why A/E/C Firms Need Social Media Strategy

By Danny Burns posted 03-20-2018 15:08


It’s a common story we hear: marketing teams are light on resources, time, and money, and social media inevitably falls to the wayside on the list of priorities. It can be difficult to convince leadership teams that it’s worth investing in. 

In fact, social media strategy is an important part of your overall A/E/C firm marketing plan — and despite what many may think, it is absolutely possible to achieve measurable returns. The first step is take a business goal and translate it into how social media can help you achieve that goal. With careful planning, a social media campaign (and even a few campaigns that run concurrently) can help your firm take measurable steps toward those goals.

Though this list is certainly not all-inclusive, here’s a few reasons why you might choose social media to help achieve business goals, and potential indicators that you’re doing it right. 

To Increase Website Traffic

This is arguably the easiest way to determine a simple return on investment for social media efforts. Comprehensive project pages are especially key when it comes to sharing your work with prospective clients — driving your followers to those pages will help you get more traction (and on that note, an engaging architecture project page will keep users reading longer). 

Signs you’re getting a return on investment: 

  • Higher traffic on pieces promoted on social media vs. pieces that were not
  • More time spent on pieces promoted on social media vs. pieces that were not

To Develop Brand Awareness

This is probably the hardest argument to make in terms of receiving measurable ROI for social media. There really is value to be accrued here, though it’s a long-game; one Facebook post isn’t going to change the landscape of your firm’s visibility. It takes time and dedication to achieve results that are meaningful, which is why some people give up too quickly. Active participation on social channels not only gets your name out there, but also creates an association between your firm, the level of service and expertise you offer, and the markets you work in the most.

Signs you’re getting a return on investment: 

  • Increasing reach and engagement on social posts as you experiment with posting strategies like messaging
  • Finding your firm mentioned in larger conversations among peers and partners 

To Impact Lead Generation

Educational content (i.e. guides and process tips) can be a great way to reach a prospective client because you’re providing value before a relationship has even begun. You’ll want to be proactive in getting this content to a larger audience; chances are, there’s a potential relationship with someone who needs your exact line of expertise, whether that’s the latest design trends, emerging technology, or anything else under the A/E/C sun.

Signs you’re getting a return on investment:

  • Potential leads approaching your firm as a result of something they saw on social media
  • Indications that some types of content perform better than others for the purposes of lead generation

To Encourage Newsletter Signups

If you’ve got good content, your audience will likely be open to seeing more of it. Building off of the website traffic goal, if you can get your users to your site, engaged with your content, and interested in learning more, they’re more likely to sign up for additional communications with you. In such a fast-moving and developing industry like A/E/C, it’s important to be proactive in joining the conversations that your current and potential clients are having — it not only strengthens relationships, but it also shows your firm’s thought leadership.  

Signs you’re getting a return on investment: 

  • An influx of signups as a result of a social media post with a unique link encouraging the behavior
  • Increased website traffic on content promoted on social media that also includes a call to action to sign up for a newsletter

To Support Recruitment Efforts

The labor landscape has been a hot topic in the A/E/C world in the past few years. Three out of every four people in the workforce will be millennials by 2025, and in response most firms are changing how they recruit for this generation. One of the first places an applicant might go to see what your company culture is like is your suite of social media accounts, so they should reflect your brand and what it’s like to work there. 

Signs you’re getting a return on investment: 

  • A higher number of applicants on a job post that was promoted on social media
  • Higher reach and engagement on cultural social media content among industry peers

Thanks for reading!