Today I’m not going to talk to you about how to develop relationships with recruiters and agencies, how to get targeted by headhunters or how to use Linkedin’s paid for ‘Job Seeker’ premium accounts. Everything I’m going to talk to you about is free or nearly free. Instead I’m going to talk about
How to Be Found online in the way you want to be found
How to Be Useful in a way that you want, so as to get a reputation as a useful employee for your target employers, and
And How to Behave online in a way that helps you get work.
What is Social Media? People having Conversations Online The Conversation makes it different from traditional media which are largely led by broadcasting. It is the conversation, the process of discussing and sharing is what amplifies your message. Digital Media = Publishing Not just talking about other peoples things but creating conversations about your own materials. Publishing is what makes good social media work Social and Digital Media is changing the way Specifiers products, changing how business people find partners and how employers find employees.
What this means is that you can’t do Social Media on your own. You need a team of people. People are what make social media work, and social media is about building relationships between people. Here’s how it relates to what we do in real life.
The Social Cycle – how it works with people Traditional communications – face to face etc continue People talk about you when you aren’t there
Search takes the prospect online Finds website? But conversations are often between individuals and about individuals. So people looking online will find the places where the individuals are having those conversations. The conversation platforms. They become the stepping stones to your website. Conversations are now taking place online and offline in a number of different ways.The online conversations are generally visible to everyone, which makes them much more powerful than the traditional ones.
But what turns this process into a cycle is the publishing and correct sharing of useful content – marketers call them social objects. You and your friends, fellow students and contacts share social objects driving conversation to your website, Social Objects promote more offline conversations, and the conversations drive the cycle of search, find, conversation and sharing. This process works for all types of conversations. More about how it happens later.
What about the construction industry, are construction professionals using Social Media? Yes they are.
Construction is a people business. In spite of the heavily regulated procurement processes we are obliged to complete. In the end, we usually buy from the people we know and trust. Construction professionals are naturally going online and building relationships. And it also means that what you do on social networks affects your credibility, your authority and the ability of people to trust you. You can use social media to build credibility, authority and trust for individuals and for organisations.
In the 2013 Construction Marketing Index survey of architects by Competitive Advantage, 44% of architects said they use Twitter to help them in their work. Three years previously 38% of architects said twitter was banned at work, three years later it had shrunk to just 8% These are the first 200 architects I found on twitter back in 2008. Most of them are people (although one appears to be a dog)
Here’s what you find if you search for me on Google. My activity online creates a footprint of credibility in my area of expertise. Have you googled yourself recently? People are googling your name. Look for the people you want to work with and find out where they and their employees are networking online.
In the construction industry people talk about each other all the time. Don’t be worried about this, its exactly what you want to happen. Social media can help you ensure that those conversations lead to good results.
Here’s a classic example of the golf course. Golf is an excellent social construct in that it is semi-business, semi-social, and people can be introduced and get to know each other. If you don’t get on, you don’t do business. A lot of construction business is transacted or facilitated on the golf course. Golfer A says to Golfer B…
Notice that we’re talking about an individual here If they have a properly prepared profile on Linkedin, this is what happens next.
Because Linkedin is so big and public profiles are indexed by google, its the best way to be found by google, which is where everyone looks. This listing appeared 24 hours after we tweaked his profile – its now right at the top. So how do you do that?
This is what you see if you click through. Tells a visitor everything they want to know about Peter. Is this the right Peter Wells? What does he do? How do I get in touch or find out more? Here is another example:
Quick 20 minute search (with anonymity on and using advanced search techniques)
So that’s a quick introduction to the important aspects of social media as a phenomenon. What’s happening in the construction industry, and how can social media be used by construction professionals?
Next we need to have conversions and here’s why
Status updates are the starting point for conversations on social media. We need to understand how they work to make them work for us.
Status updates are self contained pieces of information that I share on my profile with the people who follow, or are connected to me. They are shared in the home pages of those people, interspersed between other updates they receive (which is why they need to be self contained). A ‘tweet’ is a status update. A link or photo you post on facebook is a status update. And there are also status update systems on Linkedin, Google plus etc.
Of course I have a home page too and there I view the status updates of the people I follow or are connected to.. Notice these people are different to the people who see my updates, and my home page isn’t the same as other peoples. They don’t see what I see. Which is why you need to interact with status updates for the magic to happen. Like this.
If I comment on, like, retweet or share the update that Paul here has shared, the system takes my comment, like or share, and puts it, with the original update, on my profile. Which means it also shares the update with the people who are following or are connected to me. This way I subtly introduce Paul to my network. I am endorsing him and passing on his useful content to others.
Here’s an example from Linkedin. Each time Adrian comments on my status update it shares it in his stream, with his network. He also chose to share the link with his network directly, which generated more discussion and passed the link on to people to whom I’m not connected at all. You must have the three key elements: Useful social objects for your target audience People who trust you and value useful content A proactive approach to sharing.
Here’s another example of an update I posted on Linkedin. Because I posted it, I can see the results on my linkedin Homepage.
Overall in the first six days after I posted, 477 people saw it.
However only 193 people saw my original share.
But five of those people liked it.
This shared it with another 280 people.
And one of them liked it,
Sharing it with 4 more people (and more after I took this screenshot). When people talk about ‘going viral’ this is the process that makes it happen, just in an extreme way. You can see how important conversations are to social media. Conversations are what spreads the word.
Back in 2010 I was recruiting fro a member of staff for an architects practice I was working for in Ipswich. Instead of using a paid for service, I published the information on our website and used Linkedin and twitter to share it with my newtork.
It took four days for the successful CV to land in my inbox. The person who applied had been told about the job which his friend had seen in a newsletter, published by a friend of mine who had seen the request on Linkedin. He’d been wanting to work for us for some time, but social media interaction (both visible and invisible) helped him find out we were looking and respond quickly, at no cost to either of us.
That example demonstrates another activity we need to be doing. We don’t need to interact with status updates, we need to publish our own. We don’t just need to make updates, we need a home to publish more detailed information. We need a social home. Here’s how it fits into the ecosystem.
Our social home is a website, or blog, or both. Here we create our content, whether it be publishing images of our work, writing pieces about what we’re studying, or curating together thoughts other people have published on a topic. Here we can be useful and create a footprint of our usefulness, and with it our credibility.
Of course we are on the conversation platforms like Linkedin and Twitter. Here we talk to people and have a presence, but always linking back to our social home, our website or blog, from our profiles. On our website/blog we show that we have a presence on the social platforms to make it easy for people to find places to talk to us.
If we use other platforms like Youtube for video, flickr for images or slideshare for talks and documents, we have a presence there too.
To make our social home really a hub for all our activity, we embed the content we make on these platforms in blog posts on our blog.
We then share them out on the conversation platforms, from the blog posts.
This way when people come back they see a snapshot of our activity on our social home – they come to us not to youtube. They can then find out more about us.
The effect of this process is to produce rich content in one place on the internet, which helps drive search traffic there too, and to be a central place where all our stuff is curated together, our social home online.
A wide range of construction professionals are already creating their own websites and blogging, building their own social homes. Here are a few examples.
Social homes don’t have to be pretty or even cost anything. This is the late Mel Starrs blog. When she died in 2011 she had a huge, loyal, international following for her writing about sustainability in the built environment. Mel’s blog was very simple but she built up a body of work over six years that existed nowhere else, it was unique to her.
Here’s Casey Rutland’s blog and website. He’s an architect at Arup and pulls tothether all his bits and pieces into one place here.
And this is the blog of Samuel-James Wilson, brickie who left school at 15, earned a Heritage Brickwork scholarship and is currently travelling Australia.
So now we’ve looked at being found and being useful, we’re going to look at how to use social media as an individual, in the context of the risks and the opportunities.
Here’s one of the best pieces of advice I’ve found on how to behave as an individual on Social Media. It was written for medical professionals but works just as well for all people. I’ve taken it apart to look at each of the six pieces of advice, and as it seems rather negative, provided six positive alternatives.
Always a good idea not to lie, but online lies can be so easily found out by using search. So rather than lying, tell the truth whenever you can, or don’t say anything.
Instead, Online, you should Be yourself. And if you can’t be completely anonymous. But •no-one can be completely anonymous… it usually backfires. Anonymity on social media is pretty much a myth. There is no such thing as an anonymous account. I’m often asked about anonymous accounts on twitter, because it seems that people can be anonymous there in ways they can’t easily on Facebook, or Linkedin. To be truly anonymous on twitter you need a completely anonymous name and username, a proxy internet connection, disabled geo-location, and only tweet from a masked IP address. Then you need to not say anything that in any shape or form will identify you. When it comes to social media, it is much easier and better to be yourself online. In fact, I think it’s a positive characteristic of social media that people tend to be themselves.
One of my abiding memories of my childhood was Kaa, the snake in the Jungle Book. Kaa hypnotises Mowgli and sends him off to sleep in order to have him for dinner. I’ve never liked hypnotists! Remember that people like their personal space, and they like their privacy. When having conversations online respect other people’s privacy. They will offer information if they want to. Don’t send people unsolicited private messages. This is spam and can get you blocked. If you want to make a conversation private, take it offline.
If you’re using social media, you need to Protect your privacy and your private information online. Assume that everything you share online is searchable, so don’t share things that you don’t want known. You should also check and adjust the privacy settings of all the platforms you use.
Here are some guidelines for checking your privacy settings on Facebook. I’ll be sharing these slides after the event so you’ll be able to follow along with the advice when you have a chance, no need to take copious notes now. We need to look at several things;Your friends General privacy settings Protecting Personal Information Changing the visibility of your content and updates Photography Privacy and Content shared on other people’s timelines.
Check your Friends list. Are they really your friends? Only ‘friend’ people on Facebook you trust. They can tag you in posts and photographs. I use different lists to identify particular friend types such as ‘close friends’ and ‘Family’. But Don’t friend people you don’t trust.
Adjust your general settings by choosing ‘Settings’ from the cog at the top right
Then choose ‘Privacy from the menu on the left.
Limit who can see your future posts to your friends, or close friends if you wish. Choose who can send you requests, messages and who can look up your email address on Facebook here. Choose if search engines can find content on your timeline.
Then choose ‘Timeline and Tagging’ from the menu on the left of your settings
Turn on ‘Review Posts friends tag you in before they appear in your timeline’ Turn on Review tags people add to your posts
Next you need to adjust the privacy of your personal information. See this on the ‘About’ page from your profile. Each section has adjustable visibility. Don’t share any information on Facebook you don’t want in the public domain. Decide if you want to be found or not.
Fourthly you need to look at the privacy of your content updates When you post an update on Facebook you can choose who can see it by choosing from the dropdown menu. The choice defaults until next time you use it. I try and only share with Friends and limit my friends. I also have a ‘Close Friends’ list I sometimes use. You can also change this setting retrospectively, and change all past settings via the General Privacy Settings in one go.
You can set privacy settings on albums of photos and on individual photos. When you make an album you can change the privacy of the whole album. Or you can edit the privacy of individual photos when you update them – see the cog on the albums page here.
Lastly when you comment on or like the content on other people’s timelines, the privacy settings are determined by that user. See them when you comment or review them in your Activity Log;
Where you can edit the privacy of your own posts but also see the visibility of other people’s posts you’ve liked or commented on. Don’t like stuff you don’t want shared public, if the author has made it public. Think about what you like and comment upon!
Here’s a man I found because I was auditing a company (a competitor of one of my clients). He states on his FB page he works for that company (and I verified that elsewhere). He also posted several racist posts on his facebook page, with public visibility. Be aware that what you post, if associated with you, can be associated with your role in a company. This could be interpreted as bringing the company you work for into disrepute, even at a future date. It will certainly make it a lot more difficult to get a job in future. Don’t forget that other people can find what you’ve written, right back into the past.
Here are some short links to help pages for privacy settings on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Google Plus. Think about all the platforms you use, and use them wisely.
So next step – don’t Cheat. There isn’t a short cut to a large network. Don’t attempt to game the system, buy followers, get rich quick. This includes trying to connect to people on Linkedin who don’t know you, or endorsing people you don’t know for skills you don’t know if they have.
Watch out for Cheats Check out other people’s credibility, or the credibility of what they say using search. Expose cheats in public, and if you’re not confident in doing this, work with others behind the scenes. Don’t handle it alone if you don’t have to. If you get private messages offering you things that are too good to be true, or sharing a link that takes you to a sign in page, its Phishing. The person who sent you the message probably doesn’t know – go and check if they’ve posted. Don’t sign in, Inform the user publically and they can take steps to remove the hacker from their account. If someone is harassing or threatening you, block them and report them to the site administrator – Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook all have blocking and reporting procedures now.
Anything published online can easily be captured before you delete it. Google will cache once its spiders have reached your site, but more importantly, people can favourite your tweet and then it can’t be deleted. Anyone can take a screenshot of what you share online. Apps like Snapchat which imply that they delete images after a few seconds don’t delete the images from their system. The internet passes data from computer to computer, unencrypted data can be found. Freedom of expression doesn’t mean freedom from the consequences. So before you put something online,
Think twice, you’ll only need to post once. Have a thick skin, don’t react quickly, take a deep breath. Ask yourself – For whom am I posting this? Is it for my target audience?Is it appropriate to all ages? Does it add value to the conversation?Would I be happy for my mother to see it?
And don’t steal. Don’t pass someone else’s work off as your own. Don’t lift someone else’s content – you’ll be found out. When I was working in an architects office in Ipswich, another person sent in a job application with CV which had a great frontis page. Unfortunately he wasn’t aware that the person who had produced that frontis page worked for us, so we knew it was stolen. It’s a small world and the internet makes it even smaller. Instead, learn about the culture of attribution that exists online. Its what makes blogs work to drive traffic to your website, through the use of backlinks. All the images I’m using today are Creative Commons – that is they are made available by the owners on a license if I credit them – hence the links on each slide.
Instead, build a reputation for yourself as a trustworthy individual. Use the system to differentiate yourself in your areas of specialism. Talk about what you want people to ask you about.
And lastly, don’t reveal. This is one of my favourite signs – there is one in North Essex where I live too. Don’t disclose confidential information on social platforms. Not yours, Not your friends’, Not your employer’s You can choose what you share, make wise choices.
This is a photograph I took whilst I was at an internal product launch in Paris for one of my clients. At the time I took the photograph (which was permitted) the products were not publically launched, so I did not share it. I share a lot of photographs, but I choose which ones I share. Make wise choices, you can always do it later when the time is right.
The most important thing you can keep secret is your passwords. How many of you use the same password for more than one website? Get a password manager. This is what I use, its called LastPass. It creates very secure passwords and stores them very securely. You then only need one to get in your vault, but it can be a very secure, yet easy to remember one (mine is two film titles back to back, with spaces). Lastpass also teaches you good password management, and on a browser it is free.
So to conclude, here are my positive pieces of advice. Be yourself – don’t lie Protect your privacy – and respect others Look out for Cheats – and don’t cheat yourself Think Twice before you post – because you can’t delete Be a Trustworthy individual – and people will seek you out Keep secrets – including your passwords – safe.
Lastly I wanted to tell you a story about Luke. This is Luke O’Rafferty whom I met on twitter back in 2008. The photo was taken at Ecobuild this year when I finally got to meet him in the flesh. I’d just joined and he’d been on there for about a month before. Luke was a civil engineering undergraduate at the time, I was working in an architects office. Within a few months I’d amassed a list of architects using twitter – only about 35 at that point, and asked whom I should give them to – people were setting up the first twitter directories at the time, which seemed like a good idea. But Luke replied – why don’t you put them on your blog? You do have a blog don’t you? I didn’t – in fact I didn’t know what a blog was and certainly wouldn’t have thought I could have have one. So thanks to Luke’s advice, I set up a blog to publish the list, and now I have lists of thousands of architects and construction professionals on twitter. Looking back this decision was the starting point of a completely new direction in my career, the beginning of my consultancy. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that what you have to offer isn’t of use to people, and don’t ever think that things you create aren’t good enough to publish. You are good enough, and you’ll get better the more you do it too. I hope you’ll join us online.
How to Get a Job in Architecture with Social Media
to get a
Job in Architecture