Hello, I’m Su Butcher and I’m going to share some thoughts with you about why people in construction are using social media. And why you should do it too.
What is Social Media? It has two parts. Social, (Talking to each other) and Media (in this case the worldwideweb) I’m going to look at why we should talk to each other more, and then, why we should do it online.
Talking to each other is our tradition. We call it playing golf, but really we’re networking. We have a ‘Referral Culture.’ We need this because of the types of organizations we are.
We need a referral culture because we are all SME’s (well, 97% of architects are) And microbusinesses like this can be easily isolated. This chart shows an RIBA survey of architect practices for staff nos. 80% fewer than 10 staff 60% fewer than 5 staff. The changing Face of Specification and Selection - CIMCIG 22nd September 2011 01/13/12 View online at http://slideshare.net/subutcher - Online version has notes and clickable links
But the fact is, we aren’t very good at talking to each other, much of the time. This is what Marley Eternit want me to think of their spec team. But I still remember the ‘strip and fix’ stripper video from 1986…
What is more an entire army of people are employed by architects to stop people like the Marley Rep from talking to them. There was more than one reason why they called me the Rottweiler in one firm I worked in as PM. One of my jobs was to keep people away from the architects.
Why should we talk to each other more in Construction? I don’t need to tell you that there is a problem with our industry. Why else would there be so much stress put on the costs of design and construction when they are minimal compared to the value generated? This is because there is a disconnect between parts of the process. People like Constructing Excellence are working to put this right.
And we can help by planning the future of our industry , right from the ground up. This is the integrated school of building, a new venture set up initially by a young architecture graduate. Its mission is to educate architecture, engineering, and construction students together, on a collaborative platform. And its based in Chicago, but we’re talking about doing something similar over here.
And why else do we need to talk to each other? Because we don’t know everything. I can prove this by looking at the chairs architects design Why can’t we leave it to the experts?
But the fact is none of us need to know everything, if we talk to each other. BIM (Building Information Modeling) will only happen if we start collaborating, both between disciplines and inside our practices. The benefits are huge, but as Randy Deutsch asks, can we cope with the social change?
So, there are all sorts of reasons why we should talk to each other. But why should we do it on the worldwideweb? In all these different places. What makes doing that so special?
Because asking lots of people all at once saves a hell of a lot of time. And these are people whose job it is to help you. Iinstead of ringing round I can tweet the sketch of the light fitting I’m looking for, and Jacky in Burnley can find the precise one I need in a few minutes. Tools with visual and conversational elements, like Twitter can help us solve problems more efficiently. The changing Face of Specification and Selection - CIMCIG 22nd September 2011 01/13/12 View online at http://slideshare.net/subutcher - Online version has notes and clickable links
It also means that when other people ask the same question, you don’t have to answer it more than once. In fact, it’s a way of helping yourself and helping your clients. Here’s an example of a map we made last year of the local authorities who charge for pre-application advice. Gets us a lot of traffic to our blog via google, and its very useful.
Also, if I want to find out about you, you can arrange that what I find is what you want me to find. There are 2500 people called Peter Wells on Linkedin, but if you search Google for our Peter Wells you’ll find him first, because we optimised his profile for Google. Because Linkedin is so big and public profiles are indexed by Google, Linkedin is the best way for individuals to be found on Google, which is where everyone looks.
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? What (and whom) do I have in common with him? How do I get in touch or find out more? If your people do business with people, they’ll be searching for them online. Make sure they are found in the way you want. With Google’s help, Linkedin can make this happen.
Everyone is talking online. This Map shows people posting on photosite flickr(orange) and twitter (blue) or both (white) in Europe Everyone is using the internet which means it’s a great tool to talk to everyone.
How else would we get so much coverage for our new hospice in Ipswich. Because social media is connected to trad media the images we share on behalf of our client are shared all over including on TV. This activity helped raise the £3m to build the hospice in just ten months.
Lastly everything we do online evolves into a footprint of ourselves. This to me is a good thing, because it helps people to learn more about us, so they can trust us. Have you joined the architectmap yet? You should. Its not just for architects! http://www.architectmap.net
So to recap: Talk to each other Its our tradition and we need each other We pretend we’re good at it but we’re not The industry is borked, so we need to communicate more You don’t know everything but you don’t need to Do it online It saves time and you’ll not have to do it twice I can find out about you so make sure I find the right thing Everyone is doing it so you can talk to everyone I can trust your footprint - come and find mine.
Why Use Social Media in Construction?
Why use Social Media in Construction? Muppet Mobile Lab by Jurvetson by @ Subutcher
Social Media http:// theconversationprism .com/
Your advocates speak well of you when you're not there. Nicole Bachmann Golf by Robert Scoble
We are SMEs Source: RIBA 2009 Chartered Practice Members Staff Numbers by firm