GRAPHISOFT North America wants to let you know about an exciting new series of workshops in the Boston area that help ARCHICAD users unlock the power of social media to create valuable business relationships. Led by columnist and blogger Louis Postel of New England Home, the workshops present a hands-on approach with an emphasis on developing engaging profiles and project narratives.

Louis Postel. Photo by Fran Janik

“ Louis is a great writer and teacher of writing. I can almost guarantee that you will walk away with tips you’ll use in your social media content and strategy!” — S. Bradford Smith, President, Architectural Electronics, Inc. | Audio Video Design, Security Design Consultants & New Elements | Westwood, Osterville & Nantucket, MA & Portsmouth, NH | www.avdesigns.com

Read more about the workshop below.


 

Game-changing programs like ARCHICAD and brilliant social media platforms like Facebook effectively democratize the design business and level the playing field for sharing information and connecting an audience in so many ways.

They share similarities to a point. Where the similarities end lies a challenge. Using ARCHICAD and using Facebook impact their respective audiences, but one should avoid confusing the mindset around design software with the mindset that informs social media. The former is about speed and efficiency, the latter is about establishing human relationships, which by their very nature can be resistant to both speed and efficiency.

While ARCHICAD will be increasingly useful in meeting complex design challenges, social media like Facebook, LinkedIn and Houzz are fast becoming critical for attaining meaningful engagements with clients, which in turn lead to better and more productive projects.

It’s easy to see how the concise nature of ARCHICAD and the design culture itself became entangled with how people worked toward success on social media platforms like Facebook. The mantra was to “keep it short, don’t use one extra word. People have no time to read,” etc. This resulted in a plethora of meaningless “likes” and one word “comments” which marketers now dismiss as “low engagement, leading nowhere.”

Thankfully, social media is now becoming more mature.

Class is gaining over mass. Quality over quantity.

In other words, at one time it was a thrill to click a button and anticipate the fame and fortune of “going viral.” s_handshake3_0

But then business people using social media started noticing a pattern in their data analysis: all those “likes” and “follows” didn’t necessarily translate into any business whatsoever. Their marketing experts began dismissing the high-volume “Likes” and “Follows” as “low engagement.” Better, some would advise, to take a few really good clients out to lunch for some “high engagement” than spend fruitless hours trawling Facebook, Houzz, or LinkedIn!

“High engagement” as opposed to “low engagement” is personal, conversational, informative, inspiring and can tell a good story when appropriate. Story is especially important, providing a way into someone’s mind and heart in ways that cognitive scientists are actually starting to measure.

So merely “keeping it short” may be a fine strategy for saying hello, but a sentence like “Above all, we listen to our clients” calls for a more engaging follow-up. For example, “Are you interested in how we do all that listening? …Here’s an example…”

Now what does all this have to do with the other great “democratizer”, ARCHICAD and its competitors?

Basically, it’s not the platform that’s the issue. The issue is the platform’s seductiveness. Where efficiency may be everything when it comes to planning and prototyping, it’s not the first thing you think of when it comes to building human relationships — in person, or via social media.

While ARCHICAD can insure that we don’t use one extra brick – a valid concern in construction, living in fear of expending an extra word on social media can be a non-starter. An “elevator speech” may successfully initiate a conversation, but it can hardly be counted on to maintain one. A provocative photo illustrating a very efficient, very economical story about two star-crossed lovers may indeed “go viral,” but will do little to hold Shakespeare’s audience more than a few seconds from then on.

How, then, do we let ARCHICAD perform its marvelous work as a design tool, while we start using social media as an effective marketing tool for developing human relationships with all their inherent inefficiencies and messiness?  How to start building meaningful relationships on social media, putting more emphasis on the social, and less on the memes of “going viral”?

This shift needs to happen sooner than later.

Indeed, we’re now seeing billions of photos, posts and profiles increasing exponentially.  Somewhere, however, in the face of this information maelstrom, a lot of business is bound to happen. And it’s mainly going to happen through one on one relationships that matter. That’s why developing quality content and high engagement will make the difference between success and failure in social media marketing,

Puzzled about next steps? You’re not alone.

That’s why last year I launched an exclusive series of workshops for the New England design community, architects, interior designers, builders, vendors, crafts and design marketing people.

I’m calling this year’s series How to Win Friends and Influence People through Social Media. It’s an interactive, hands-on, limited-enrollment approach, designed to take the mystery out of writing more socially- engaging content.

It is content, not gimmicks, that’s going to separate design professionals from the pack. That said, it is important to realize that the “high quality” content everyone seems to be yearning for may at times be messy, inefficient, and all too human — the very opposite of what we expect from ARCHICAD.


Louis’ first “How to Win Friends…” social media workshop at Venegas at the Boston Design Center is already sold out.

You can take advantage of two more scheduled workshops coming up:

Dec 2, 2015 at Roomscapes on the South Shore

Jan 13, 2016 at Wolfers/Waltham

Louis will also facilitate a twenty minute demo on the Exhibition Floor at ABX Nov 19

For details and a registration link for the Dec 2 workshop, http://conta.cc/1LE8Uhb, and for Jan 13 at Wolfers http://conta.cc/1Pb8eR8

 

 

 

 

 

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