Social in SoHo

Dear Doctor,

I am a 40-something marketing director at a mid-sized architecture firm in New York City. Our firm works with many of the city’s top developers, and we seem to be on the radar of most of the editors and journalists that cover architecture.

Here’s my dilemma: our partners are do not naturally gravitate towards digital marketing tactics, and they don’t think we need to engage in social media. However, I believe that participation on these platforms is necessary for success in today’s marketplace. How can I convince my bosses that social media is not just a fad or only for younger firms? Help!


Social in Soho


Dear Social in Soho,

I’ll start by telling you a little story: the Doctor does not generally consider herself a luddite, but I myself had reservations when e-mail first came around (yes, the Doctor is old enough to remember fax machines, telexes, and even ditto machines!). I couldn’t remember why anyone would send an e-mail when it was so much easier to pick up the phone. For the record, though, I thought cell phones were a great invention! So go figure.

Look, you’re right, there’s no question that we communicate much differently than we used to. The way I see it, social media does not replace all the good things you’re probably doing already: print publications, conference papers, professional organizations, and let’s not forget the all-important lunches with potential clients and key people in your network! On the other hand, it does offer you more avenues for getting your name out there than ever before.

There are all sorts of reasons why you need to invest time in social media (and I mean hours, not days). Your competition is doing it. Even if you don’t do anything about it, your firm is going to show up on social media. By being proactive, you put yourself in the driver’s seat and determine the messages about your business and the stories that you want people to know about your firm. Journalists are trolling social media for people and ideas, so it’s another way to make connections with the people who you want to know.