FAYETTEVILLE, ARK. — In an era where creativity, reputation, and interconnectivity are highly desirable, more design firm leaders are turning to social media to strut their stuff, according to an informal online survey held by The Zweig Letter. According to the results, 75 percent of firm leaders said they actively participate in their firm’s social media efforts, while 12.5 percent don’t, and another 12.5 percent are thinking about it.
LinkedIn, a social media and networking site for professionals, was mentioned by 80 percent of respondents who use social media, and was the most actively participated in website. The multiple choice question revealed that almost 67 percent of respondents said they are also active on Facebook, arguably the most well-known of social media site, while Twitter was used by 53.3 percent, and blogs by 33.3 percent.
A full report on the survey’s findings was published in the May 23 issue of The Zweig Letter, ZweigWhite’s weekly management journal.
“As a relatively small player it lets us sell our ideas, expertise, and passion for design to a larger world market,” said Christopher Good, associate principal with KSA Interiors in Glen Allen, Va. “Utilizing a leveled social media playing field we are only limited by the passion and creativity we employ toward sharing our message and ideas, not necessarily the size of our firm or the region where we are located.”
Survey participants were asked to describe whether social media has enhanced their firm’s value proposition and proved to be a good investment. While some reported no visible results stemming from their efforts, most reported a positive impact, using words such as “awareness,” “thought leadership,” “passion,” and “community” in their comments.
Speed and ease is another social media attribute leaders appreciate. Karen Jehanian, president of KMJ Consulting, Inc. in Ardmore, Pa., said, “Now our clients and colleagues know when we will be attending and speaking at conferences and we have an opportunity to connect on a different level with less effort. Having said all that, nothing takes the place of eye contact and a handshake or a hug.”
The informality of the platform is also seen as a benefit by one anonymous respondent who said, “Facebook has made it easy for us to interact with the public in a more relaxed and agile way. For example, we were able to post videos of construction techniques in the rebuilding of Haiti, something we were not likely to put on our more formal website.”