Designed to Connect: Twitter for Architects

There is a large amount of buzz about social media these days. In the field of architecture and design, it is no different. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google +, and many more are actively growing their usage in professional applications. Should you join the social media scene? What are the benefits? Are there drawbacks? What is the best way to go about establishing a social media presence on the Web?

Andrew Hawkins, AIA
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by Andrew Hawkins, AIA
Texas Architects New Media Committee

One of the more popular social media platforms is Twitter. You hear more about it every day. Twitter is a fast-paced 140-character conversation stream, and it is full of Architecture/Engineering/Construction professionals. With Twitter, you can increase an awareness of your firm or yourself within the AEC community. It provides an endless stream of conversation and information waiting for your interaction. You can grow your network of professional contacts across the country and the world. Twitter is a convenient method for finding current information about architecture, design, and construction, along with other areas of interest. At times, I feel that architects can benefit more from Twitter than almost any other users. We have the ability to find the common thread among varying topics and weave them into a unified concept. This is one of our strongest abilities as architects. Twitter furnishes an opportunity for you to become a firm or individual with expertise in your desired area. You can also connect with others who share those interests or who can help you gain more knowledge.

Twitter is not about landing a project. Clients are not waiting for architects to Tweet so they can offer them a job. (No one is directly Tweeting RFPs… yet.) Social media is about increasing your knowledge and network, which can put you in the proper position to land a project. It’s about the long game, and it's about professional community and personal development. As you increase your network, your opportunities grow. Social media presents AEC professionals with an opportunity to expand their network beyond traditional means. Your interactions are not confined to only architects or firms. Manufacturers, contractors, consultants, specialists, and researchers are all contributing to that endless flow of information. There are numerous ways to expand your network in areas of interest. Twitter constructs a framework to generate a personal intelligence community. It is a community created by your efforts and is tailored to your interests. Development of this network can increase awareness and produce a better professional. The payoff is the ability to learn about the AEC industry in a manner like never before, in as close to real time as possible. This could also be called “professional intelligence media.” Introduce yourself to social media. Get on Twitter. Then participate.

Andrew Hawkins, AIA, is the (principal) architect-owner of Hawkins Architecture. He is a graduate of Texas A&M and the University of Oregon. He believes in sustainability, technology, and the power of architecture. When Andrew is not running his firm or testing the latest gadget, he enjoys time with friends, family, and a well-crafted brew. Oh, and Modernism. Andrew is a member of the Texas Architects New Media Committee. Follow Andrew on Twitter at twitter.com/#!/hawkinsarch



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Talk About It

About 2 years ago: @pmswish

Great post, Andrew! The AEC community is just awakening to the power of social media.