Keywords for Success

A Key Strategy

By Patty Swisher Posted on April 11, 2013

w-SocialMedia-buttonI have written here a lot about social media strategy. Comments and feedback have suggested that there are not a lot of actionable items. First, I think it is important to start with strategy before jumping into tactics. Understanding the strategy, the “WHY” you want to do something, leads to better results – the how, where, when, what.  Clearly, I’m not an architect, but you wouldn’t start building a new building and then work out the details of the design of the foundation, would you?  (…that’s for a different section of this publication – not my area of expertise!)

This is one more strategy-related article. I promise tactics are coming, soon.

Whether it’s social media, website, or email marketing, marketing communication is designed to deliver your communication messages to your intended audience. Messages are often developed from your firm’s value proposition or the information that makes your firm competitively different from all other firms.

This begins with your mission and vision statements and continues with your firm’s values. As tools mission, vision, and values are meant to be guiding principles for your firm and to keep it on track, on message. This is true whether you are a sole practitioner or a 200+ person firm.

We have all digested lofty mission statements that are meant to inspire staff for the long term. These are the statements of what we aspire to be, why we are architects, what we hope to accomplish or achieve, the difference we plan to make.  Sometimes these statements are so lofty they don’t guide our daily efforts.

So I suggest, Think Keywords!  I preach “Think key words.” Five years ago I didn’t know what key words were.

Online marketing and more specifically Google have brought to the forefront the importance of thinking in more simplistic terms – keywords – single words that define who you are and what you want to be known for. They’ve even created a tool for it – Google has the keyword tool.

I have found that thinking in terms of keywords simplifies messages to the core value proposition and provides a framework for future activities. And, while we call them keyWORDS they can also be phrases.

This past January, I read several blog posts, possibly started by social media author and speaker, Chris Brogan, that suggested your goals and resolutions should be distilled down to three key words that you wanted to focus on. (Here’s a post from Mark W. Schaeffer that provides an example of the 3 words resolutions.)  WOW! How powerful is that? And how easy to remember?

The goal is to apply this to social media to use these words in all of your online content. I am not suggesting to ‘stuff’ your content with keywords, but rather to use them to guide the information that you create. And, it should be relatively easy.

For example, my keywords are: social media, network, and marketing communication. So each time I post to Twitter or Facebook or Linkedin, I think to myself,  “Does this post have anything to do to further my reputation in each of these areas?” If it does, then I post it. If it does not, then I reconsider.

What would your key words be?

This is the sixth in a series on social media in architecture. Read the previous post here.

Just a quick note. I’ll be part of a panel presentation at this year’s AIA Build Pittsburgh. I was delighted to be invited to participate particularly in the area of social media. I hope you’ll consider joining us for this session: Session 4, L4 3:45-5:15 p.m., Beyond the Printed Word: Marketing In the Age of Social Media. Please bring your social media questions and suggestions for future Columns social media articles, I look forward to meeting you in person.

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