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Increasingly, architects and designers are tapping into social media to connect with industry peers and promote their work. But for architects, do these online pursuits pay off?

KMA has found its way into the social media world, and is present on Facebook, Twitter, as well as Archinect and Architizer, social media platforms designed specifically for the industry. The firm is using social media to improve online searches, establish thought leadership, be a part of the industry dialogue and allow potential clients to get a glimpse of their work.

So how are architecture firms capitalizing on social media these days to capture the attention of potential clients? Here are a few strategies:

Facebook: KMA and other architecture firms have tapped into Facebook to provide updates of projects, provide industry news and act as thought leaders in their communities. Facebook users can follow projects from start to finish, read about recent coverage and get involved in the conversation.

Twitter: Perfect for real-time updates of projects, Twitter is useful to reach out to the local community and media to share industry news and project coverage.

Blogs and Newsletters: By sharing weekly or monthly blogs and newsletters, architects can share news, industry updates and projects statuses with current and potential clients. KMA's quarterly newsletter is widely read and shared among peers, and also shared via other social media platforms for additional exposure.

Architizer: Essentially the "Facebook for Architecture," the site was developed to provide exposure and networking opportunities for designers. Architects are able to showcase their past, present and future projects, as well as the talent on their team.

Crowd-sourcing: Cities are beginning to benefit from crowd-sourcing methods to gather input from residents and apply the information they receive to make tangible improvements to communities and neighborhoods. For example, Bristol, Connecticut is seeing the power of collective thought with the development of a vacant 17-acre former shopping mall site. The developer rolled out a "crowd-sourced placemaking" campaign which allowed the community to be part of defining and deciding what would be built on the 17 acres. The process empowered residents to suggest and vote on ideas that would then be presented to the City Council for approval. Read more about this project here or see how other industries are creatively using social media at Mashable.com.

KMA and other architecture firms that successfully integrate social media into their practices may see generated interest in their work from journalists and other architects. In the fast-paced world today, it helps to have a voice and presence in the online world to foster new opportunities.
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