Landscape architecture firms aren’t seeing much growth right now, according to the American Society of Landscape Architects’ (ASLA) third quarter 2013 Business Quarterly survey. Their billable hours are down from last quarter by about 2 percent, and the number looking to hire in the last quarter has also dropped.
The economic downturn obviously still plays a roll, but after reading more from the survey, I think their use of social media could be another contributing factor. Only 52.7 percent said their firms use social media to support corporate business strategies. However, 55.8 percent of firms don’t use social media to analyze potential new business, risks to business activities and measure practice performance.
And 68.1 percent of firms don’t collect metrics or summary information from their social media accounts.
At its most basic form, social media is a free marketing tool where you can reach out to potential clients and establish a relationship with them. Whether you just want to do the minimum and post a Facebook status or photo each week or you’re constantly engaging with followers, you need to be doing something.
As a consumer, if I search for a business and don’t find them on at least Facebook, they don’t have my trust. It makes me question their legitimacy. With so many different platforms, from LinkedIn and Twitter to Instagram and Google+, there’s no excuse for not having at least one social media page.
Or, you could take the landscape architects’ approach and watch your numbers fall.
The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Business Quarterly survey asks quarterly benchmarks on key statistics including billable hours, inquiries and hiring plans. The Q3 2013 national survey was fielded Oct. 14 to 31, 2013, with 267 primary firm contacts responding.