Welcome back to “Archipreneur Insights”, the interview series with the architectural, design and building community’s movers and shakers. The series highlights people who have an architectural degree but have since followed an entrepreneurial or alternative career path in the field.
This week’s interview is with Claudia Lorusso, Architect and Social Media Manager from the beautiful Bari, Italy. Claudia has always been passionate about social media and technology, so after graduating with a degree in architecture, she started to work for archilovers.com and the Archipassport Network.
Her position at archilovers provides a great example of how technology can create jobs in field of architecture. Developing and implementing their web marketing and communications strategies is an area that architectural firms should think more of in the future; we can no longer deny the importance of digital PR.
Let’s now hear Claudia’s opinions on that. Here are her thoughts on architecture, new technologies and social media.
What made you decide to become a social media manager for archilovers.com (A social network for architects)? Was there a particular moment that sealed the decision for you?
Oh this is a nice story.
I still was an undergraduate student when I received a message on my Archilovers profile from my current CEO, he found me on the platform because at that time I was an ordinary user. Ok, maybe not that ordinary, because unlike others I completed my profile with all information about me and especially my social links. Four years ago people in Apulia were already using facebook, but few of them were using it “business” wise. At that time I was also using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin of course. And that was the key.
After a brief exchange of messages with my CEO we set up a meeting, and I was shocked when I discovered that the Headquarters of Archilovers, Edilportale, Archiproducts and Archiportale were located in my city. I never knew that, not even suspected it.
A while later I was coordinating all of the communications that were passing through our social channels, giving tips to the people that were helping me with 21 channels of the network.
What do you find the most fulfilling about your current job as Social Media Manager?
Since I started working with social media a new world opened to my eyes, and that’s changed my life. Literally. When you work with social media you could find yourself checking emails at 5.30 am, or check if people have left comments at your latest post, how many retweets or likes it has received. It’s all about communication with people. People is the real value of social networking and the relationship that you build with them.
But, I’m not doing that for my company. In each post, in each answer to our followers there’s a part of me. I’m doing that for myself.
Confucius said “ Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life ”. In my case my job has chosen me, and I couldn’t have been any luckier and glad to combine my passion for social media with what I love most in the world which is architecture and design.
How has your architectural training helped you in your current job? What specific/transferable skills have proved the most useful?
Before entering the Architecture Faculty I graduated from the Classical Lyceum. I studied ancient languages (Latin and ancient Greek). It is said that they helped to thinking in a logic way. I think the same about the architecture faculty.
If I am now a problem solver, a team-worker and proactive maybe I should thank my training as an architect. Not to mention my current good taste for architecture, interiors and design products, of course.
Do you have any advice for architects who are interested in marketing their practice or projects via social media? Which tools and resources are the most effective?
As for a brand, the presence of an architect or architectural firm is essential on social networks, more than ever before. But launching a Facebook page or a twitter account is perhaps the last step of a process that before this step, should have affected the marketing strategies that generally you want to pursue: identify goals, choosing which are the most appropriate channels, developing a content strategy and creating an editorial calendar. Like any other marketing initiative social media are far from being cheap in terms of time and budget allocation.
Being on platforms specialized in architecture as Archilovers, which already has a large community both on the site and on social networks could be a very useful tool for architects and designer. In a few words, engaging the media of this particular field could represent a good start. Without forgetting that a good project without good pictures equals a bad project.
Do you think it is possible to acquire new clients with a good online communication strategy?
Yes I do. The online population is growing, and the most popular sites where people spend most of their time are search engines and social networks.
Bringing the communication on social networks it’s like screaming in a square full of people, with a huge difference: you don’t seem crazy.
But more important than acquire a new client is the possibility provided by them of being close to the client, being in touch with him. For both a single architect or a firm being on social networks means they can guarantee their clients high quality answers in a quick time.
How do you see the future of architecture? In which areas (outside of traditional practice) can you see major opportunities for up and coming architects?
This is a tough question. Architecture is one of the most ancient jobs in the world. A lot has been already invented, but I’m quite sure there is a lot more that should be done. I’m referring in particular to the 3d-printing industry, the augmented reality and self-made architecture. Those three topics are in their very early stages, and I guess very soon they could affect the “traditional” architecture practice.
Claudia was born in Italy 27 years ago. She graduated from the Polytechnic University of Bari in Architecture and has always been passionate about social media, technology and startups. Just before graduating, she started working for a multi-platform company, proving her skills in Marketing and Social Media, Facebook campaigns, digital PR and community management.