Another week, another social media platform that rises to the top. It seems like every week buzz builds around a social media platform that people say will revolutionize the way marketers engage audiences. In B2B marketing, there is evidence around the value of LinkedIn and Twitter. Some industries have been early adopters while others, including A/E/C, have consistently trailed (see our recent study on online marketing for professional services). Marketing architectural services is not often thought of as a trending topic in social media. That’s why I was surprised, if not shocked, to learn that architects are gravitating to Pinterest, a relative new-comer in the social media world.

According to it's website, Pinterest “lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web.” This platform has caught the attention of architects, who apparently are eager to share the beautiful things they design. I learned about this connection as I reviewed the transcript of a recent TweetChat held by @AEC_SM. (Tip: if a conflict prevents you from attending a tweetchat, check out the hashtag stream to catch up on the discussion.)

For architects, showing off images of their work via a photography portfolio is essential. After all, architects can be obsessive about beautiful things. So it should come as no surprise that Pinterest has become a natural place for architects to share their favorite buildings and spaces. If you go to Pinterest and search for “architects”, you’ll find hundreds of pins on interesting projects, treatments, materials and other sources of inspiration. Where is this going? Is it a viable business platform? Can you use it to market archtectural services and generate revenue? All valid questions, but it's probably too early to answer these questions. However, that doesn’t mean we should ignore this early-stage shift.

Whether it is used as an online portfolio, image library or as a inspiration resource, Pinterest seems to be attracting architects. What does this mean for others in the A/E/C space? Imagine construction companies showing off interesting examples of building retrofits or civil engineering firms showcasing innovative approaches to designs for storm water management ponds. Here's how one flooring company is using of Pinterest today. There may be lessons here for you.

As an A/E/C firm, should you join the craze? Not necessarily. But keep an eye on Pinterest and see if it has staying power. For once, the A/E/C industry may be breaking new ground with this social media platform. Until we all figure it out, happy pinning!

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