VT Architect

How to optimize your firm's social media work for success

It Started with Headlines

About six weeks ago we re-evaluated how we did our social media work, recognizing we needed to get more organized. We felt something lacking from a coordination standpoint in all of our social media postings across the platforms we regularly use.  We took a deep breath and looked around a bit knowing something was missing.  At some point we remembered the headline analyzer offered by CoShedule we had been using successfully for well over a year to help us write our headlines for articles and blog posts.  Why not explore the headline analyzer and other aspects of CoSchedule's products.

First a little bit more about the headline analyzer.                                                               

The analyzer, with a learn by doing process, helps you write your headline. By using it we became more adept at writing headlines in active rather than passive voice, the importance of character length, word count and word balance.  Word balance proved especially interesting as the higher ranking headline scores achieved a balance between common, uncommon, emotional and power words.                                                                                                            

Using the analyzer helps us write more pointed and directed writing as well.  The best writing advice we ever received usually begins with well, you guessed it, a great headline. What's helpful about letting the headline lead your writing is the clarity and focus of your thoughts which evolve out the act of ideating multiple headline concepts.  

Screenshot of running this headline through the analyzer - An example

Screenshot of running this headline through the analyzer - An example

The calendar organization tool

One day, we checked out what lay behind the Headline Analyzer and learned more about CoSchedule the company which runs it and its social media tool set, most notably the calendar. The calendar is the one stop place to organize your social media and marketing work.  We use it in solo-preneur mode with only one team member in charge of organizing it and doing our social media and blogging updates through it.  

Through the calendar we can set up in advance a week or two in advance social media activity across all of our social and professional network sites.  Doing so helps us stay focused doing our regular architectural, design and creative work for our clients.  We use the calendar to target our messaging about news, information, tips and best practices we think our various communities would like to hear and learn about. 

A screenshot of our emergin calendar. (Last week is greyed out)

A screenshot of our emergin calendar. (Last week is greyed out)

Along the way, we sprinkle in targeted messages highlighting recent design work, in the news bits and blog posts about us all creating convergence to our website and ultimately our contact us pages.  Using the calendar helps us share our connective content out there freeing us up on the back side to interact, respond and engage with our growing social community on and off line from those scheduled posts and shares.  

Right now we mostly post social media messages, choosing what optimized times and day of the week and which platform we share from.  We seek to offer inspiring ideas and best practice information on Mondays and Fridays. Then during the middle of the week we share more about our architecture, interior, workplace and creative examples and services paired with specific advice, unique stories we follow which fall in the quirky category.  As you can imagine with a new tool like this we continue to test new ideas regularly and open to suggestions and community feedback on how to add more value to you our Arocordis Design community..

Here's a how to video on more about CoSchedule

Next steps for our Calendar

Over the coming months we hope to use The calendar and its functionality in more ways to deepen our engagement and interactions with our Arocordis Design community creating positive brand energy.  And you will continue to see engaging and to the point headlines from our work with the headline analyzer.  

We will check back in on this process and tool sometime in the next six or eight weeks to tell you how it is shaping up for us. 

If you would like to learn more about our architecture, interiors, workplace and creative visualization work click on the contact us button below.  

Design thinking and doing: Arranging rocks

Sea glass and rocks in hand - Stephen M. Frey

Sea glass and rocks in hand - Stephen M. Frey

     What do you do to cultivate your creative design capabilities? Practicing architecture, art, photography, graphic design means just that, practice and training.  

     So practice means doing and sometimes practices means playing.  

Sea Glass and Stones, 2.23.17 - Stephen M. Frey

Sea Glass and Stones, 2.23.17 - Stephen M. Frey

     One of the things we do is play with rocks and creat impromptu compositions. We do so to quickly iterate an idea and test it. We look to create balance, variety and visual interest while creating a point of focus.  

     Sometimes we photograph these ideas. Other times we just play. Setting up a layout again and again. Admiring each for a moment, then rearranging them. Over and over again. This is practicing how to compose, to see and to self-critique. 

Marblehead Rocks Rearranged - 11 x 22 Watercolor on 140lb Cold Press, Stephen M. Frey

Marblehead Rocks Rearranged - 11 x 22 Watercolor on 140lb Cold Press, Stephen M. Frey

      Sometimes these arrangements make it to a painting. Here's one such example from a few years ago. That day the sun shone really low providing illuminating side light to the stones and the green sea glass. It caught our eye as a metaphor for the passion of creativity emanating an inner light which models how it feels creatively from within.  Kind of warm inside, glowing and knowing we call it!

      Do you practice like this to hone your creative eye and hands? What do you do? Please share! 

#creativity, #designthinking, #design, #making #HowTo

 

The triple bottom line and energy efficiency in existing commercial buildings

The triple bottom line and energy efficiency in existing commercial buildings

"Recently we gave a talk sharing why and how to improve energy efficiency in existing commercial buildings. We relearned in the process how extensive and valuable the existing building retrofit marketplace is." 

American Meadows New Offices

A New Home

      Driving down Shelburne Road in Shelburne, Vermont a new workplace for American Meadows and High Country Seeds rises along one of the busiest roads in Vermont.  
     Their new workplace displays our mission and values driven design and work process. We designed their interior architecture renovation including front of house offices, meeting spaces, collaboration areas, and shipping/ receiving areas. We provided space planning, workplace strategies and more.  
      We worked closely with the owner on the design who then collaborated with Christine Burdick who provided finishing touches of targeted finishes, furniture selection and wall graphics. 

The Process:

      Together we created a new workplace environment echoing their brand DNA of a disruptive e-commerce company operating in the gardening and seed space.  The owner purchased the former site of a venerable area outdoor recreation store which became a high end furniture store seeing new possibilities for re-purposing its' tall floor to floor heights and vast open areas into a high functioning collaborative focused open office workplace and seed shipping and receiving warehouse area.  

View of open work area towards "garden shed" meeting space and kitchen work cafe beyond.

View of open work area towards "garden shed" meeting space and kitchen work cafe beyond.

      There's more to be done in the months ahead but these images show what's emerging.  Like their brand, they've planted a new seed in Shelburne providing the area with renewed energy and vitality.  We helped create meeting spaces in close proximity to open work areas and common spaces like the kitchen commons which also doubles as a flexible meeting space.

A Kit of Parts

       We developed an interior kit of parts of interior elements which evolved out of a garden shed aesthetic with common everyday materials like galvanized corrugated sheet metal, rustic shake shingles, a timber frame. The client was extremely interested in bringing a feeling of nature near into their new workplace with natural materials including repurposing as flooring in the central common area reclaimed bleachers. 
      Improving daylighting and access to views outside was also critical to American Meaodws. We campaigned for opening up the center of darkest area with a generous skylight to let daylight and the sunshine in over the kitchen / common area.  To further lighten the space on the south elevation, a series of large windows matching existing windows on other elevations were installed.

View of open work area from main entry.

View of open work area from main entry.

See this gallery of more photos of their new space.