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Why Social Media for AEC? #SocialBIM: Episode 1

Join Construction Social Strategist Su Butcher for the first in a 4-part video series looking at how social media can support BIM. Whilst social media is undoubtedly on the rise in our industry, the majority of people still don’t use it at all or are only using it in a personal capacity.

Many see it as a waste of time; something that only young people do that should be kept firmly out of the professional world.

But what if social media was put to work for our industry? What if we effectively leveraged it to improve knowledge sharing, project BIM workflows and the building design process? 

Episode 1 starts from the basics and looks at why social media is relevant to the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industries. “Construction is very conservative so you’d think social media wouldn’t be that popular” explains Su. “But actually our industry is all about relationships between people; about social interaction”.

And it’s that crucial factor that makes social media so applicable to AEC.

In Episode 1, Su defines social media as ‘people having conversations and sharing on the internet’. She goes on to describe some key benefits such as being able to find experts, anywhere in the world and ask them questions, using social media for research, learning and teaching, and being able to follow or participate in events without leaving your office.

From 3.41 Su challenges some of the common misconceptions, a key one being that most people conclude social media is full of trivial irrelevancies: “It’s easy to think that if you’re not involved in it” she says. “But if you use search to drill down into these networks, you don’t need to get involved in any of the trivial stuff”.

“The important thing to ask is: are the people that you want to talk to on these platforms and are they talking about what you want to talk about? If you can find that out, you’ll see whether these platforms are really trivial or whether it’s just a case of learning how to use them properly”.

Follow all the discussion on this video series and join in with your own contributions using the hashtag #SocialBIM or by commenting on the videos. We’d love to know what you think!

You can watch the full playlist of Episodes 1-4 here, or by following the links below:

Episode 2: How Can Social Media Support BIM Knowledge Sharing?

Episode 3: How Can Social Media Support BIM Workflows?  

Episode 4: How Can Social Media Democratise Building Design + Operation?

Find out more about Su at and interact with her on Twitter @SuButcher.

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