Why social media is important, and how to participate.
One of my favorite parts of the day is opening up LinkedIn and Instagram (IG) where I can admire the lives of surveyors around the world.
You work in some of the most beautiful places … and not-so-beautiful places. I get to see how deep the passion is for the surveying industry, your willingness to share advice with people on the other side of the world, and, professionally, how equipment is being used. Our world has never been more connected.
Five years ago, the surveyors who used social media was a pretty small audience; today is such a completely different story. There are no official estimates of how many surveyors use social, but I think every surveyor should be on social media. The degree to which you participate is totally up to you. What is the value of joining or participating in social media? Why should you take time out of your day for this?
(Image above: @Benchmarksurveys shares beautiful project
images on Instagram and includes lots of hashtags you can click on to see others’ posts.)
I often think back to a conversation with a surveyor (@slugsy100 on IG) in Cape Town, South Africa, about why he dedicates time every day to post and comment on Instagram. He discussed that he appreciates seeing how other surveyors work, even in the coldest parts of the world, and that, when he sees their photos, all of sudden he doesn’t feel as isolated.
On social media, you can connect with surveyors in your town or in any part of the world. The survey community is one of the most supportive groups I’ve ever seen. It doesn’t matter what equipment you use, if you approach things differently, or if you have the most basic questions—you’ll get answers from every part of the world.
Share tips and tricks and get advice.
Do you have a question or a great tip to share? I promise it will get answered on social media, and tips to improve efficiencies are greatly appreciated. I have seen people asking others to post their favorite hack, and it is so fun to see what they have thought up. Every day I see fun banter over new things to try and legitimate problems getting solved.
Do you have a unique way to solve a common problem or need someone instantly to advise on how to overcome an obstacle? Where else can you get advice within minutes, from people with every level of experience?
Advance the industry.
It has never been more important to spread the word on the role of surveying and how gratifying it can be. Where can we reach the younger generation? Social media! Students need to see that there is a large, supportive community on the platforms they use in their everyday life. They need to be inspired by what you do, the places you get to go, the innovative technology that you work with.
Social media is not just for posting images. Survey associations are using social media to communicate. Your local distribution partner posts about education opportunities. Follow active social media surveyors (I list some on the next page). Follow manufacturers that you use or want to use. Be the first to learn about new products and educational opportunities. It is as much informative as it is fun.
Promote your skills! Showcase new technology. Educate your customers. They are also on social media and they will find you. Tag the company of the product you are using (i.e. #TrimbleGeospatial) and, who knows, maybe they’ll surprise you with a cool gift.
There is no shortage of accounts to follow on all the social channels. Some people post multiple times a day and some a few times a year. There are people with 10 followers and many with thousands!
Each platform (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) has a different audience. LinkedIn is a professional platform excellent for showcasing your projects. Instagram is mostly inspiring images of the everyday work environment. Facebook still holds its weight in sheer audience size, but professionals are much more engaged on LinkedIn and Instagram. I personally don’t follow Twitter but check in from a business perspective. WeChat, Snapchat, TicTok, Xin—there are dozens of other channels.
Who should you start following? Who’s fun to follow and see their technique?
@slugsy100 in Cape Town, South Africa: One of the best gentlemen out there. He has passion for his industry, passion to share advice, understands that social media connects him to every part of the world! He shares beautiful images and stories every day and also the challenges of his environment.
@benchmarksurveys shares great images of their deliverables that I don’t see often, but they are as beautiful as a field picture.
@surveylife: “Connecting land surveyors globally.” They have the largest following in the surveying industry (+39k!) and do great content curation (sharing others’ images).
@geospatially_opinionated knows how to take advantage of video. He posts interesting stories of his daily surveying and is a passionate defender of the integrity of the industry.
How to Start Interested in getting started, or already have an account and are thinking of taking it further?
On Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, or any platform, it’s all about the hashtag (#). All you have to do is search #surveylife or #landsurveying or any of the fine folks above and follow them. See what they hashtag and follow that. It builds from there.
If you already participate, keep up the inspiring work and try new things! Video, stories, tips, IG TV, product reviews, etc.
Every day the survey audience on social media grows and grows. Don’t forget, social media is fun. We work in a serious profession. Take a few minutes out of your day to laugh, learn, and enjoy others’ experiences and share yours. Don’t miss out!