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'With social media we can be authentic'

Words:
Tarek Merlin

Use social media to reveal the real individuals behind the work - Feix & Merlin director Tarek Merlin explains how

Feix & Merlin’s London studio, complete with cocktail bar.
Feix & Merlin’s London studio, complete with cocktail bar. Credit: Tarek Merlin

Many architects put effort into creating content for their websites, but to attract attention you have to go where people are – social media. Feix & Merlin is active on all the main platforms. Management used to fall to me but we now share the load with an outside consultant. We’ve introduced a strategic approach – using data to see what content is effective, and when – and tuned our messaging for each channel. On Instagram, for example, we’ve rethought the appearance of our grid, and pushed more behind-the-scenes video snippets. We’ve worked to define an appropriate tone of voice without losing our tongue-in-cheek humour.

We produce six-minute videos which I adapt for TikTok, having fun with fast-paced transitions and unexpected music choices

In the last year, I’ve made a series of films for YouTube and TikTok called Behind Closed Doors. The films look inside buildings that people can’t normally see, and celebrate diversity to show young people that architecture is for everyone. Being from the LGBTQ community, my co-founder Julia and I always want to be visible and vocal about what we stand for. Working with three film-makers, we produce six-minute videos which I adapt for TikTok, having fun with fast-paced transitions and unexpected music choices. Although the aim wasn’t to win work, some opportunities have followed. 

TikTok suits us as we’ve never felt constrained by expectations about how architects present themselves, but all architects should bring their natural passions to social media. Corporate identities used to be rigid and impersonal; now they need to be complex, layered and, above all, authentic, revealing real individuals behind the work. 

 

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