Why employers should encourage personal social media use to increase print sales

In today’s age of social media domination, it’s easier to learn about and connect with a person than ever before. Often, social media can serve as one’s outlet to the not-so-corporate world, where one might post content related to their personal life. To others, platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram may function as an opportunity to build and develop their professional identities. Establishing a presence in the corporate world, inside or outside the office is likely to provide its own dividends back at home base, especially from a sales or human resources perspective. Network growth, credibility, and value within an organization are just a few of the payoffs. Employers should empower their employees to use these tools so as to strengthen their sales reach and credibility.

Owning your target market

Across the many print verticals that exist in the market today, most companies should know what their strengths are and the kind of value they can deliver. Immaculate service, quality, and customization are compulsory differentiators when competing in today’s ongoing price war. Most printers know the market they serve and how they plan to deliver value to it, but it’s no secret that in such a competitive marketplace, value may be harder to communicate.

Speaking to the marketplace with strategic use of personal social media channels establishes a different kind of credibility and relatability than may be typically found on the company’s website. That credibility should speak volumes to what an organization does best and should give its salesforce solid backing. One great way to do this is through publishing and sharing that work across social media platforms. Linkedin Pulse and Medium are great outlets to create such content and they add another layer of credibility. Showcase customer samples and amazing print examples on an ongoing basis. Instagram is a great tool for something like this. Posting does not need to be overly frequent, but should be maximized to gain a worthwhile reach. Typical social media strategy applies: Linkedin gets the most traction between Tuesdays and Thursdays, typically from 12PM-5PM. Similar logic applies to Twitter, with the greatest traction occurring during lunchtime.

For employers: Proactively feed your salesforce information you’d like them to discuss. If employees are using social media as a sales tool, this may be the best opportunity to help them represent the corporate brand effectively

Attracting the partners you want

Shorter run lengths and greater customization are industry trends that are not going away any time soon. It is more important now than ever before to have efficient, profitable equipment coupled with a concise workflow. Whether from software or hardware perspective, it is crucial to work with the right partners. In today’s climate of continuous innovation, proactivity is paramount and a corporate culture should be instilled around this. Let your employees be your ears. Social media engagement is akin to doing one’s homework. Beyond publishing their own content, employees typically interact and engage with their business community as well.

For employers: Incentivise your workforce to be active learners. Tools like Linkedin and Twitter are great for finding meaningful content. This is a great way to keep your employees aware of new technologies and potentially create a feedback loop for future consideration. The benefit is twofold, as an active social media presence may provide a meaningful first touch point. A simple retweet may often be powerful enough to start a relationship off on a more informal, pleasant way.

Building your talent pool

It has been speculated that one in three hires are made based on a personal connection or recommendation. The reason for this is simple; Employers trust their workforce to provide feedback they would not otherwise have. It is not hard to spot a true company advocate on Linkedin. These types of people generate leads and partnerships through the platform and ooze company spirit. Connections made through these types of people may in turn, identify like-minded people, thus fueling the fire and bringing quality talent to a workforce.

For employers: Endorse and recommend employees profiles on LinkedIn. Not only does it help strengthen their profile, but may add some much needed gratification and empowerment along the way

Overall, social media is wildly powerful. It yields among the greatest reach at the lowest cost of almost any marketing initiative. If used effectively by employees, it may provide dividends affecting marketing, sales, operations, human resources and more. Moving into 2016, social media empowerment is now more important than ever!

Comments

Designer, marketing and sales specialist Jeff Khansis is Business Development Associate at The Printing House in Toronto. He is a graduate of Ryerson University’s School of Graphic Communications Management (GCM).