The times they are a-changin’, and social media is no longer just for the trendy kids or the twenty-something web-entrepreneurs. Social media has become an important tool for all businesses, including print service providers. In a fast-paced world, social media is where customers and businesses congregate to get information, forge connections, and decide whether or not to do business with the companies they find there.
Your customers are on social media right now. If you’re not, you’re missing out on valuable business opportunities. There’s no doubt about it: it’s time for you to get social or risk losing out to those who already have. Don’t believe me? Well believe it! In a 2014 infographic that my team put together, we shared that Twitter’s fastest growing age demographic is 55-64 years old, and that 81% of LinkedIn users belong to at least one group. Three years later, social media users continue to increase across multiple demographics and platforms. Back then the tide was rising and now, social media for businesses and printers is here to stay. The proof is in the numbers; PSPs need to be active on social media.
To make the most of your social media presence, tick the following items off your social media checklist:
Go where your customers are. Start searching online and find out where your potential customers tend to congregate. LinkedIn? Twitter? Facebook? Instagram? Snapchat? Google+? Dedicated communities? Pick two or three that are most popular with your market, and start by focusing there. You don’t want to spread yourself too thin, trying to tackle all platforms, and so it’s important to focus mostly on where your customers are.
Make your profile professional. Your profile is your online storefront, so make sure it shows your business in a good light. Start customizing by using your brand colours and logo. Make sure you provide a good, welcoming summary of what you do and a link to your website. Side tip: Have your social visible on your website too! Don’t just say that you’re a printer; say that you provide solutions to problems. What are those?
Pay attention to your content. Just being on social media isn’t enough – the key is to provide interesting and valuable content. From tweets to status updates, your content should offer help, value, and information, rather than straight-up promotion. Consider the 80/20 rule, where 80% of what you post is personal, news, updates etc., and leave only the other 20% to trying to sell.
Talk to your customers. Social media gives you the chance to build a connection that will encourage trust and loyalty. Answer questions promptly and professionally, solve any problems that arise, and don’t be afraid to ask a few questions of your own about your customers’ needs.
Update regularly. Your business won’t stay fresh in people’s minds if your profiles are quiet for days or weeks at a time. Plan out a schedule of updates to keep your profiles active. Consistent activity is needed to have a lasting impact on your audience.
Stepping into social media can be a daunting task, but it’s worth it. Start with a written online marketing plan, craft a calendar with your team, and then get social. A well-planned and executed social media presence is an investment for the future of your printing company.