Question Eight: Social Media: A Virtual Storefront

Ten print shops weigh-in on utilizing social media to market their businesses.

Big Picture

To see how social media works for those of us in the wide-format industry, we talked to 10 print shops who, through trial and error, have found a way to make their mark in the world of online marketing.

Each day over the next week, The Big Picture will post a new, critical question centered around the use of social media in the world of wide-format with invaluable answers from our panel.

Our Social-Media Panelists
Ryan Broderson, Director of marketing and customer relations, SuperGraphics,
Kaitlyn Burns, Britten Inc., Marketing special project coordinator,
Blake Castestter, Account executive, Advertising Vehicles,
Randy Clark, Director of communications, TKO Graphix,
Dolph Frederico, Owner, Pelican USA,
Damon Henrichs, Sales and marketing manager, ABI Digital Solutions,
Jill Rowen, Sales and marketing coordinator, Apple Visual Graphics,
Darin Smith, Director of strategic planning, Printscape,
Sean Tomlin, Owner, Designer Wraps,

Being that social networking is an uncontrolled medium, has there ever been a time when social media might have worked against you?

Frederico: Knock on wood; we really haven’t had a bad experience yet. We’ve had the random person rip us up over some mix up, but like I mentioned, we never delete that stuff. We reach out and resolve it right there in front of everyone. In the end, we have a 100-percent solve rate and the people who were upset have become big supporters.

Burns: I think the only time social media has hurt our business is when we weren’t properly engaging. It’s one of those things that if you’re going to do it, do it well. Keep it going. It can only help.

Broderson: We have been fortunate to have not experienced any backlash regarding a post. We believe all posts should be vetted with common sense. Prior to posting anything client-sensitive, our team will have a quick group huddle to discuss ramifications. We understand that posts are open to the public and want to make sure we are never offensive in any of our messaging.

Wilson: I’m an optimist, so I’d say never. You’ll find that most complaints or concerns that you receive through social channels help make you aware of issues you need to resolve in your business. And, once the issue has been corrected or addressed, that once unhappy customer will more often than not become a huge advocate of your brand online and off.

Read Question 7: What about success stories: When has social media really helped your business?

Tomorrow's question: What is your best advice for those considering using social media for their print shop?

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