Question Nine: 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,

What is your best advice for those considering using social media for their print shop?

Henrichs: Come up with a plan. Don’t just say, “I will post a new video or whitepaper every week.” Create a plan for each week for the next 52 weeks, and then assign those weeks to specific people ahead of time. That way, you have content waiting to get posted instead of content waiting to be created.

Tomlin: It’s free. You have nothing to lose but business.

Burns: Don’t do social, be social. There’s a difference. The constant flow of information and new content is great, and is what keeps people coming back.

Rowen: Your sales team shouldn’t have to call clients everyday to remind them that your print shop is a valued vendor and partner. Use social media as an easy way to stay fresh in their minds as well as to show off exciting new projects you have worked on for other high-profile clients.

Wilson: Understand the parameters, jump in, stay committed, and never look back. If you’re not using social media yet and you think the fad will pass, you’re probably one of those people who thought cell phones and ATM machines were trendy also.

Frederico: You are a graphics company, right? Post pictures and show them what you can do. It’s like having a store on Main Street. Put your best stuff in the window and change it often. In the words of a close friend, “Do it.” This stuff doesn’t go away in 12 months like that last expensive phone book ad you bought. This stuff filters across search engines and websites forever.

Read Question 8: Being that social networking is an uncontrolled medium, has there ever been a time when social media might have worked against you?

View more from this Big Picture issue