Social Media: A Virtual Storefront
Ten print shops weigh-in on utilizing social media to market their businesses.
The old adage “you need to spend money to make money” has stood the test of time throughout the history of marketing. Price has always acted as the gatekeeper of exposure – if you didn’t have the big bucks to throw at advertising, the chances of your business succeeding were often slim to none.
But today, it seems as though marketing smarts finally trumps (or at least is a solid contender against) marketing dollars. With the prominence of social media and the increase in industry “know how,” money no longer prevents your business from being seen in a big way. Thanks to social media, a time investment in the virtual world offers you a sort of storefront on Main Street where you can showcase your company’s tools and talents to millions of potential clients.
And along with the perk of limited dollar investment, social media offers the ability to start a dialogue with not only your top clients, but other industry experts, as well. The networking sites serve as a forum to exchange industry knowledge, flaunt your portfolio, and even publicly address negative customer reviews. 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 and a half, 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 Panelist
- Ryan Broderson, Director of marketing and customer relations, SuperGraphics, www.supergraphics.com
- Kaitlyn Burns, Britten Inc., Marketing special project coordinator, www.brittenbanners.com
- Blake Castestter, Account executive, Advertising Vehicles, www.advertisingvehicles.com
- Randy Clark, Director of communications, TKO Graphix, www.tkographix.com
- Dolph Frederico, Owner, Pelican USA, www.pelicanusa.com
- Damon Henrichs, Sales and marketing manager, ABI Digital Solutions, www.abidigitalsolutions.com
- Jill Rowen, Sales and marketing coordinator, Apple Visual Graphics, www.applevisualgraphics.com
- Darin Smith, Director of strategic planning, Printscape, www.myprintscape.com
- Sean Tomlin, Owner, Designer Wraps, www.designerwraps.com
- Darrin Wilson, Partner, bluemedia, www.bluemedia.com
When and why did you decide to enter the world of social media?
Sean Tomlin, Designer Wraps: In early 2009, Facebook was exploding and I was getting a lot of positive feedback on my personal page from all the pictures I would post of our work. So, I decided to create a Facebook business page and Twitter account as a way for our business to establish its own social-media presence.
Darren Wilson, Bluemedia: We also entered in 2009, in Q3. We realized that social media allowed brands to have a two-way conversation with their best customers on a daily basis. There aren’t many more marketing tactics that provide this value of return financially or intellectually.
Darin Smith, Printscape: We decided to kick off our social media with Facebook a few years ago, due to the fact that we are constantly updating and changing our offerings – and Facebook was an excellent way to show actual photos with descriptions.
Jill Rowen, Apple Visual: We entered the social-media arena in February of 2011 in anticipation of launching our new website and re-branding. The idea was simple: We knew we needed social media icons on our website and didn’t want customers to click on icons that didn’t take them to a useful resource.