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Social Media: Why Make the Journey?

(July 2011) posted on Mon Jun 27, 2011

How social media can benefit your print shop.

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By Julie Shaffer and Mary Garnett

While the specific reasons for businesses to engage in social media marketing differ depending upon whether a company is in the business-to-business (B-to-B) or business-to-consumer (B-to-C) space, large or small, the basic goals are similar. If we were to boil these down to their core essence, the three primary motivators for engaging in social media are to build brand awareness, to nurture relationships, and build brand loyalty. These all lead to the main goal, which is ultimately to drive sales.

Big corporations are embracing social media at an astonishing rate. PR firm Burson-Marsteller asked the Fortune Global 100 companies how they were using social media and came up with these results: 65 percent have active Twitter accounts; 54 percent have Facebook pages; 50 percent have a YouTube channel; and 33 percent have a corporate blog. Those who use these new social outlets are not merely setting up sites and letting them lie fallow, either. The study shows that 82 percent tweeted in the past week,” and 68 percent posted an update on a Facebook page.

Social media gives companies the opportunity to speak directly to their customers from a corporate level. It’s like a direct feed into the minds of their audience. By engaging with customers directly via social media channels, companies are working toward the primary goals of social media marketing: building brand awareness, nurturing relationships, and building brand loyalty.

Brand awareness and elevation
Brand awareness refers to the elevation of your company’s name, value, and capabilities in order to place it at the top of mind with a customer. Assuredly, building and maintaining brand awareness is a chief concern for any marketer.

For a printer, building brand awareness means to capture your customer’s attention so that when he or she thinks of a partner for a cross-media campaign, your company or sales rep is thought of first. If one of your current customers were considering a new marketing program, perhaps involving a QR code billboard or P-O-P campaign, would your shop be the first to come to mind?