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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.

click an image below to view slideshow

By Julie Shaffer and Mary Garnett

Now, 80,000 people view Vaynerchuk’s site daily. He built his brand and, with a very small budget and name, grew the family business from $4 million to $60 million in five years. With appearances on numerous shows such as NBC’s Today Show and CNBC’s Mad Money and articles galore, new revenue streams were developed in public speaking, book writing (including a 10-book deal), and as expert wine consultant for Virgin America. It was a lot of hard work building his image as a trusted authority on wine, but he did just that.

Nurturing relationships
To increase the relationship aspect of a customer bond (and decrease the emphasis on “price-only” criteria for your interaction), you can nurture the relationship through social-media tools, which amplifies the avenues of contact with your customer. So if you participate in a blog where you solve problems or suggest alternative actions, the customer sees you as an industry expert and will look to you for solutions to printing issues.

Small businesses can do this just as well as larger companies: Printers solve problems for customers every day – why not get the word out through how-to video clips, a blog, or an advice/chat area on your corporate website or portal?

With the plan to create a blog and join other online conversations, BreakingPoint, a Texas Internet security company, set up a monitoring system to scan the Internet, the blogosphere, online forums, and communities to find relevant conversations in their industry and their audience before starting their own blog. Tools such as Tweet Scan and Google Alerts were used for industry terms, and was utilized to monitor various forums with a goal of creating strong relationship with hard-to-find prospects.

They used their own blog to break stories which generated links from other sites, and Twitter delivered shorter, more frequent updates to supplement the company blog. Again, a key-terms search on Twitter helped them to find conversations, competitors’ names, and industry research. LinkedIn Groups were created because targeted customers used LinkedIn and this is where they were able to start conversations.

Other steps focused on increasing website traffic, such as increasing press release frequency to one per week, the use of a press release service, as well as social media sites. They promoted social media channels on the company website and in staff e-mail signatures. Last, they measured social media accounts and traffic.