Question Two - Social Media: A Virtual Storefront

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

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


Even if a strategy is not formally written down, it seems that a lot of businesses have developed some sort of social-media game plan. In utilizing social media, what has been your company’s strategy?

Kaitlyn Burns, Britten Inc.: Our strategy to date has been mostly reactionary. We share information about what we do after events are completed. We post active content, discussions, and pictures almost always daily, as well as blog at least three times a week. Coming into 2012, our marketing team will have a written strategy, which is a journey in itself to write out.

Randy Clark, TKO Graphix: We make sure we are only promoting ourselves about 25-percent of the time. Our strategy is based on attraction, not promotion. It’s peer-to-peer dialogue. The content should be something someone wants or needs. This includes solving problems, sharing strategies, and having fun. We concentrate on sharing topics like social-media ideas, leadership, humor, and the graphics industry.

Damon Henrichs, ABI Digital: It’s important to constantly be getting new material out there. But at the same time, don’t be afraid to be repetitive. Think about your own social-media interaction. You’re probably not on Facebook 24 hours a day – if you are, your boss really ought to sit down and have a talk about priorities. So a post you make Tuesday morning might not get read. Go ahead and post a variation of it Tuesday afternoon.

Ryan Broderson, SuperGraphics: Our main objective is to connect with our clients. We use each platform to relay different messages. For example: Facebook celebrates our employees, features unique client products, and showcases some of our community partners. With Twitter, our primary focus is to educate our clients and keep them updated on the latest industry trends.

Rowen: We want to spend as little time on social media as possible during our peak business times. This means that updates happen during down times and if updates have to be made throughout the day, they are done so through a scheduled update service.

To read question one click here. Check back tomorrow for question three!

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