Don’t forget to ask for recommendations from clients. Create groups for discussion with print buyers in your community and join groups where the conversation is active. There is a wealth of dialogue already going on in the printing industry.
Now let’s turn to Facebook. First off, all printing company owners should have a Facebook page for their businesses. Decide who will be posting content on a regular basis and what the content will be. If you do it right, you can manage your entire social media presence in less than 15 minutes per day.
For social media to work you must engage people and drive them to your website. You should never use Facebook to pimp your products and services. No one wants to be sold to. Be interesting and engaging and you’ll be successful. And no, Facebook should never become your primary Web presence.
The customers you want and need are within easy driving distance of your shop. Set your sites on the local market. Businesses and nonprofits in your community are struggling to reach their audience and understand how to market themselves between conventional mail and the Web. They need your help.
Update the content on your website to include keywords (words that your customers use—not you) to describe the products and services you offer. Your primary objective with search engine optimization is to be found locally. Don’t worry about competing with Vistaprint and other low-margin printers. It’s not worth competing against these giants who spend tens of thousands of dollars every day bidding on keyword terms. Instead, optimize your content to stand out in your city or region.
Don’t get too starry-eyed by the perceived benefits of these hot issues. Remember, there is no silver bullet. At the end of the day, it’s all about focusing on the fundamentals. Take care of your customers, leverage your strengths, and utilize the tools that give you the highest return on investment.
Tawnya Starr is a former successful print shop owner who is now president of FireSpring’s PrinterPresence. She has dedicated her career to educating the printing industry on proven website and marketing strategies. In 2005, she received the Industry Award of Distinction from NAQP for her service as a consultant and educator to the industry. Contact her at Tawnya.Starr@Firespring.com.