These days, social media are sort of like websites: Just about every company seems to be engaging customers and prospects online. The vast majority are posting on Facebook (a substantial amount for business purposes), tweeting on Twitter, networking on LinkedIn, sharing photos on Pinterest (see...
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While Strack admitted that he doesn’t have the infrastructure in place to offer social media services directly to his customers, there are printers out there doing precisely that.
Social Profit Centers
Rich Printing, Nashville, is one print firm offering social media as a value-added service. Clay Odom, who is in charge of the firm’s own social media efforts, convinced president Larry Garrett that they could do the same for customers—and charge them.
While it may not difficult for customers to create their own profiles on LinkedIn or set up Facebook fan pages for their companies, the questions are these, said Odom: Is their page properly delivering key messages? Is it set up to maximize their Google Quotient? Does it provide easy interaction with customers and potential customers? Does it take advantage of the latest viral tools?
Rich Printing helps to ensure that its customers engage in social media the right way in the most efficient manner by creating search engine optimized (SEO) profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. It also provides training on the most effective uses of each platform.
PsPrint, check printer Deluxe Corp.’s online subsidiary, suggested 11 ways that print marketing can enhance your customers’ social media status. Getting “likes,” follows, or into customers’ circles is the name of the game; then, you essentially have free marketing to that specific segment. Helping your customers’ customers share unique experiences, their personalities, and their lifestyles engages their audience and exponentially increases their social media marketing reach. Conversely, social media can serve as a platform to enhance print marketing. You might, for example, offer to mail catalogs or brochures via your Facebook page (in return for a “like,” of course!), PsPrint pointed out. So pass along to your customers this good social advice, which applies to print firms as well:
- Encourage customers to “like” you on business cards, postcards, posters, banners, flyers and everything else you print.
- Create QR codes so customers can instantly connect with you from their devices.
- Experiment with AR (Augmented Reality) to enhance customer experience and brand recognition.
- Promote special offers and generate “likes” by offering incentives.
- Have customers take photos of themselves at your place of business or via your own app and post them to their social media profiles—all along putting your name and links in front of their friends.
- Have customers post restaurant ratings or testimonials directly from your table tents.
- Turn postcards into full-fledged catalogs with QR codes.
- Show customers how your artwork would appear on their walls with AR, then encourage immediate purchases right from their devices.
- Collect demographic data with instant questionnaires that have incentives or yield fun results so customers will want to share them.
- Show videos of products in action from your catalogs, postcards and flyers.
- Give a more detailed personal introduction via your QR code, printed on the back of your business card.
“The people who ‘get’ social media don’t think about the platform; instead, they think of people and the relationships that can develop there,” advised business communication expert Ragan Communications. “Social media is not a destination or place to go; it is a way of getting there…. If the social aspect of social media is the car, then community management is the steering wheel.”
On behalf of Ragan, Brian Murray of Likeable Media offered five simple things to look at to determine whether your firm is on the right social track: