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...
To access the remainder of this piece of premium content, you must be registered with MyPRINTResource. Already have an account? Login
Register in seconds by connecting with your preferred Social Network.
Complete the registration form.
- On Twitter, scan your last 50 tweets. If you don’t see any @ symbols, you’re doing it wrong. The point of the platform is to engage, and the absence of those symbols shows that you aren’t doing so. Twitter is not the platform to continually blast your latest press releases.
- Look at the links you have shared. Do they all lead to your website? If they do, you’re too promotional. Provide content and tidbits that your audience will find relevant and valuable. The great news is there are millions of content producers out there who will welcome your sharing their content. Eventually, people will recognize your sharing and return the favor.
- On Facebook, look at the comments on your page. Are you the most frequent commenter? You should be, because you need to engage with the audience on your page. If others are commenting on what others say more than you, either hire them or start answering the questions yourself. Think of it this way: Would you rather have an employee answer phone calls at your company or an unqualified teenager?
- Scan your status updates. Are all your status updates about your latest sale? Facebook is not the Sunday circular. You have a tough battle because you’re competing not only against your normal business competition; you are also competing to appear in the newsfeed along with people’s friends. They’re inherently more interesting than those trying to sell you stuff all the time. Be a friend.
- Does anybody respond when you post a status? Take a long, hard look at your content, and take off your marketer’s hat. The most important aspect of appearing in the newsfeed is interaction. Start thinking like a consumer to produce content that is short, sweet, and sharable.
5 Reasons Most Companies Don't Measure
Social media is inherently measurable. There at least 200 vendor firms that monitor and measure its effectiveness, according to Angela Jeffrey, VP of editorial research at VMS (Video Monitoring Services). But measurement should be viewed less as a report card and more as a GPS that can continually help you get to where you want to go by consistently monitoring and adjusting, Frank Ovaitt, EVP, Makovsky + Co. told an audience at last year’s PR Measurement Conference.
While few would ever admit it, most companies don't have the right tools, can't make sense of the data, or are afraid of what the data might say. That’s because most people hate math, contend social gurus Jay Baer and Amber Naslund. Saying that “social media isn't measurable” is an excuse, they say. Here’s what companies really mean:
- We don't have the right tools to collect the data we need.
- When we have all the data, we don't know where to start.
- We don't know which data might relate to other data to analyze it well.
- We don't have or won't deploy enough data collection and analysis resources to figure this out.
- We're afraid of what measuring will actually tell us about our effectiveness.
Doing Facebook (for Business) Right
Facebook can be a key online marketing tool for print and related businesses. If used to its fullest, it can drive increased traffic to websites, generate additional sales, promote brand recognition and loyalty, and provide a direct communication link to customers.
Inc. magazine and Inc.com hailed stationary company Tiny Prints as having one of “20 Awesome Facebook Fan Pages.” The firm, which specializes in personalized stationary and greeting cards for special occasions and announcements, has gained nearly 64,000 fans on Facebook. Special features allow users to view merchandise, receive exclusive fan discounts, gain insight from Tiny Prints Inspiration Boards, and shop without leaving the social network—turning Facebook fans into buying customers.
“Originally, Tiny Prints used Facebook merely as a way to drive traffic, but lately, Tiny Print's fan page has grown into a tightly knit community built off remarkable customer service and feedback,” Inc. reported. Anna Fieler, marketing VP of Tiny Prints, said the company actively participates and responds to about 99.9 percent of comments within 24 hours. In return, fans of Tiny Prints have been showing more investment in the company.
Fieler reported traffic from Facebook increased more than 600 percent from 2009 to 2010, and during the holiday season, customers who were also Facebook fans spent significantly more than customers who weren't. “People stop by our page and share their birth announcements, wedding pictures, Valentine’s Day cards, their love stories of how they proposed, what they did for their anniversary,” Fieler told Inc. “We’re seeing a community being built around these special moments and life occasions that our products are designed to celebrate.”
Printers on YouTube
YouTube, which Google acquired in 2006, turned seven this past May. People now upload 72+ hours of video every minute to YouTube. The online channel gets 1 billion views a day.
In a May blog, John Foley, Jr., CEO of interlinkONE and Grow Socially, discussed three ways to use YouTube to attract attention to your printing business today:
Demonstrate the Services You Can Offer
“To catch the attention of and leave an impression on marketers, printers certainly need to do more just list the equipment that they have and the services that they provide,” Foley blogged. “In today’s world, many marketers need to be able to visualize specific solutions that the printer’s hardware and services can bring to them. Video can be a great way to bring a printer’s solutions to life.