This morning another printer asked me the question, â€œHow can social networks such as Facebook and Twitter help my business?â€ Thatâ€™s a good question because without a plan or focus, the printer may only be adding to the noise and clutter on the Internet. Social media tools need to be part of a complete selling program or they will just waste printersâ€™ (and their customersâ€™) time. Facebook and Twitter are great tools to keep your face in front of the customer and develop a dialog about what the customerâ€™s printing needs are and how you can fulfill them. Printers can use social media to promote their expertise and become a source for print information in their local cyber-community. With this viral marketing, you can solidify your relationship with current customers who will spread the word about your company. The payoff on social media is when prospects become interested in your service. Social media fails most printers because they just do it and hope for results. Getting out your message via social media can be like putting your shop at a busy intersection and hoping customers will just drop in so you can try to sell them something. Just because you are there doesnâ€™t mean people will come in and buy. You have to be proactive and be out in front of your customers, asking for the order. You have to have a purpose for your use of Facebook and Twitter. It has to compliment the other sales activities you do. That purpose should be to either get the customer to contact you or to let the customer know who you are when you make the sales call. To get started, I recommend that you use Facebook and Twitter to drive customers to your website and your blog. You should have an interactive website that has information to make print buying and ordering easier. You should have a blog that has information to help your customers and explain the benefits of printing. You should also be trying to capture information about your siteâ€™s visitors so you can begin a dialog with them. You want to give the impression to the customer that you are the printer from whom they should be buying. Combining social media with direct mail, outgoing telephone sales calls, and face-to-face sales opportunities will increase the sales activities that will generate new sales. Even in printing, selling is a numbers game, and the more times you touch a customer and ask for the sale, the more successful you will become.