$ocial Media. Cha-Ching!

Holy dollar signs, Batman! I was talking to John Giles yesterday and nearly fell out of my chair. We got on the subject of printers providing social media services for their customers and he told me what he has learned from some of his recent research. John told me that a lot of companies are paying service providers from $500 to $1,500 a month to manage their marketing messages. It works like this. The service provider creates the content that drives the company’s blogs and social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook—if they are using it); ensuring that the message delivered is fresh, timely, and above all, consistent. Some of the more advanced service providers also make sure that the client company’s website is regularly updated. That costs more, of course. That may sound like a lot, but John found that the prices quoted generally include about 10 tweets a month, two or three postings on LinkedIn and Facebook, and a brief blog once a week or every other week. Trust me, as someone who writes for a living, I’m telling you that is not an overburdened workload. John says printers who don’t have the talent on staff to do the work could easily outsource the service and just mark it up—the same way you would do if you were brokering out four-color printing or labels. There’s plenty of demand for these services, and it is growing every day as more and more businesses become aware of the necessity to have a social media/Internet presence. John said printers just need to talk to get in front of their customers and show them the difference between a well presented, consistent message and the “throw it at the wall and see what sticks†method. Few of your customers have the time, talent, or discipline to do social media correctly. If they are going to hire someone else to do it for them, shouldn’t it be you?

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