At Graph Expo 2012, I participated in two education events where the topic of social media was discussed vigorously. Essentially the question came down to two key points. Should Commercial Printers be using social media in their sales and marketing strategies? The answer is YES.
In a July, 2012 poll conducted by Social Science Research Solutions (SSRS) published by the AARP Bulletin, 69% of ages 18 to 49% and 38% of ages 50-plus use some type of Social Media. These represent big numbers that will likely get even bigger.
At the very least, just like with any communications media, Printers must know how to integrate social media and print.
Here are two important to do’s for every Printer.
1. Regardless of what one thinks about the effectiveness or long term prospects of social media, Printers must be conversant in how social media works in today’s market. They need to know when it is effective and how it competes or integrates with print. There are plenty of industry workshops and free information on the Web that can help with self-education. We know plenty of printing companies who are already ramped up and can have intelligent conversations with customers.
2. If you have not already done it, this is the time to use social media in your own business. If it only to comfort customers that the Printing company understands the essentials of social media, it is a good reason to deploy. If cost of a good consultant is an issue, we recommended that Printers contact local universities. Undergraduate or graduate marketing professors are always looking for local companies to enable their students to practice developing marketing plans. Developing a social media plan for a commercial printer would be a great experience for both the Printer and the students.
As we get close to the end of the year, this is a great time to review and integrate social media into the marketing plan. Don’t wait.