Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Printers Should Let Light Shine Socially

Keeping up with social media is tough. Between onsite visits to help printing companies prosper and use the new technology, researching how to use all the new tools, and writing about them, I try to keep up with my blogs, twitter posts, LinkedIn discussions, and Facebook visits. If you are sticking your toe into the social media pool, then you know what I mean when I say that “it is hard.”

My problem is time, but for most printers I talk to, their problem is content. Printers continually tell me they don’t know what to post on the various social media vehicles. A number of printers think that just posting on social media will make them look “needy” and like they are “begging” for work. They cannot separate sales messages from valuable information.

I tell them to keep it simple. What would you want to say to your customers if you were face to face? What information would you want to put in a customer’s hand that would make print buying easier for them? What would you want to train a customer to do correctly to make production easier?

I think any printer who can come up with answers to those questions will have hundreds of topics. Got a link that tells the difference between CMYK and RGB? Have a link that tells a person how to get the best photo from their digital camera? Have a source for online training for Publisher or InDesign that you would like to share? Any of these topics would be of interest to customer s and make you look like the printing expert you are if you would only share them through social media.

But too many printers hide their light under a basket. They don’t realize that sharing information will create a bond with customers that will lead to more sales. They think that offering unsolicited advice is too much like asking for a sale. They rather customers come to them and ask questions.

Customers aren’t going to buy from you unless you ask for the order. Customers won’t order unless they feel comfortable that they are dealing with a professional. You can become the local expert by using social media tools and your website properly.

If you can’t come up with content, it is because you are not out talking to customers. Once you find out what customers need by making a sales calls, you will have enough content to keep your blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts active for months.

1 comment:

  1. John, all good points, thank you. It took a lot of reading and research to decide how best to approach and promote social media with our printing business. There is a lot of good information everywhere now about social media and business. Finally we are on a good track with it. A combination of education, information and FUN!