Printing Impressions

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Kelly Mallozzi

Success.In.Print

By Kelly Mallozzi

About Kelly

Now working as a consultant, Kelly sold digital printing for 15 years so she understands the challenges, frustrations and pitfalls of building a successful sales practice. Her mission is to help printers of all sizes sell more stuff. Kelly's areas of focus include client recovery, retention and acquisition, and marketing communications projects.
 
Kelly graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science and, among other notable accomplishments, co-founded the Windy City Rollers, a professional women's roller derby league.

 

Prescription for Printers' Social Anxiety

 
Maybe I’m crazy, but I feel like many printers seem to like to kick it old school. And the concept of social media is definitely NOT old school. But I keep trying to convince them they should dip their toe in the social pool—give it a try. And so I have been trying to find examples of how commercial enterprises use social media to further their businesses...Read on.

My husband and I were shopping for a new TV two nights ago at Best Buy. We selected the TV after a little exploration, proceeded to the checkout and paid. At the checkout counter there were flyers that read, “Become our Facebook fan and get a 10% discount.” I said aloud, really to no one in particular, “I’ll be their fan for 10% off!” and the cashier told me that I could save my receipt, go home and get the coupon once I had become a fan, and bring it back in for a credit. So I did.

My husband I debated whether it made sense for our local Best Buy to have its own page, and what we could stand to gain from being fans...aside from the 10% off of the TV we just bought. Really, the possibilities are endless, and the point is that the social networking phenomenon illustrates how differently we seek and find information these days.

In the past, I would rely on television, radio, a newspaper ad, direct mail piece or word of mouth from friends to learn about new album releases, store sales or other newsworthy shopping opportunities. Today, all I have to do is log on to Facebook, or follow a favorite retailer on Twitter, to get deals and information that the general public may not find out about for hours, days or weeks—if ever.

Next, we had an environmental catastrophe at our lake last week. All the fish died. And the park district put up notices about what happened, what its theory of the cause was, and what the next steps would be. And how could we follow up and find out the test results on the water? Two ways. One was calling. The other was Facebook.

Here is my point. Facebook, Twitter, blogging...all free! All you have to invest is your time and your creativity. And all you have to gain is new customers or new work from existing customers because, it turns out, they don’t know you as well as you think they do. You can advertise specials when things are slow. You can announce a new product, or remind them of services you offer that they may not immediately remember you for. You can blog about topics of interest to them, which will keep you top of mind, which is of extreme value in today’s market where there are a ton of players and less loyalty than there used to be.

So what do you say? Give it a try. If you don’t know where to begin, I’ll help you get started. I use Facebook, Twitter, Constant Contact and, most recently, blogger.com for blogging. It won’t hurt. I promise!

How have you used social media, and what have been the results? Inquiring minds want to know! Share your experience by posting a Comment below.

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