Do you get results from your social media?
I spoke to one printing company recently that was struggling with its online presence. The company had invested a lot of time and resources in setting up social media streams. But it wasn't seeing any results.
When I looked at what the company was doing, the problem was clear. It was just focusing on advertising and promoting itself, while trying to sell its services. That’s where the company went wrong.
Successful social media is all about engagement
Printing companies that work on getting to know their customers online will start creating strong relationships with prospects. They will have a much better chance of turning these into strong partnerships when they move the relationship offline. That means they control a strong pipeline of potential customers. So these companies will have a better chance of achieving their social media targets and their sales targets.
Companies that focus on selling and promoting themselves online are actually less likely to achieve the sales they want. Their chances of winning business are more of a lottery. Prospects are more likely to be price focused as they are responding to special offers or blatant sales promotions. They have lost the chance to control that pipeline of engaged prospects.
Here are three ways to engage your prospects
The first way to do this is to be a useful source of information for your social media connections. I make a point of posting articles that are of interest to my target audience. These appear in my LinkedIn, twitter, Facebook and Google+ feeds. My LinkedIn connections also receive an e-mail of useful resources every few weeks.
I also make sure that my connections know where they can find me. I may connect with someone on LinkedIn. However, this connection may prefer using twitter. So I always send my connections a message asking where else I should connect with them. I also send them details of my other social media accounts so they can choose where to connect with me that suits them.
Finally, I always ask people what is of interest to them and how I can help them. This allows me to make sure that I post the right sort of information for my connections. It also gives me the chance to help people individually: it’s a great way to convert a social media connection to a proper relationship.
Some people carry out this activity and are still frustrated.
What happens if connections don’t respond?
It is important to remember that not everyone wants to be social on social media. Some people will not engage as much as we would wish.
However, many people are likely to engage when the time is right. They may be silent for a good while and then get in touch with you when it suits them. This contact may be prompted by problems with their current printing company. Alternatively they may be carrying out a review of marketing activity. Sometimes contact happens because something you shared triggers a particular interest.
That’s why it is important to maintain a regular presence on social media. You never know when the time is right for your connections to engage.
Here are three activities you should carry out regularly on social media
That is a pattern of activity that will get you far more results than broadcasting special offers and information about your company. The printing company I spoke to has now adopted these strategies and is now much happier with the results of its social media activity.
P.S. Get instant advice on how to avoid running into problems when selling printing services. Download Matthew’s free e-book “Ten Common Print Selling Errors and What To Do About Them” right now at http://profitableprintrelationships.com/e-book/