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Founder, Print Buyers International (PBI)

Margie's Buyer Insights

By Margie Dana

About Margie

Long regarded as a print buyer expert and trade writer, Margie Dana launched her new business in 2013 as a marketing communications strategist with a specialty in printing and print buying. Now she’s on a mission to help clients build customer communities through carefully crafted content.

You may know Margie as the producer of the annual Print & Media Conference. Although she’s exited the event production business, she’s still publishing her Print Tips newsletter. She looks forward to helping companies create and style all of their content so their potential customers sit up and take notice. For details and to sign up for her Print Tips and new marketing blog, visit www.margiedana.com or e-mail Margie at margie@margiedana.com.
 

Why Social Media Makes Printers Memorable

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I know it’s easy for me to tell you how simple it is to use Twitter and Facebook and other SM sites for your business—I’m a writer, and for me, jumping into social media six years ago was effortless and fun.

But you’re a print manufacturer (or broker or manager or mailing expert or paper wizard) and probably not a natural writer or “content sharer.” Still, there are amazing benefits to taking part in a few of these social conversations.

For this blog post, I just want to cover one BIG one: it will make you memorable. Regular SM activity helps you establish your voice and, if done well, will help you develop a following of people who 1) look forward to reading what you post, 2) share what you post, and 3) trust you, over time, to be a person of high integrity (and is therefore trustworthy). They’ll remember you and keep you in mind for their own needs or when someone else asks for a reference.

And that’s the type of printer that customers want to work with.

Social media activity—especially Twitter and Facebook—is more relaxed and chatty than, say, a customer newsletter or even your own corporate blog post. Let’s call it the “business casual” version of customer engagement.

You can let your hair down on SM. You can be funny, even irreverent. Over time, you’ll establish your own voice, which will set you apart from all the other printers or print managers or brokers who aren’t on SM or who do a lousy job of it (i.e., they use it to promote themselves).

It’s so important to let your real self shine through what you post. Make it personal yet keep it professional. I see it done all the time! After years of being on Twitter, I have made fast “SM” friends of people like Jim David (@jimdavid) and Joe Wagner (@HappyTown14), Cindy Walas (@steedmrspeel) and Diane Toomey (@d2me), Jamie McLennon (@Jamieprints) and Mike McCoy (@yourbct).

These names come instantly to mind. I like reading what they have to say. And don’t you think their names are on my lips when people want such-and-such a resource in whatever part of the country they’re in?

These professionals have made themselves memorable by what they post. Why can’t you do the same? Rather, why SHOULDN’T you do the same?

A huge part of what makes social media so fantastic is its shareability factor. Whether it’s a retweet on Twitter or a Share elsewhere, this one-click function could mean your stuff gets seen by tens of thousands of people who are connected to your own followers. Your audience can get ginormous if your posts are high-value enough. And some of those people will be good prospects for you.

Bottom line? Want to be memorable? Try social media. Let your personality (and smarts) shine, develop a following, and increase your own brand awareness. If you do it right, it will work for you.

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