Welcome to #UKvUSA – my monthly blogging duel with TEAM UK’s Matthew Parker. If you have been following along you can skip right to the post… and if you are just joining us, here is some background…
Matthew and I haven’t always seen eye to eye when it comes to Print Buying. He comes from the UK procurement world, and I come from the USA agency world. We used to argue about process, but over the years it has turned into a mutual respect. However, that doesn’t mean we now agree, or see things the same way! As a matter of fact, most of the time we don’t. So we decided to turn that into Print Buying: #UKvUSA and share information about our experiences from both sides of the pond!
At the end of my post is a link to Matthew’s post on the same subject. We don’t know each other’s response until they are LIVE on our respective sites. Maybe we will agree, maybe we wont, maybe we don’t even see the question in the same way – who knows… that’s the fun part!
If you support one side over the other let us know. I am proudly representing TEAM USA, and we share these posts with #UKvUSA on Twitter. LET THE DUEL COMMENCE!
#UKvUSA: Do Print Buyers Care About Social Media
I spend a lot of time in the socialverse. When it comes to print customers in the social channels, unless they need something more than likely they are going to stay in the shadows. As long as you don’t make the correlation that not seeing them means they aren’t there, and therefore you don’t have to be either, we are good. If you do think that way… so long and thanks for all the fish.
To answer the question at hand yes, of course Print Buyers care about social media. It’s a marketing channel, as well as a communication and networking tool, a path to relationship building, and filled with industry education – most of which is free. Where the party ends, and why for the most part they stay hidden, is when social media is misused for sales as a sales tool, and skips over the social part.
To avoid being one of the ignored, here are a few ways printers and other service providers have enticed me to care and connect with them on social media.
SHOW IT! Let pictures tell your story whenever possible, and TAG THEM CORRECTLY so they are SEO friendly and lead back to your channels. More often than not a print customer is searching for creative ideas, or for companies that can help them execute a project. See all the SCODIX and HIGHCON social channels, thank me later.
TELL IT! Video is great for telling your story, and letting your customers (and fans) share their stories about you. It can be used to explain things in greater detail, for show and tell, and for fun too. Make sure you give your videos clear and searchable titles, and use the “info” space on YouTube or Vimeo to provide contact info and relevant information related to the video – including links to your site and social channels.
SHARE IT! Print customers themselves may not be out there posting, but most likely their companies and their clients are. Take the time to share, comment, get noticed and the reward could be a connection that leads to a relationship.
GIVE IT! To quote the Red Hot Chili Peppers… “Give it away, give it away, give it away now.” I understand that many people (vendors) don’t want to hear this, and won’t agree, but open knowledge sharing is supposed to be open. Asking me for my contact info along with a DNA sample to see, read or access your information is not something I am going to do UNLESS that content or opportunity is so valuable it’s worth the risk of entering a sales funnel. The thing is, most content isn’t worth that pain, especially when I can do a quick search and most likely find the same information elsewhere and without the form.
So yeah, Print Buyers care about social media… Making them care about yours is another story.
Print Buyers… join us on LinkedIn: Marketing and Advertising Print Production Managers and Print Buying Pros. This group is private and closed to all vendors and suppliers.
Everyone else, join us in Print Production Professionals and join in the conversations!
Deborah Corn is the Intergalactic Ambassador to The Printerverse at PrintMediaCentr, a Print Buyerologist™, Integrated Marketer, Industry Speaker and Blogger, Cultivator of the Print Production Professionals Group, the #1 Print Group on LinkedIn, and host of the weekly industry #PrintChat on Twitter. She has more than 25 years experience working in advertising and marketing, and currently works behind the scenes with printers, suppliers and industry organizations helping them to achieve success with their cross media and social media marketing endeavors.
Connect with Deborah through any of the social channels on PMC!