Does your print business have a social media strategy? Maybe you publish a post everyone once in a while or perhaps you read, like, and comment on the Facebook posts of others. If so, it could be said that “not having a social media strategy” is your strategy. After all, tracking and measuring a positive ROI on social media is challenging. When was the last time you got a print order from a stranger who just saw your post and was inspired to call you right away?
Social media as a standalone strategy typically does not drive new business. But that does not mean you should abandon it altogether. Think of your digital marketing strategy as a wheel. Your website (or your retail location) is the hub. Social media is ONE of the spokes. Email newsletters, videos, press releases, case studies, infographics, and articles may be the others. Working together, they drive energy to the hub and make the wheel turn.
So let’s look at the six steps you can take to put your print brand on the path to social media success. We will cover the first three steps here and the second three next month.
Audit your social presence – Your research starts with an audit of your social media presence compared with your top three closest competitors. Look at the big seven social platforms: LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and TikTok. Where do you and your competitors have accounts?
Research your competitors’ strategies – For each competitor and each platform, write down the number of followers, views, and likes. Write down how many posts you and they are publishing and on what topics. You might think, “No way will TikTok work for us.” Maybe you’re right, but look to see which other printers are trying it and how it’s working.
Research your target audience’s behavior and preferences – If your print business is B2B-focused, LinkedIn is likely your lead platform. Take a look at some of your targeted personas and see what their activity is like. If you follow them on Facebook or Twitter, see what kinds of content they are engaging with. This will help determine where and how to focus.
Content and messaging – Do you want to share educational tips and tricks, news on substrates and embellishments, or just sales promotions? Be consistent with your brand voice and style. Is it fun and quirky, technical, or more serious in tone?
Content roadmap and calendar scheduling – Determine what you want to post, how often, and when. Create a content calendar and plan out your posts well in advance. By focusing, you will probably find that you can get your entire month’s content created and scheduled in less time than by starting and stopping multiple times per week.
3. Optimization of Your Profile
Brand consistency across all platforms – Make sure your logo, photo, bio, contact information, and banner imagery are all consistent from Facebook to LinkedIn and beyond. When viewed side by side, they should all look like they came from the same brand at the same time. Refresh your imagery for relevance and consistency. Properly size your banners to each platform size. Write your bio/profile in multiple lengths to make sure your key messages are delivered. Twitter allows for a bio of 160 characters. YouTube allows for 1500 characters. LinkedIn allows for 2600 characters or about 370 words.
Set up your profiles (if necessary) – If you don’t have accounts (or handles) for each platform, reserve them anyway. This will hold it for you if you want to start later and it prevents someone else from encroaching on your brand.
So these three steps will get you started. In part 2 of this series, we will cover Content Creation, Posting & Engagement, and Monitoring & Optimization. Whether you are currently active on social media or not, perhaps you should now decide to do it right and maximize the potential it offers.
Read David’s post from last month: https://printmediacentr.com/should-you-send-your-print-customers-newsletters-5-ways-to-know
Read all of David’s posts here.
David Murphy is the founder and CEO of Nvent Marketing, a marketing agency specializing in digital marketing for the print industry. David has 30+ years of experience in the graphics and document print production industry. He has served as a board member and advisor to print organizations and associations including Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP), Print Industries of America (PIA), Association for Print Technologies (APTECH), and Electronic Document Scholarship Foundation (EDSF). David was also awarded the Idealliance Soderstrom Society Award for Print Industry Leadership. David can be reached at email@example.com.