Love it or hate it, social media is here to stay. But it’s not just for bringing people closer or keeping tabs on your old high school friends. Social media has proven itself a fantastic tool for overall business growth.
A Few Business Statistics
- 80% of B-to-B companies say they use social media regularly
- 71% of consumers who have had a good social media experience with a brand have gone on to recommend the brand to others
- 63% of baby boomers claim they use social media to find deals and promotions
- 37% of millennials say they engage with businesses on social media at least once a month.
Why You May Not Be Using Social Media
So why aren’t more screen printers using social media to build their businesses? In our own surveys of printers and other small businesses over the past 3 years, the two most common answers are:
- Lack of time (most have indicated that they, nor their current staff, have the time to learn about or manage social media).
- Misunderstood value of social media (we hear a surprising number of small business owners say that social media isn’t for business, and there’s no value in it for them).
As a digital marketing expert, it’s painful for me to hear these answers; because neither are true. We have tools and services available that make managing social media unbelievably easy. For instance, a channel management portal that turns what used to take about 8 hours, into 30 – 40 minutes of work.
As for business value… here are some great thoughts and examples of why it’s important for screen printers, or any small business really, to be on social media.
1. In the Spotlight
Local screen printers, like so many other small businesses, are often well-connected to their local communities.
What better way to connect with your local market, than through social media. It provides you a platform to highlight your business, your services… or showcase recent projects or clients.
Local customers are fantastic to engage on social media. You might post pictures on your wall about local customers, local events, start discussions about community happenings, or encourage local customers to post reviews or photos on your behalf.
We often hear concerns from local businesses about negative comments someone might make on their public wall. But actually, social media can be the greatest platform for customer services. Not only can you help that customer, but a large audience of potential customers will also see how well you take care of your customers. This builds trust and helps create new customers.
2. Visual Platforms for Creative Businesses
You’re a screen printer. You produce tangible products for people everywhere to SEE. What better way to highlight your talents and your portfolio, than a visual online channel where you can post pictures, videos, and more.
According to HubSpot, visual content is 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content. There simply is no other channel that can gain as much brand exposure for a visual company, then social media. Especially on channels like Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
3. Far Cheaper Than Other Marketing Channels
In contrast to other digital marketing channels like Google Adwords, social media ads tend to be far cheaper, much better targeted, and are extremely flexible to fit your visual ad needs, your audience, and your budget. Other types of ads, like Adwords (or offline ads too) can be great for local business as well, but social media may be your greatest bang for the buck!
On channels like Facebook, you can also create store pages, post offers or promotions, use images or videos, and target your audience based on a wide variety of targeting parameters. It’s simply the greatest platform to leverage for digital advertising; especially to a local audience.
4. SEO Boost
Most often, screen printers think of SEO and Social Media as two totally different channels. But what most don’t realize is that social media mentions, and links back to your website, are a large part of your total SEO success.
When we run a targeted SEO campaign, of course we start with your website, your keyword targeting, and link strength. But once we have some great foundational components in place for SEO, we always recommend a great social media strategy to get your SEO to the next level.
There are several methods for increasing SEO through social media. But one very tangible one is to create blog posts or content pieces on your website. They don’t always have to be long or in-depth; so long as their informative (or entertaining). Once placed on your website, you can now post about it on social media and link back to the content piece. These types of social posts linking back to SEO targeted content on your website, are great for gaining exposure, driving traffic back to your website, and giving your SEO efforts a boost.
5. Great Source of Leads
Social media allows you to get in front of a maximum number of consumers at a minimal cost. By sharing content, photos, business info, local info, and more, you’re giving people a reason to click-through to your website. The more targeted your content is to the people who follow you, the more website traffic you’ll gain. This tends to result in more leads for your business.
They say you can’t please everyone… but with a great mix of content, imagery, videos – social media gives you a great way to target a large number of people all at once. Not everyone will love everything you post. But most people will find some interest in some of what you post. By creating a variety of post types, you connect with a larger base audience, which works to drive more leads.
Social ads give you an even better way to drive leads, by creating multiple ads to target varying audiences. This method allows you to speak directly to different interests, driving more targeted leads to either a custom lead form (like on Facebook), or to your website directly.
Keep in mind, getting quality leads is just the first step. Converting these leads into customers is the second. The trust you build through social media goes a long way in moving more leads to converted customers.
For more marketing tips check out Five Simple Tips to Up Your Marketing Photography Game and 3 Steps for Gaining Targeted Twitter Followers.
Thrive Business Marketing offers a full-suite of social media services, as well as an easy-to-use social media management tool just for screen printers. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about social media, easy ways to manage your own social media, or methods for growing your business through the web.
Scott Orth is the founder of Thrive Business Marketing in Portland Oregon, with 19 years’ experience in building Internet Marketing success for small businesses. Thrive and Ryonet have joined forces to help screen printers make their presence known, and grow their businesses, through online marketing strategies. We have numerous social media and online marketing programs in the works and will become available to screen printers throughout 2018.
Scott can be reached directly for consult or general inquiries at the following:
Phone (Direct): 503-783-8473