Ryonet | #PoweringThePrint
You’ve probably heard the old saying “location, location, location”. It has different meanings in different circles. But in business, it’s quite simple; you want to put your business in a great location where your customers can find you and get to you easily.
That used to mean physically placing your business at a busy intersection (high visibility), or maybe at the mall or near a major big-box store, where lots of your potential customers may already be.
It’s no different today, except that you must also think about the enormous virtual world (online).
For your business, this means being where your potential customers are… online. But “online” is such a huge place. Where do you even start? Thankfully, we know where most people are online.
According to multiple Pew Surveys more than two-thirds of all Americans now use social media.
One of the survey’s… outdated already by today’s standards (last year) reported that 90% of young adults aged 18 to 29 were on social media, while more than 75% of adults aged 30 and over regularly used it, and even 35% of seniors (65 and over) were regular users.
So, if location is important, it would be safe to say that Social Media is where you need to be in order to get in front of your customers.
“But it’s a pain!”
“I don’t have time for the twitter”
“I hate Facebook.”
“Does anyone really use those sites anyway? It’s just political garbage and food pics.”
“I never go online.”
“I’m not going to sell anything by showing people pictures of my cats.”
I hear complaints from business owners every day. The above statements are exact quotes that I get on a regular basis. Truth is, it doesn’t matter if you don’t like Facebook, or if you don’t have time to pay attention to it (hire someone to do it). It’s where your customers are every day. Social Media is the single largest online source of exposure for your business. You don’t want to miss it!
As I advise businesses regularly, it’s not about what you like. It’s about where your customers are and what they like. Would you refuse to print on a purple shirt because you don’t like the color purple? It’s the same here. Your customers are on Facebook, Pinterest, and others. If you want to gain exposure and engage with them, you need to be there as well.
Let’s move into a couple of actionable tasks that you can take back to your business, test out, and see how they work for you. In a future post we’ll cover additional tips and tactics to take you to the next level.
We now know pretty much everyone is on social media. But where is YOUR audience?
For screen printers, Facebook still hosts your largest single audience. Based on the visual aspect of the field (creative design, fashion, entertainment), you’re likely to also find your audience hanging out on Pinterest, Instagram, and Snapchat.
But let’s not forget YouTube. Video is often thought of as a different channel; but really it still falls within social media.
There’s also an interesting cross-over with audiences of certain channels, as shown on the Pew Research chart below. Notice that those who are on Facebook, most often also use YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest. This makes sense since most of these also collaborate or cross-post with each other as well.
To focus on your most effective audience, my recommendation would be to target Facebook first, and then look at strategies (and your own capabilities) to target the others circled below.
Just like your business itself, social media will be more successful if you have a plan of action. Even if it’s a simple one:
One mistake we see a lot with businesses, is that they think social media is going to create an instant windfall of new sales, and they set their expectations with that mindset.
While social media can be a great place to build profits, that comes later. Trust me… it will take some time to get a positive ROI out of social media. But done right, it can eventually be one of your greatest sources of new, and repeat, business.
First things first… we need to build a great audience, get them engaged, and create fantastic brand-trust through posts and conversations.
Because the mindset is usually about sales, many businesses see social media as a place to post about me, me, me. Wrong! In fact, only a small percentage of your posts should be about your business.
You want to focus on keeping people interested. That means mixing it up a bit. Post about the weather, about the great event you’re attending this weekend, the amazing concert you went to last week. And yes… even pictures of your cat, or dog, or pet pig. Remember your fans are people too, and they love seeing fun and entertaining posts, along with facts, news, and knowledge-based posts. It’s your job to mix it up and make your social threads interesting and engaging.
We recommend posting 2-5 times per week. If you’ve got a stagnant audience (not very engaged), stay to 2-3 posts per week for now. If your audience is highly engaged, you’ll typically do well with 4-5 posts per week – but you can do more so long as:
One great strategy that tends to work really well for engagement, is to ask questions. But note… only do this every so often. If you ask questions all the time, you’ll burn out this strategy fast and people will ignore your posts.
A great mix of posts might mean that throughout the week your posts include:
Even though there can be a ton of strategy behind an effective social media campaign, if you’re just getting started with social media – don’t get too caught up in all of that just yet. Follow the steps above, create a simple plan, and keep at it. Social media gets far more exciting (translate: “Profitable”) the longer you’re active on it.
Thrive Business Marketing has launched its Beta version of Thrive Social Server just for screen printers. You can find it at www.screenprinting.social. We’re working on a few enhancements – but we invite you to give it a shot… completely free – and let us know how useful it is for your business.
For more information on online marketing for screen printers, check out 6 Steps to Getting Your Rad Screen Printing Business Online and Establishing Your Screen Printing Brand’s Facebook Presence.
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 website 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