Written by Howard Fenton
Senior Technology Consultant
NAPL

The importance of social media and internet marketing in your sales efforts is controversial. Some argue that selling graphic arts services requires a hands-on approach with face-to-face meetings. Others argue that you need to be easier to find, faster and more convenient to work with and constantly touching your customers in multiple ways (email, social media, mobile). Xerox will test that theory at Drupa.

Xerox Social Wall @ drupa

An article entitled “Twitter for Business? 16 Compelling Reasons” posted on desk.com makes the argument that Twitter makes good business sense. The article talks about how Twitter is an important social media tool in this new age of sharing information. It is a low-cost marketing tool, fast to work with and real time for customers. It takes advantage of the business requirement to multi-task (many people have twitter feeds scrolling on their computers), is more effective for networking than emailing, it helps identify influencers and it helps you spot industry trends.

Another article entitled “How To Use Twitter For Business” from Social media today lists a number of steps to consider if you are going to use Twitter as a social media marketing tool. It talks about how you can use Twitter to poll and engage customers with research questions about what is important to them, build brand awareness  and demonstrate strategy (which may become important if you want to sell social media marketing services), increase your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and measure your influence.

But the evidence is not conclusive and there is some skepticism of the value of Twitter. For example, Christa Carone, the CMO at Xerox said at a Digitas NewFront event in New York, “I’m not sure it works for our campaigns and our messaging.” But Xerox is testing the effectiveness of Twitter. Joel Basa, the e-marketing manager for Xerox, will post on three Twitter feeds from Drupa:

@XeroxProduction, a main point of access for products and technology;
@XeroxEvents, its global calendar of events; and
@Xerox_DE, a gathering-place for customers in Germany.

Anyone interested in monitoring Xerox posts can search for the master hashtag, #xeroxdrupa.

Are you testing the effectiveness of Twitter to market your services?

Howard Fenton is a Senior Consultant at NAPL. Howie advises commercial printers and in-plants on: benchmarking performance against industry leaders, increasing productivity through workflow management, adding and integrating new digital services, and adding value through customer research.

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