If you are reading this, welcome to the 57% of print companies embracing social media.


I have been reading a very good book recently on how we should be marketing ourselves in the new era of social media… As if by magic I received an e-mail from an online print magazine and one of the headlines was this: “43% of printing companies are not at all active in any social media, such as blogging, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc.”
If you are reading this, welcome to the other 57% of print companies that have embraced social media.
I must admit, I am a convert to this new media. It is not just a way for companies to tout their wares (probably it shouldn’t be) but it is a great way to get as close to the customers as you can without actually being there. Xerox for example, is using Twitter, social networks and blogs to communicate and build relationships with our customers, engage them in open discussion, and build consensus.
Some of you pioneers of digital printing have made bold steps in social media, so what is stopping your colleagues from reaching out to their customers past, present and future?
Is it that they don’t have time?
Making time to listen to your customers, or have them listen to you go off on a topic you love really is worth thousands of Dollars/Pounds/Euro’s spent on advertising. Making time to write a five minute blog on the way you see the local printing market, ways you can help your customers, or the way you see new technologies improving things is five minutes very well spent.
Is it that they don’t know what to say?
If you are in printing and running your own business today— then believe me— you have lots to say. Firstly, why do you do what you do?… It’s a great way for new and existing customers to find out about your love for printing and what your background is. It gives the human side of your business and really gives your brand a degree of credibility that is free. Passion about what you do will come over in a blog; of that I am sure.
There are plenty of tools available to companies to get started in social media. Most of you have web sites already, and even if you don’t…join a forum, join a social network, start commenting on others blogs and get a feel for it. You’ll be amazed at what you learn about your company, your peers, the industry, and your competitors.

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8 Comments

  1. Ed Wiegner March 4, 2010 - Reply

    Social networking to drive variable data. Use an on-line form as a way for customers to give you the fields and images to drive sales. Customers can catagorize themselves and let you know what the variable data should be!

  2. Jacky Morgan March 5, 2010 - Reply

    I’m guessing that all of these printers must be using LinkedIn, but I wonder to what extent.
    David Baldaro from Xmpie maintains and updates a “Twitter List” of UK printers that tweet and that contains less than 60 when I last looked. Do you know the source of the research?

    • Lindsay Lamb March 5, 2010 - Reply

      Hi Jacky! I saw this same statistic from a study published by WhatTheyThink called Social Media for Graphic Communications.

      I agree with you that although 57% are using social media, to what extent? For business purposes, some may watch videos, others may participate in forums, while others are in social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook and PrintJunkie. Are they creators of content? Joiners that maintain profiles? Spectators? Critics on forums and blogs? I would believe 57% ARE engaged, and wonder what % of them offer it aspart of their solution offering to their clients?

  3. Luis March 5, 2010 - Reply

    I think that people in GA businnes don´t know exctly how to use in the best way social media to help their business, we as vendor could give them some ideas of “how”

  4. Jacky Morgan March 6, 2010 - Reply

    Hi Lindsay – I’m really interested in this subject and recently created a survey http://www.up-marketing.co.uk/uk-printers-use-of-social-media/ to ascertain what UK printers are doing, or intend to do re SM. Am happy to share the results if you’re interested

    • Lindsay Lamb March 9, 2010 - Reply

      Hi Jacky! That would be great! I would love to see what printers in the UK are doing… If your survey is still open I can tweet the link for my UK followers to fill it out if you would like!

  5. rpl March 14, 2010 - Reply

    Please share the name of the book you refer to in your opening paragraph. Thanks!

    • Lindsay Lamb March 15, 2010 - Reply

      Hi there! Jonathon is out of the office so I am replying for him 🙂 The book he was reading was by David Meerman Scott called “The New Rules of Marketing and PR” (2nd Edition)

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