Six tips to help promote your shop
The majority of your customers are on their phones and computers now more than ever, so why not use this opportunity to focus on social media to accelerate your business? Here are my top six tips for social media success:
1. The social platforms you use to build your brand really depend on who your clients are and what they’re using. I suggest having presence on all platforms (Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter) and then seeing what gains the most traction. You can then focus your main efforts on that specific outlet, and then re-post on the other platforms.
2. Follow and interact with as many influential industry people as possible. This includes experts, consultants, media outlets, associations, events, and other printers. This will not only help increase your followers and engagement on your own page, but you will also gain a wider network and deeper insight into the industry.
3. Top professionals in the industry are focusing on visibility. They are brand ambassadors. They’re collaborators. They’re social media leaders. They’re attending the major shows – and not just walking the show floor, but participating in sessions, networking, and sharing what they’ve learned or seen. They’re providing insight for brands and publications, or hopping on industry-related podcasts. They have their own YouTube channels. They lean in. They’re creating awareness of who they are and what their shop does. It positions them as leaders in the industry. If your competitors know who you are, that’s a good thing.
If you are the owner/founder/CEO make sure you are this brand ambassador. Connect with your customers on a 1:1 level. Show them your passion for your work and your product. I suggest using the Instagram story question tool to connect with your audience. Let them ask questions with a direct response from the leader of the company. Remember, it doesn’t always have to be about you or from you. Show videos of your employees printing “behind the scenes.” Share a local newspaper article covering your shop’s work. Customers today care more about things like sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Make sure you’re sharing this.
4. If you’re new to printing or just launching your print shop, find your differentiator, and constantly use that in your social media and brand awareness posts. What makes you different from your competitor down the street? Is your customer service better than the rest? Do you consistently give back to your community? Do your employees absolutely love working for you and are genuinely happy to come to work every day? Why should someone come to you? Beginners in the business have to find what makes them stand out.
5. Be honest with your customers and show them who you are and what you’re doing. If you’ve shifted to creating face masks, tell them. They’re most likely looking for a trusted source to purchase personal protective equipment. If you are currently not in business due to restrictions in your state, let your customers know right away and give them updates on the status of their orders.
6. Try not to get overwhelmed. All you need to communicate with your customers through social media is your laptop or phone and a pair of headphones. Easy and cheap additions to enhance the video experience are a tripod to hold your phone steady and a ring light, which can cost you as low as $20 each on Amazon.
About the Author
Adrienne Palmer is the editor-in-chief of Big Picture and Screen Printing magazines. She joined Big Picture magazine in 2012 after graduating from Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism with a BA in magazine journalism. During her time with Big Picture, she has held the roles of assistant editor, associate editor, and managing editor; she added sister publication Screen Printing magazine to her resume in 2019. She is a 2019 Folio: Top Woman in Media; spearheads Big Picture’s annual Women in Wide Format Awards and Best of Wide Format Awards as well as Screen Printing’s annual Rising Stars Awards and Women in Screen Printing Awards; is on the board of Printing United Alliance’s Women in Print Alliance; and represents the Big Picture and Screen Printing teams at numerous industry events year-round as a speaker, moderator, and panelist.