Screen Printing - August/September 2013 - (Page 12)

t h e p r e p r e s s w ire The SoCIAl-MedIA RevoluTIon Mark Coudray Use Facebook and other platforms to target customers at a granular level. I t’s been about five years since we started dabbling in social media. At first it was all about the social interaction. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter were starting to gain some traction. I remember opening my Facebook account when there were only 100 million users. Now it is 1.1 billion users, and the landscape has fundamentally changed. In the beginning, Facebook was just a bunch of college kids posting pictures of their frat parties and other personal shenanigans. It was just fun and games. Over the next few years, as their meteoric user base kept climbing and climbing, the business community woke up and began to take notice. They immediately started to market in the old-school ways by abusing the users with constant pitches, sales, promos, etc. That’s still happening to a large degree, and the results are predictably bad. Consequently, businesses will tell you they’ve tried using social media, but their results were poor to dismal. They are absolutely wrong. The revolution in social media isn’t about posting what you ate for lunch, or where you went on your vacation, or checking in at a certain restaurant. It has much deeper meaning for your business if you use it correctly. Let’s talk about realizing the full, revolutionary potential of social media and the steps you need to take to reap the associated benefits. Social signals and social proof We’ll start with the end in mind. Our goals are two-fold. The first is to maintain a Top of Mind presence with our customer base. This means building out your fan page and connecting with your customers and your potential customers. These are the people with whom you will be conversing. It’s helpful to realize that most of your customers won’t be ready to buy anything from you when they see your posts. But they will probably know someone who they can recommend you to that does. This is where the Top of Mind comes into play. You want your services to be at the forefront of their thoughts. This is pretty straightforward. What’s less obvious is what we’re looking to do. You never want to engage in blatant, in-your-face selling. Your goal is to present yourself as the pre-eminent expert or authority in your market. You want to be the one everyone goes to. To achieve this, you need to understand social signals and social proof. 12 screenprinting Mark A. Coudray is president of Coudray Graphic Technologies, San Luis Obispo, CA. He has served as a director of (SGIA) and as chairman of the Academy of Screen Printing Technology. Coudray has authored more than 250 papers and articles over the last 20 years, and he received the SGIA’s Swormstedt Award in 1992 and 1994. He can be reached via e-mail at coudray@coudray.com. Social signals are about what you pick up from conversations in your news stream. They may be local, regional, or national events. They may be items related to your market niche. They could be just about anything the social sphere is talking about. You want to enter that conversation and contribute to it. As an example, there may be significant buzz surrounding a local event for which you’re doing the T-shirts or signage. You can actually help to promote the event by posting useful and interesting photos, videos, or commentary about what you’re doing to support the event. You might make a free offer to your fan base that helps promote the event. You want to add value to the event and build goodwill and awareness for your business at the same time. Design your posts to be shared This is where the viral element shows itself. Viral means simply that the post is passed along to a greater number of people than the number originally seeded. As an example, you have 500 fans. You post something and 10 of them share with their friends or fans. The average friend/fan base is 266. The secondary exposure to your initial 500 views is now 10 x 266 = 2660. If the post is really good, it will get shared again and again. Social proof is where the market validates you. In late 2012, Nielsen, one of the nation’s largest media companies, released a market survey showing consumer/advertiser trust. Some interesting surprises were in store: • Consumer Trusts Advertiser Claims: 13% • Consumer Trusts Independent Reviews: 70% • Consumer Trusts Peer (Personal Friend) Reviews: 92% What’s surprising is the year before, Independent Reviews were 74% and Peer Reviews were 88%. From the numbers it should be crystal clear the need to be connected to as many friends and fans as you can and communicating with them as often as possible. People buy from those they know, like, and trust. A significant number of Likes will be a low-level form of social proof or endorsement that you’re bringing value

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Screen Printing - August/September 2013

Screen Printing - August/September 2013
Contents
Editorial Insights
New Products
The Social-Media Revolution
Color Management for Screen Printing
Slam-Dunk Solutions for Screen Cleaning
Tools and Techniques for the Inkroom
Distributor/dealer Directory
Classifieds
Ad Index
Shop Talk

Screen Printing - August/September 2013

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