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Social Media: Ongoing Rules of Engagement

Posted Friday, July 28, 2017 by Jules VanSant.

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By Jules Van Sant, Executive Director, Pacific Printing Industries Association

Featured in the July Issue of PIA’s The Mag

Last month I shared my enthusiasm about the need and opportunity for those in the print/visualcommunications industry to be engaged in the world of social media. To ignore it is a missed opportunity, putting your brand and market messaging at risk.

It Already Affects Your Decisions

How? In a time when we all engage on one or multiple devices to communicate, research, and purchase, consider how you make your buying decisions. Do you check out product ratings, even if you went to a store to purchase? When deciding to dine out, do you check Yelp? Hiring a house painter, plumber, or going on a trip? Do stars, comments, and photos assist with your final decision?

It Affects Your Customers’ Decisions Too

I keep hearing that today’s “print” buyers are multitasking, less educated about the production process, and more interested in quickly finding the right provider. It’s likely they’re researching you, your company, and brand before having a meaningful engagement. They check your website, which may or may not have current information. If you list social media channels, they check those to understand your current products and services, your culture, and what others are saying about you. If they checked right now, would they see the real you?

In today’s world of ratings and reviews, a simple, well-managed presence is important in the short and long run. It should be a key part of your overall marketing plan. Create, modify, revisit, and repeat often with your key staff, sales, and customer service personnel to ensure the message going out is what you want clients to hear.

Here are some guidelines to follow as you build your online presence:

New followers and “likes” indicate you are on people’s radar. Reciprocate. Thank them for connecting and invite them to your other channels and website. Finally, if you start the process, post it! #word