8 Steps to a Successful Social Media Strategy for Printers

As you look to continue to refine your social media strategy process, there’s one thing you should know before you go any further:

There’s no silver bullet or magic formula that will bring instant leads to your business or a million orders overnight.

As a print business owner, remember, it’s more important for you to focus on how to BE social, and less on how to DO social media.

And that’s hard to do.

Here are eight steps for developing (and executing) your social media strategy process:

Step 1: Get Everyone In Your Boat and Rowing In The Same Direction

While one person may “own” social media from a management perspective, social media impacts all corners of your company. It takes a boat full of people to participate and help make social media successful. Think of social media like air, which is all around us, and not like water, where you have to go somewhere to get it.

Action:
Create a cross-functional team to help conceive and operate the rest of your strategy.

Step 2: Listen

It might sound old-school, but listening is still the best wisdom when it comes to letting your prospects and buyers guide you to how you should be active on social media. Your customers and competitors are powerful weapons in helping you understand what kind of content resonates with them and how you can impact them with content they’ll love.

Action:
Set up some listening posts using most social media marketing tools or by creating a Google alert, using a simple and free Gmail account.

Step 3: Determine Your Goal

You need to establish a goal for your social media. No one goes to Facebook to buy a Chevy truck or custom, matte-finish printing. But, they DO go to social media to learn and be influenced. Social media isn’t for selling or sales, but it IS for influencing buying decisions. Ask yourself these questions: what do you primarily use social media for? Reviews of your product? Product or brand awareness? To gain sales leads through paid ads? Loyalty and retention?

Action:
Pick one goal, launch, get everyone on the same page, and then execute.

Step 4: Success Metrics and ROI

How are you going to measure your social media strategy? How are you going to determine whether it’s making a difference in your business? Consider an EOS Traction business methodology and apply five scorecard metrics to your marketing and social media.

Action:
Start by measuring your social media using these items:

  • Work to increase the number of likes and followers
  • Push to increase your engagement
  • Strive to increase the views of your videos on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, and measure the amount of traffic from social to your website (you can find this in Google Analytics).

Step 5: Know Your Audience

Do you know who your ideal buyer or persona is? Where are they located? Are you a local, regional, or national business? What pain points does your target audience have that you’re solving? What are the demographic and psychographic characteristics of your current customers and prospects? How will online ordering help them? Is your print pricing competitive, so your buyers find that pricing relevant?

Action:
Determine what your audience wants on social media. When you know what your followers want and meet that need, you will see a tremendous positive impact on your social media strategy.

Step 6: What’s Your One Thing?

You are failing at social media if all you’re talking about is your product features and benefits.

Products and features aren’t enough to create a passion-worthy engagement. Why do you do what you do? What are you passionate about? How will your print business appeal to the heart of your audience rather than the head? For example, Disney isn’t about movies; it’s about magic. Apple isn’t about technology; it’s about innovation.

Action:
Determine what you want your company to be about. Consider Spectrum Printing. What are they about? Selling happy!

Step 7: Are You Human?

Social media is about being social and about people, not logos. The mechanics of social media forces companies to compete for your attention against your customers’ friends and family members. This means you must act like a person, not an entity. How will you do that? How can you personalize your business on social media? Think about using videos, both humorous and not. Think about posts that are inspiring, not political. Think about pictures of your smiling employees and even your customers instead of stock photos. These will make you appear human instead of stale.

Action:
Focus on putting your humanity on display.

Step 8: Create a Plan

After you know the ‘why’ behind your social media strategy, you’ll be able to measure your social media strategy success and turn your attention to the ‘how’ of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the other social media platforms. This plan should be specific, time-bound, and measurable, using the scaffolding provided here.

Action:
Check out this piece from Sprout Social on a more in-depth social media blueprint as well as other tips on crafting your social media strategy.

The Power of Automation to Help, Not to Replace

Once you’ve done the steps above, you’ll want to consider tools to help you automate your social media strategy. At Marketing Ideas For Printers, we have social media marketing automation as a functionality in our MIS tool, Odyssey. With Odyssey, you have the freedom to post from an all-in-one dashboard to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and even your blog on your website. But, there are other tools, as well, such as HootSuite Pro, Buffer, and others. These should never, ever replace the human aspect to your social media, rather they’re simply the flint and steel to get you the result you want.