How to use social media to sell printing services effectively: three simple rules

Posted by Matthew Parker

My disappointment was crushing

I had been training for my first half marathon for months.  I was confident I would achieve a good time.  I was ready to run.

And then I got ill.

I had flu.  There was no way I would be able to run.  All my efforts had been for nothing.

In social media, it is also easy for all your hard work to be for nothing

social-media-marketing-printing-services

Do you feel despair when your social media results fail to get you results?

I see many print companies that spend a lot of valuable time on social media.  They invest in expensive solutions.

But, after all their hard work, they find they have no return.

That’s why printing companies should follow three important social media rules

Printing companies that follow these three rules will start creating good relationships with potential customers.  They will start to control a pipeline of useful leads.  They have a good chance of achieving the targets that they set themselves with social media.

Printing companies that ignore these rules are unlikely to achieve any useful results using social media.  They certainly won’t be in control of a sales pipeline.  They won’t even have created any relationships with prospects.

If you want to engage you customers you need to follow these three principles.  If you don’t follow the first one you may well find it hard to attract any social media connections.

Be of interest to your prospects

If you don’t write about what your potential customers want to hear, they won’t connect with you.  I have written about this recently.  You have to know your customers.  You have to understand their pain points.  Then they will want to hear from you.

However, even if you are writing about subjects that are interesting to your prospects, there is another principle that it is vital to follow.

Don’t sell

It is extremely rare that you will make an instant sale.  This applies to traditional sales and to social media too.

I have connected with many printing people and print companies only to be hit instantly with a full on sales pitch.  I don’t yet know anything about this connection, so I’m not yet at the point where I am prepared to consider buying.  However, if all they are interested in doing is selling to me rather than engaging with me, then I am not interested.  I will start ignoring that connection.

On the morning of writing this article a company who had connected with me on social media approached me. They were asking me for a conference call so that they could explain their services to me.  They made no attempt to send me any interesting information.  They made no attempt to engage with me personally.

Why should I give any time to them?

Not only were they selling to me, they had failed on the third principle as well.

Engage with people

If you have spent time and money in the effort to connect with people then you want to maximize your chance of creating a worthwhile partnership.  To do this you need to engage with people individually.

Every time I connect with someone they receive a personal message from me.  It reaches out to try and create a relationship and to take our connection further.  Not everyone responds to me, but I do get a fair number of interesting conversations this way.

You should always respond to your connections’ comments on your content. This can be a great way to start interesting conversations.

I also make a point of periodically sending my contacts useful information. It reminds them about me and also aims to prove my value as a contact.

By now some of you may be worried.

How do I get any business out of all this activity?

Remember that this is the start of the engagement cycle.  Your aim is to foster relationships and interest in you and your company.

Once you have achieved this you should be able to take these relationships offline.  Once you have a call or a meeting you have a good chance of starting a business relationship.

Here’s how this works for me

If I see a reason for a contact and I to speak I suggest a call.  I am usually trying to understand how I can help a connection.  But by taking this route, these calls often lead to business.

Print companies that take the same route also have a good success rate with me.  They are usually making contact because they have seen a real fit between us.  So they are more likely to end up with work.

Here are three action points to get your social media producing results

  1. Make sure that you understand your audience.  See here for more information
  2. Start creating relevant content.  See here for more information
  3. Diarise time to respond to social media streams

Make sure you get a better result for all your hard work than I did when I trained for my big race.
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