Hand draw social network on black board using chalk
Successful shop owners know that increasing their social media activity augments their shop’s online presence and keeps new clients coming in the door. Let’s explore 5 key reasons to strengthen your social media marketing and the simple tactics you can implement today. 

Build an online and accessible portfolio of your work  

It’s a digital world and social media is an effective way to leverage visual content to connect with your existing customers and attract new business. By showcasing your company’s services and previous projects on your business page, you’re removing barriers for your prospective clients to see the range and quality of your work in an instant which can motivate them to ask for a quote.  
The easiest way to start building your online portfolio to start consistently uploading pictures and videos of your work to your platform of choice – the most common platforms for business are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Over time, potential clients will have a variety of your work at their fingertips, giving them a comprehensive view of your talent, services and offerings.  
Want to take it one step further? Use Instagram story highlights to share short behind-the-scenes videos at the shop; a collection of finished products; booth photos and live demonstrations at trade shows; or even a series of screenshots of positive customer reviews!  

Improve customer service 

The ever-increasing demand for quality customer service can make or break the reputation of small and mid-sized businesses which directly impacts the bottom line. Customers often expect a quick response to their enquiries. With the messaging functions on social media pages, you can easily and instantly respond to messages anywhere and anytime – without the hassle of email, call backs and voicemail.  
With app functions like Instagram direct message and Facebook Messenger, multimedia functions are integrated in the platform which makes it simple for you and your team to learn and easy to adopt this new communication channel. You can even set a preset reply message sharing that the message has been received and you’ll reply within a specific amount of time. This way, the sender knows the message has been received but you don’t have to be a slave to every notification ding when you’re trying to get a project completed.  
Want to take it one step further? Use messaging to send specs, videos, or a photo of samples quickly and easily. You can even start a voice or video call for consultation from the social app. Now you’re increasing your responsiveness, strengthening your reputation, and building even stronger relationships with your customers!  

Become part of something bigger 

Social media is, at its core, about community. And just like in the physical space, in the digital space you can support and be supported while improving your credibility, celebrating successes and learning along the way. Actively participate in your digital and physical communities! This shows that you care about the neighbourhood your shop operates in and the people there. Your neighbouring businesses and residents will feel a greater connection to your business and you with them.  
To start, use social media, such as Facebook events to find local events and participate! Share the event to your own page ahead of time to provide increased promotion for the event and show your community that you’re involved. At the event, share a genuine post and tag any relevant individuals or businesses to keep a conversation going. People will appreciate that your business is an active member of the community and be more inclined to support a local business that sincerely cares and invests themselves in the community.  
Tag individuals, businesses and event coordinators you interact with at the event in your event posts to strengthen your relationships while increasing their engagement with your posts. They’ll likely share your posts which more eyeballs seeing your posts which can certainly lead to opportunities, but it also has a lasting effect of strengthening your digital community. The key is meaningful engagement with your market digitally that reflects your engagement physically. Share the social media posts of customers, business partners and neighbourhood businesses to create a supportive online environment. 
Want to take it one step further? Use Instagram story highlights to share your business’s engagement within your community. Customers and prospects prefer to have a connection with a person they know and can relate to rather than an anonymous and faceless business. 

Increase credibility through reviews and engagement  

The modern consumer cares about the trustworthiness of a business found online, and often do their homework before making a purchase. According to Qualtrics, 93% of consumers read online reviews before considering a product or service while 92% of B2B buyers are more likely to purchase after reading a trusted review. Conversely, four out of five consumers have changed their minds about a recommended purchase after reading negative online reviews.  
Having customer reviews is crucial in showing that your business is reputable, accountable and trustworthy. You can go a more formal route of soliciting written reviews from customers to post. Alternatively, you can get a verbal review or quote from a customer and, with their permission, post it along with the customer’s name – don’t forget to tag them for that digital community connection! 
Be sure to tag clients in your posts that showcase your work for them. They’ll likely share the post to their own network, which invites others to view your business if they have printing needs, creating a network effect of potential clients. 
Want to take it one step further? Encourage clients to leave a review on your Facebook page and interact with select clients by sending them online surveys to earn feedback. Now you have 2 valuable pieces of information: what you’re doing great and what you can do even better next time!  

Convenience and automation  

Use social media to effortlessly – and cost-effectively – promote your shop’s technology and services to existing and potential customers. By having links in your page’s description, you can easily direct people to your web-to-print portal, which eases the process for your customers. Customers won’t have to search over the web, set up bookmarks or plan an in-person visit if they can simply click a link on your page to place an order.  
Want to take it one step further? If you participate on a few social media platforms you can connect them so that when you create a post on one platform, you can post it to the other platforms at the same time. Now you have consistency in how often you’re posting, all your social media pages are up-to-date and you save time!  
Congratulations! – You’ve taken the first step in transforming your print shop’s online presence! Make it easy and hassle free for clients to view your work, get in touch for consultations, use automated services and share your work with their networks. Demonstrate your participation in the local community and collect reviews. 
Now you’re ready for the next step! Open that laptop and start building a digital presence to create closer and more personalized relationships with your customers beyond a single transaction. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you get started:  
  • Post interactive stories that entice people to reply and react 
  • Make posts that encourage people to participate in the comment section 
  • Create polls and surveys to gain customer feedback 
  • Consider giveaways that require participants to share your posts, provide reviews or tag others to check out your contest 
With these interactive activities, you’ll be building your community and keeping your followers engaged in no time! Enjoy generating new business while sustaining long-term customer relationships! See you online – and don’t forget to tag us if you’re printing on a Ricoh or at one of our events!