When a company creates a marketing plan they have to include a section for digital marketing. Within that digital marketing section is a subsection for social media. It is important for social media to be differentiated from the rest of digital marketing. Digital marketing can include purchasing banner ads, blogging, or Google Ads, social media, and even digital billboards. Each area of digital marketing requires its own strategy. This post details just a small fraction of your overall digital plan. It is focused on social media marketing for screen printers. That being said, you will want to think carefully about this section of your overall marketing plan.
Social Media Platforms For Screen Printing
Social media allows users to create and share content in a participatory atmosphere. There are well over a hundred different social media platforms. However, only a handful of those platforms are popular. It would take a large effort to establish a presence on every single platform. With that being the case it is important to choose the right social media platform for your business.
Let’s review the facts. Screen printing is a visual medium. That being said, the platform should be visual in nature. This seems obvious, but remember there are platforms that do not lend themselves to visuals. There are social media platforms that can be written or audio in nature. While they may include images, they are not entirely visual in nature. For screen printing a visual medium is needed. People need to see screen printed products as opposed to reading about them.
A review of the top platforms shows that there are some that are very visual in nature. These platforms include Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. We’ll start with these. There is an argument that can be made that a company should not go exclusively with the top social media platforms. It is difficult to get organic growth from the top platforms. Top social media platforms are typically controlled by corporations that need to make money. Those corporations make their money specifically from advertising. The corporations are more invested in people purchasing ads to get messages out. Which means that social media companies don’t let posts go viral very often. This makes it very difficult to gain new followers or promote events without spending money. Social media companies that are not owned by corporations have an incentive to increase their followers and popularity so that they can ultimately become more popular and a corporation can be formed. This will lead to a lot of growth for a screen printer trying to find new followers.
Nonetheless this post looks at the top platforms in this discussion of social media. To gain new followers content for screen printers must be visual. When people see good content they share it. This is the goal of social media. When posts get shared, a screen printer's overall presence grows. That’s what any business wants. Making sure that content is visually appealing will go a long way. Our top four platforms favor sharing content.
In choosing a social media platform content creation must be easy. Business owners are so running their business that they can’t spend a lot of time creating content. It is easy to create content for Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.You snap a photo and you post it. What could be easier than that. YouTube is different because it relies on creating videos. Video typically takes longer to create because it has to be shot and edited. A lot of work goes into creating video. This can slow down your process. However, YouTube videos may take longer to create but they get shared more often. YouTube content can easily be embedded into a website or shared on another social media platform. There is potential to be seen by a lot of people.
You need to do research on which platform will suit your business. Where do you think that you can find the most potential customers? Which platform do you think that you will be able to consistently create the most content? Which platform do your current customers prefer? Which platform are your competitors using?
Do not try to use every social media platform at once. It takes time to gain a following or even to understand all of the intricacies and rules that are involved with using just one platform. There is a famous quote…”the master of everything is the master of none”. Social media platforms can be very complicated and there is a learning curve. Take on one platform. Once you have mastered one platform then add another one into the mix.
Create A Screen Printing Social Media Schedule
Ever since the first social media posts began there has been a heated debate over when to post. What time of day? What day of the week? How many times should you post? It is quite nauseating. The best thing to do is test things out. Constant testing is needed to keep improving methods. You may come to realize that your customers are always awake at 4 AM. The only way that you will begin to understand your customers is to constantly test.
Once you have figured out the optimum time and day to post content you can begin to create a schedule for posting. You will be able to schedule your content with your overall marketing. It can support your campaigns. If you plan a campaign for a sale or a big event with your print advertising then you can also support that campaign with social media.
This is why the schedule is important. It allows a screen printer to visualize their priorities.
Screen Printing Content For Your Social Media Platform
There must be a freshness to your content. You need videos, pictures, white papers, digital downloads, and live events. You need variety. Videos can show your process. Images can display your work. Live events can give your followers a personal touch. You will want to come up with a lot of ways to reach your audience.
What should you post? Things about your industry. Upcoming events. Big sales. Your fans will want to know as much as they can. Let them know. Make them fall in love with your company.
Promote your customers as well. Show off their awesome designs (with their permission of course). If you print the shirts for a team and they do well then you want to congratulate them. Make it public. They will remember you.
Announce new team members. If you have a new designer that does great work then let your audience know. Show your new products that can be printed upon.
Create feel good posts. If there is a beautiful sunset then show it. If a bird built a nest and laid eggs outside of your business then follow the progress until the babies are out of their nest.
If you have new equipment then show it. If you didn’t previously have a numbering system for your screen printing and you purchased one then you want to show that to your customers. It may entice them to leave another printer for you.
Finding New Screen Printing Social Media Followers
The more people that know about your company the better. If a screen printer wants a larger following, they will have to figure out how to reach new people. Use hashtags. Respond to followers. Create shareable content. Tag images. Cross-promote with other companies. Go live Create exposure.
Time Constraints for Screen Printers
Creating content and managing social media can take a lot of time. As a business owner you wear many hats. Marketing is one of those hats. It has to be done to drive sales. If a small business owner determines that their time is better spent somewhere else then that is what they have to do. Something will have to go unattended. Social media always gets put on the back burner.
If this is the case then you need to hire somebody to step into this role. Find someone who can create and post content. Yes it will cost money, but it will keep you in front of your customers. That may be something that you have the finances for in the current moment. That’s ok. There are solutions for this also.
The most obvious thing is to get an unpaid intern from a local university to promote you. There are students in the tech departments who study social media. There are people in the communications departments that intend to be publicists. They use social media as well to influence people. An internship may be what a student needs to start their career. It can be coordinated through the university departments. They will earn college credit for their participation. If they are good, you may consider hiring them.
Another thing that can happen is that you can make it part of your current staff responsibilities. Ask them to take videos and images. As long as they are being paid then the content belongs to the company. Have the employees take pictures of designs that just got printed. Have the employees create videos of their work. Post the content if it looks good.
Paying for Advertising
There will come a point when a company will want to reach more people than the platform is going to organically allow. A company will look at paid advertising on their chosen platform. This can involve paying for ads to promote offerings. All of the major social media platforms have some form of paid advertising.
As previously mentioned, this is what social media companies want. Social media marketers will tell you that everything is “pay to play”. Money is the only factor in getting content seen by many eyes.
The advertising platforms can be complex. They also have a learning curve. The good thing is that you can start for a very low amount of money. Most companies will charge as low as $5/day. Plus they don’t have a minimum number of days requirement. If you have $5 and want exposure, you can get it.
There are two types of campaigns that can be run: pay per click, pay for impressions. A pay per click campaign only charges if somebody clicks on the ad. A pay for impressions campaign shows your ad as many times as possible to fulfill the budget. Both types of campaigns have their uses, but pay per click is used more often. Running a pay per click campaign will only charge if an ad is clicked. Which is exactly what most people want.
Be aware that each of the social media platforms have strict rules on how their sites are run. You may create an ad for them and it could be quickly rejected. Testing is the key to any good social media ad campaign.
Paid advertising can be an important component to your social media campaigns. Don’t overlook it.
Don’t put your All of Your Eggs in One Basket
Some people love social media. Some people hate it. Nonetheless, advertising in one social media platform alone will not solve all of your marketing problems. Many people use one social media platform and build a business. Then one day they get adventurous and try something new. Suddenly they get kicked off of the platform of their choice. It happens all the time. The platforms say that you broke the rules, but the rules are not very clear on the violation that was made. The customer service of the platforms can be despicable. You won’t be able to plead your case. You have lost your followers. It has happened to many reputable businesses. For this reason you need to spread your advertising around. Choose some print media. Choose other digital media platforms. Add a second social media platform. Don’t lose your business overnight.
Social Media Is Here To Stay
Love it or hate it, it’s here and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Social media is a medium that you can use for your screen printing business. It has the potential to amplify messages and create sales and promote businesses. Just remember that it is only a small part of an overall strategy to promote your screen printing business. There are other forms of digital marketing that are just as potent.