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The Power of Social Media for Printers

(April 2012) posted on Tue Apr 03, 2012

Smaller companies are more likely to already be engaged in social media for low cost marketing.

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By Tim Greene

Smaller companies are more likely to already be engaged in social media—a function of their flexibility and the low cost to leverage social media.
One of the guiding principles of InfoTrends research these days is the need for printing companies to evolve beyond print and the traditional ways of doing business. The markets have become too intensely competitive for printing organizations to remain successful by doing things the same way now as they did just a few short years ago. We’ve been using a diagram to help explain how we believe that industry players need to evolve along two axes.
On the vertical axis we have the operations-driven side, which can enable improved performance in a number of ways, providing higher production levels, improved quality, and greater levels of efficiency, perhaps addressing sustainability, and better customer service. Along the horizontal axis there is the innovative aspect wherein companies develop new ways to provide new services, build new products, find new customers, and even create new business models. In an ideal world, printing organizations would continuously improve along both lines in parallel, but in the real world this is almost never possible. Due to the amount of time, effort, capital, and other resources every company has, they have to decide which initiatives are going to make the biggest difference in their individual businesses (Figure 1).
No matter what types of initiatives print-service providers undertake, it is critical to communicate these improvements to clients, prospects, associates, and employees. Printing organizations should not ignore the opportunities to communicate presented by social networking.


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