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Connect With Clients Using Social Media

8/18/2010

How many friends do you have? I have thousands of friends, but I want to have hundreds of thousands of friends, followers and fans. My ultimate goal is to reach 262,700 of them, to be exact. According to the most recent United States Census Bureau Report (2006), the signage industry employees 262,700 people in the United States. Serving as the marketing coordinator for the nation’s largest manufacturer of wholesale monument signs my job is to ensure that our company is recognized by as much of the market as possible, and even better – liked by the majority of the market.

As a retail sign shop, I am sure
your goal is very similar – to reach the status of being easily recognized and highly regarded by your target market; ultimately increasing your client base and your year-end profits.

Social Media is defined as a group of primarily internet based tools, used for sharing and discussing information with other human beings. At its core Social Media is simple, but as it has evolved over the last 5 years, becoming a powerful tool that defines companies and allows for personalized connections and business relationships to grow. If you are looking for new prospects and long term clients, than you know that creating a mutually satisfying relationship is the key. How are you finding your clients, and how are they able to connect with you? In this article, we are going to break down the basics of Social Media: Listen, Speak, Socialize and Measure.

LISTEN

Do you know what people actually think about your company? Do you know where they talk about your business and their experience with your company or other sign shops? I do. The first step to developing a successful Social Media campaign is finding the avenues in which you will be able to connect with your target market and obtain useful data to help you gain greater market share. Before you join any social media sites, monitor a variety of sites, this will allow you to make a more informed decision of which media you would like to invest your time in and promote to ensure the highest return on your investment.

Listen
Speak
Socialize
Measure

SPEAK

If you followed step 1 and listened, you already know what your clients are looking for and you know what your weaknesses may be. This step allows you to make the initial connection with clients and prospects, and provide them with exactly what they are looking for. The days of just listing features and benefits are long gone, customers want more. We live in a connected society, where you can find a photo, email address, ratings, and videos of any product, business or person within seconds – if you know where to look. One Social Media Tool, Twitter allows for real-time updates, and if used effectively can create a powerful connection between your business and your client. Spend 10 to 30 minutes a day, conveying your message through social media and let your message be heard.

SOCIALIZE

It can’t be business 100% of the time. Take time to learn about your target market and define the demographics more clearly. Is there a specific gender, age range or group that you have experienced better success with? Are you utilizing your marketing effectively within that demographic? For example, if your business has experienced excellent success in with vehicle wraps, who are you selling them to? Business Owners, Teenagers, Municipal Entities? By using social media to socialize, you can gain valuable information on upcoming events, fundraisers and other items that may allow you to connect physically with your new “friends” online. The key to building your business is taking a genuine interest in developing relationships with customers. The key word is genuine, if you sincerely desire to develop a relationship with your clients; they will desire to develop a relationship with you.

MEASURE

At the end of the day Social Media is still a form of marketing. Marketing success is measured by your return on your initial investment. While measuring social media can be complex, it is highly beneficial in allowing you to maximize your time and re-define your content to meet your clients’ needs. It will also assist you in creating a Social Media plan, which will define future content creations, keywords optimization and preferred promotion methods. If you don’t have to time to create a complex social media plan, you can simply measure your success by the number of friends, followers and website analytics.
I have thousands of friends… but I want more. For more Sign Industry -Social Media Tips,
Follow Peachtree City Foamcraft during the month of September.

Blog: www.monumentsigns.blogspot.com,
Twitter: @PCFoamcraft,
Online: www.foamcraft.info

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