printMAX makes social media work
printMAX, the number one Roland DG authorised dealer for the second year running, took the decision in January 2012 to invest in social media with the intention to further build its online presence; broaden the company’s brand appeal; and develop new channels to building better business.
The move has thus far proved successful with the company reporting a dramatically increased online presence and significant improvements to the business. Here Vicky Jarman, printMAX’s marketing manager tells us more about the company’s uptake of social media for B2B business.
Initially we saw that the potential for printMAX was there for us online. We could see that our customers and our suppliers were there so we figured it was time to get on board and bring social media in-house. We initially started out with Twitter with a few followers and have branched out as much as possible. Whilst twitter is still the main base for us – most of our customers are available there, and it’s probably the easiest platform for real interaction, we’ve also made a presence on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest and we have even started writing a company blog.
Sign UK was a real turning point for us as it allowed us to provide up-to-date news and information for our followers and also gave us the opportunity to meet many of our online friends. Additionally, as an aid to brand recognition, it also gave us an easy route to starting conversations with potential customers.
In the build up to the exhibition we had counted down on the Roland forum with daily tips on our preparations for the show, and we released details of competitions and announced many of the deals we would be offering at the show. Altogether it made for a very interactive experience, and rather than the one-sided nature of selling at exhibitions it became a two-way conversation between us, the customers, the trade press and our suppliers. If our experience is anything to go by, social media really comes into its own at exhibitions.
Aside from Sign UK, we have also seen increased dialogue and relationship building from our use of social media. For example, we can now direct customers to our YouTube channel to view online machine demonstrations, or share our interests and print tips with the world and probably, most importantly, communicate the printMAX brand effectively.
Everything we do online, hopefully, shows a bit of personality. We avoid self promotion as much as possible and instead focus more on providing content rich news feeds to provide our followers with practical examples of what you could do with a large format printer, and we report on what our customers are actually getting up to with their printers and how large format print is generally affecting the world around us. For example we will take a topic form the trade press and will use this as a subject for debate amongst our own social media followers.
In terms of tangible benefits we’re already seeing a significant increase in our Google ranking, and this, along with the ability to reach potential customers through multiple touch points, is highly beneficial in our driving new business. Furthermore, the number of visits to our website has doubled since January and we believe this is an indication that many unique visitors are finding us as a direct result of our adoption of social media.
We firmly believe that our investment in social media is already starting to pay dividends, and as such the printMAX team has begun to integrate social media into our daily lives at the office. Every member of the team plans to use our social media channels to introduce ourselves to as many members of the printing industry as possible. Therefore if you’re not already on board with social media we hope you will be inspired to join us online soon.
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