Sign & Digital Graphics

November '19

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50 • November 2019 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S Vince DiCecco is a business training and development consultant and owner of the Acworth, Georgia-based business, Your Personal Business Trainer, Inc. He has been sculpting his sales, marketing and training techniques since 1979, and he has shared innovative and practical ideas on business management excellence for two Fortune 200 companies, the U.S. Coast Guard, and in seminars at many sign and digital graphics trade shows. Since 2003, YPBT has been serving small- to mid-sized companies in their efforts to strive for sustained growth and market dominance. Contact him via email at vince@ypbt.com or visit his com- pany website, www.ypbt.com. S eemingly every night, there's a "buzz" piece on the eve- ning and entertainment news programs swarming around social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. By "buzz," I mean the chortles and guffaws we aim at celebrities and athletes—and yes, politicians—getting them- selves into hot water with their inane and outrageous posts and brain-droppings on social media websites. But, have you ever wondered if this means of real-time communications can be utilized as a worthwhile conduit between vendor and customer for the purpose of building a business? To begin, why would a sign and digital graphics business owner ever consider social media as a marketing tool? Off the top of my head, here are several good reasons: B Y V I N C E D I C E C C O Make it Your Business • Tons of people use it and spend hours reading posts, watch- ing videos and reacting to other people's opinions and offerings • Social media is gaining in popularity and is still growing— in fact, to many it's an obsession • Social media can drive brand awareness, increase demand for your product and bolster a company's SEO ranking in organic search engine queries • Many successful companies utilize social media—including your competitors • It's fast, relatively free, versatile and could be cost effective, when used properly Please indulge me in making the assumption at this point that you probably have dipped your toe in the social media pool already. C'mon, admit you do have a personal Facebook page and/or Twitter account, or have accessed LinkedIn a time or two, right? I'd even go so far as to wager that—since like three-fourths of small businesses—you've created social media pages for your shop, but didn't really have a well thought out plan as to what you got yourself into. How many times have you heard the saying "ready, aim, fire"? Well, nowhere else than in smart marketing practices does this expression apply. And by the way, the sequence of steps in that axiom is not interchangeable. Any other order of those words is akin to jumping in feet first, unpre- pared and blind as to what lurks beneath the surface. So, you may want to consider some measured insight into social media and draw your own conclusions as to whether social media marketing ( SMM) is a viable option for your business. Let's go… On Your Marks Frankly, social media is not for the faint of heart. However, social media is a way to leverage the contemporary means of expression that many hip Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers and Millennials—aka your likely customers—are embracing and utilizing now. But you must do some homework first. Most of the troublesome social media posts that haunt and plague celebrities are the ones that are impulsive or hastily posted. Still, choosing to pass on taking advantage of social media marketing could cut a business out from increased connectivity to customers. Consider some of these statistics: • Facebook—by far, the most popular social media site—has more than 2.4 billion worldwide users who spend on average between 27 and 41 minutes each day connecting with friends and getting the scoop on the latest products and promotions. RUNNING THE BUSINESS Social Media Marketing: Boon or Bust? Could Facebook, LinkedIn and the like be effective business-building tools?

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