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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Social Media and Reprographics: What It All Means To You

"Shaun's Corner"
by Shaun Meany

YouTube, BlogSpot, Twitter, Yammer, Facebook, LinkedIn and a host of other online social networking sites, frequently used by the “Y Generation," are quickly becoming popular hangouts for businesses and business owners, as well.

But how do you use these online social networking sites to share your expertise, gain a following, and increase your income potential for your reprographics business?

I thought it would be helpful to share some of my research about online social networking and how social media can be put to good use for growing your business.

If you think online social networking is something you want to do, you ought to create a social media marketing plan (this could be included in your annual marketing plan as well). The plan should be in writing and should quantify your goals and identify the primary social networks you are interested in targeting. Be sure that you target networks that fit your needs and desires. For example, I am a member of LinkedIn Network and I have joined several special interest groups within LinkedIn such as: reprographics group, info trends, sales and marketing, wide format imaging, and a few others. By being a member of these groups I have the opportunity to monitor what others are thinking and talking about. This information is invaluable as it helps a business owner know what is on peoples minds and where the future of his or her respective industry may be heading.

Keep in mind that your access to and control of what is said on social networks is often very limited. Social networks turn individuals into marketers for your company, but it can be very difficult to control the messages they send.

Also, remember when posting a message on a social network site that it’s important to add value to your content, not just pitch your products.

The idea is to monitor people talking about the things your company does, and then join in with useful information and expertise that can help answer their questions and solve their problems. When you do decide to make your contribution to the social network be sure to refer to your blog or twitter account so people can check you out for the link.

New social networking sites are popping up all the time. Take Twitter. This micro-blog site allows people to follow a topic or a person and post daily, hourly and sometimes minute by minute tweets (updates). I am just starting to get into twitter and still am navigating through all the different subjects and looking for a way to apply to my business needs. If you want you can tweet me at

The rise of instant communication technologies has created a whole new environment for doing our business. If we are to survive in the future we must learn to adapt and apply the new marketing paradigms of the Generation Y's.

There are some interesting tools available to us today. Instead of turning our nose up at them, we may be well advised to learn how to use them effectively.

Tweet me sometime... or even just pick up the old fashioned phone! Communication, in any form, is a good thing.



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