The Social Media Scene
More than half the adult Internet user population tweets, views a LinkedIn page or peruses a blog.
According to a survey released in August by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, one of seven projects that make up the nonprofit "fact tank" Pew Research Center, 65 percent of adult Internet users now say they use a social networking site like Myspace, Facebook or LinkedIn, up from 61 percent one year ago. This marked the first time in Pew Internet surveys that 50 percent of all adults admitted to using social networking sites.
With an audience like that, why wouldn't every company jump on the social media bandwagon? Social media—Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, etc.—present companies with a set of new tools to help them generate new business, build their brands, strengthen relationships with clients and provide a forum for daily feedback and suggestions.
Some print industry veterans may wonder how these tools fit into their worlds of selling labels and forms or the complexities of wide-format printing. Well, plenty of print companies have found it is not the answer to all of their communication needs but a definite boost.
Renee Berger, creative director for Butler, Wisconsin-based Western States Envelope & Label, said the business entered the social media scene in early 2009. Today, Western States uses Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and creates videos for YouTube that also can be viewed on its website. In addition, the company created a LinkedIn company page and profile pages for its sales representatives.
"These outlets help us generate conversations, promote interaction and exchange information. We're striving to build an online community for Western States that's used for business and marketing purposes," she said. "Our videos have been particularly popular for us. Customers love to view and learn from them. They say a picture is worth a thousand words—these moving pictures really help our customers and prospects understand the level of commitment and offerings that we have to help them expand their businesses."