Evolving Trends to Reach Buyers
An everchanging marketplace is something we all ponder. Our ability to thrive will depend on how well we keep adjusting to these changes and evolving communication trends.
Recently, I’ve reevaluated and adjusted my communication strategy. I made a decision to create my own personal twitter account. While I’ve built a nice online following for my industry resource program FreePromoTips.com, it seemed to me that my personal life is not all that exciting to share in 140 characters or less. Now I’m thinking differently and that has to do with making an impact outside the promotional marketing industry.
What I realize is that beyond my personal Facebook page, I’ve been limited to focusing on industry-specific content. I actually do have a life, and there are things I want to share that are relevant inside and outside of my industry.
One of the things I have a passion for is the SuccessFit concept my team created last year that stems from my own personal journey. Fitness, as it relates to success in our personal and professional lives, is relevant to everyone. I’ll be sharing more information on that and building the SuccessFit brand.
With my personal online presence, I am able to share things from my fitness activities, music likes, my faith community and whatever I feel is relevant to put into the social media “river” of content that floats by. Feel free to follow my personal Twitter posts: @JeffSolomonMAS. I’m also on Instagram: @jeffsolomonmas. My MAS designation has come in handy. It’s a perfect addition to my name, which I didn’t think was that common but has been taken in most of these programs. Should I be asked what it means, I have an open door to talk about being a Master Advertising Specialist (MAS).
There is much information available on reaching buyers and effective online communication, including some very relevant observations coming from folks in our industry who do things well. I’ve been learning, and God knows I have plenty to learn, especially about fast-moving social media trends.
Margit Fawbush, communications manager of BIC Graphic shared some thoughts about social media demographics with me. I found her take very interesting and have asked her to share some of the insights she has learned through the years.
“When I joined this industry in 2008, hardly any of the suppliers had a social media presence. That year I set up Norwood’s [Facebook] and [Twitter] accounts, and a year later (after BIC Graphic and Norwood merged), I started the BIC Graphic pages in parallel. Since we officially rebranded as one company a couple years ago, I happily combined our social media personas, and this has clarified the voice and simplified things.
“A few years ago, the gurus were preaching frequent, prescheduled posts and redundancy. Now it’s about catering to the types of users there are on each network. Facebook users are social; LinkedIn users are there for business; Twitter skews male; Pinterest skews female. It’s about demographics and habits. One size does not fit all. And then there is relevance—content is king. Not just promos. People want trend info, selling tips, industry data and more. It can be a full time job—but for most companies, it’s something that gets maybe 15 to 20 percent of a person’s time—not nearly enough.
“Suppliers are constantly walking a fine line. It’s not about how many “likes” or followers you have—it’s about how many are qualified— distributors that care about what you’re talking about. And in order to keep their interest, you absolutely have to keep mixing it up. We respect our distributors’ time and strive to give them an interesting combination of promos, trend content, industry info, social media thought-starters selling tools and a little fun. But not everything on every channel. Our current mix is Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube and a blog. The industry’s usage doesn’t warrant adding more at this time.
“We were thrilled that BIC Graphic was recently named No. 5 on the list of Promotional Products Social Media Influencers. I believe that means we are on the right track with providing content that our distributors need and want.
“The promotional products industry and social media have one thing in common—both are constantly evolving and changing. We have to keep up in order to keep relevant. We have to keep learning.”
Some may find this type of information not relevant. I’ve heard from many who say things like, “I’ve tried social media and didn’t get anything from it.” With that thinking, they never will. This is not an immediate gratification thing. It takes time and it’s a process. You have to learn to be good at it.
Those who are not concerned about business growth or reaching the next generation of buyers should keep doing what they are doing. Personally I find the many new ways we are able to reach thousands of prospective customers fascinating. All the apps and tools that are available blow me away. My ADD thinking goes on overload! I will continue to learn and share content that I think is relevant to my audience.
If you have a success story you would like to share, feel free to contact me. We are always looking for topics and insights from others that we can share in future commentaries.
Jeff Solomon, MAS, is affiliated with a Top 10 distributor company and also publishes FreePromoTips.com, a popular industry resource. The PPAI-award winning FreePromoTips.com website and twice-a-month e-newsletters are packed with beneficial information. You can opt-in to receive these informative twice-a-month e-newsletters here! Check out what’s new in the GP2: Good Products—Good Prices section of the site. Take advantage of free end-user safe product videos you can share from its YourPromotionSolution.com website. You can stay connected to FreePromoTips on Facebook, follow it on Twitter and Pinterest, or me personally on LinkedIn, as well as my new personal Twitter and Instagram accounts.