Tue, Aug

Do we have to socialise?

Do print buyers care about social media? If I was to answer that question honestly, I’d have to say “I hope not”. I’d like to say we are conspicuous by our absence but that’s wrong – we’re not there and very few people, let alone clients, have noticed.

That is finally about to change. The eldest Mole Junior, who has been a bit ‘hipper than thou’ for about ten years now, was winding me up about the fact that we’re not on Twitter or Facebook, let alone SnapChat or Instagram. He’s at that age when telling you how everything should be done is his default setting so normally, when he’s in that mode, I don’t pay much attention. Yet, as he pointed out, “Even the Queen is on Twitter.” Thinking about it, after he’d taken his sneer off to the pub with his mates, I realised he might have a point.

Putting out pictures of some of the clever stuff we’ve done - on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook - would be a start. Not too expensive - and not too time-consuming for our newest member of the sales/marketing team who looks a lot - and the effect is quite deliberate, believe me - like the young George Best and gave me a 20-minute pep talk about what we could achieve.

He suggested that a little client education might not go amiss. The clients I talk to are usually completely up to speed on digital, yet their ideas of what print can do for them are often fixed, narrow and often out of date. That’s not entirely their fault - many of them are just starting out and the pace of business these days makes it harder to create the time to have a broad, intelligent conversation with them.

So we’re going to have a go. It goes slightly against the grain. I will, so the wife tells me, be the most anti-social person to enter the brave new world of social media. My father never talked to the trade press on the principle that he didn’t want our competitors to know what we were doing. Yet times have changed. The reward from engaging with customers outweighs the risk of alerting the competition.

Besides, it can’t be that hard. Vin Diesel has 90 million likes on his Facebook age and the kindest thing a critic has ever said about his acting is to call it “endearingly bad”.

Comments please to industrymole@imagereportsmag.co.uk

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