Participation in social media has increased within the label community over the last few years, albeit at a slower rate than most industries. At last year’s Labelexpo Europe, we saw around 30 converters and suppliers regularly talking about events as they happened via Twitter. At Labelexpo Americas next month, we expect to see a sizeable jump in the number of discussions.
In fact, the tradeshow has one new exhibitor that specializes in helping companies create awareness about their products through social media, SEO and website consulting. GrowSocially has already assisted a number of label and packaging firms with new media marketing strategies, and its upcoming presence at Labelexpo Americas clearly demonstrates the potential it sees in the market.
According to my Twitter lists, which are updated regularly, there are 96 suppliers and 82 converters communicating via the social media channel, up from 60 and 50 respectively in fall of 2011. Business can reap great rewards by using social media – including improved SEO, new sales, employee camaraderie and brand recognition.
The Miami Herald recently published an article called 'Olympic Games Offer Social Media Lessons for Small Business' after the world experienced various new media avenues in a personal way for the first time. For some athletes, dreams were cut short because they didn’t think before posting. Many fans received event outcome details in real-time before video was shown on NBC, spoiling the excitement by watching in delay. The report gives some great basic tips to take back to your company. Most important is to set-up a policy.
Below are some basic guidelines that I’ve created for using the communication avenue. There isn’t really a ‘wrong’ way of posting, but there are patterns to follow in order to get the ‘most out of your post’.
Twitter guidelines leading up to Labelexpo Americas:
• @LabelsNLabeling – placing the @ sign before an official Twitter feed (@DanielleJersche, @Houghton_C, @LabelsNLabeling, etc) will allow other users to easily click to that users’ main page from your post.
• #Labelexpo – using a # sign before any word (labels, digital, printing, packaging, sustainability, Argentina, Africa, etc) simply draws attention to it and allows users to click on it, which will search Twitter for any discussions including that specific word and pull the most frequent posts up in a list.
• Remember, you only have 140 characters when you’re tweeting, so make it short and sweet.
• Use symbols (&, %) when possible, but try to avoid shorthand. I use w/ (with) and some other shortened terms, but the key is making it NOT look like a text message from a teenager. It should appear professional.
• Keep in mind, too, that you want users to be able to re-tweet your posts without cutting out information (it will automatically shorten it to 140 characters), so aim for 125-130 characters. When you see ‘RT’ in front of a post (RT @LabelsNLabeling) it means the user is re-posting information put out by another.
• It’s best to include links whenever possible, so people can obtain more information about what you’re tweeting. When including a link, shorten the URL using sites like http://bitly.com/, http://tinyurl.com/, or http://goo.gl/ which allow you to make more use of the 140 character limitation.
Here are some industry examples:
Some industry Twitter feeds to follow:
Finally, please note that show attendess must create a Boingo account in order to access WiFi inside the Rosemont exhibition center.
Danielle Jerschefske, North America editor, L&L