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Digital Color Graphics' social media experiments in business development

Published on August 15, 2011

Jim Rosenthal Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Digital Color Graphics explains how they're playing with social media not just for adding sales as a way of raising brand awareness and prospecting.

My name is James Rosenthal and I am Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Digital Color Graphics, located outside of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania.  

We’ve sort of been playing around a little bit with social media, not necessarily for selling product and services to our customers, but more as a method to help promote ourselves and what we do and maybe create a little bit of a buzz in the community about some of the things we do.  We’re not looking at it as a replacement for hard, traditional sales techniques.  Our clients tend to like face time and like us to be in front of them and like the handshake and like the hands on approach we take with their projects, but from a just sort of creating an atmosphere of… that we’re out there in the community, that we’re a part of the community, we’ve found social media, Facebook, LinkedIn a little bit to be very helpful.  

Actually, if you consider LinkedIn part of social media, we like to use it a lot for prospecting.  That’s a way for us to find qualified potential leads, do some market research on their companies and who they are and what they are and what they do, and then give that to our sales people to hopefully develop business.  So from our standpoint, I think  social media if more of a business development tool and it’s just one more tool in our toolbox as opposed to that’s the way we’re going to generate millions of dollars’ worth of business.  

Through Facebook, we try to limit the conversation because we feel that there’s a professional aspect to what we do.  You know, if I’m friendly with… happen to be personally friendly with a customer, I might communicate from time to time with them on Facebook, but I find… personally I find it’s easier to pick up the phone and have a conversation with them.  You know, Facebook has a sort of, you know, one-liner quality to it that, you know, it’s just a quick one-liner to send something, you know, to send to someone about something they may have done, you know, congrats on your birthday.  But I don’t think that’s a way to have a conversation with someone and work with them to build their business and of course, obviously build our business.  

I think it’s very important to be engaged.  I also think it’s very important to understand how it’s used.  I also think it’s important to understand that there’s… you can get a lot of positive out of it, but you better be really careful about negative effect.  It very quickly… we actually had an incident where one of our employees had a bad day at work and he put it on his Facebook page.  And I got a call from a customer that said, “I hear your place is a lousy place to work.”  And so, we had a conversation internally about what our policy is on it and we also had a conversation with the employee to understand what he was thinking.  And it was a helpful situation for us, we resolve dour situation for him and that all worked out, but also to understand the impact of what all of our employees do and say in the community because we work very hard at our image in our community.  We have… we keep our clients because they’re loyal to us, they trust and that trust and that good vibe about us is really important.  

So I think it’s really important that companies understand the power that social media has, but also understand how to use it and make sure it’s not in the hands of the wrong… that the keys aren’t in the hands of the wrong people.  

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