Chances are if you are a small business owner, you have heard of Vistaprint. This also means you have most likely used them at least once, if not multiple times for your business needs – business cards, letterhead, pens, postcards, t-shirts, car door magnets, logos, and much more. However, Vistaprint is really much more than a company that only caters to your business needs. They are also a great company to help with your party & holiday needs – invites, announcements, lawn signs, giveaways, etc. The ideas are limitless, and the company continues to expand their product line each year. Professionally and personally I love using Vista Print! They have a great variety of quality products, often run ‘Free with paid shipping’ offers, and the site is easy to use.
I recently met Jeff Esposito, Manager Public Relations & Social Media at Vistaprint, during an organized Twitter discussion about Social Media with eBay Ink Blog. I was impressed with the dialogue and Q&A Vistaprint representatives were having with other people engaging in the conversation. In The Nanny Nine Jeff shares the organization and thought processes of how Vistaprint utilizes Social Networking, and how they measure their ROI, including direct revenue from their social networks.
1. How long have you been using Social Networking for your business?
In late May of 2008 our former Vice President of Public Relations gave us a BusinessWeek article with the Beyond Blogs cover story. The article discussed an up-and-coming social network called Twitter and how Facebook was going to give access to anyone looking to join the network. Our team was tasked in figuring out these networks and how we could use them for Vistaprint.
Before we jumped into the conversation that was happening around our brand on Twitter, we listened for six months and studied how users on the platform communicated. When we started out, we were told by the community that, “we were doing it wrong.” So we asked how we could improve our Tweeting and modeled our initial efforts around the knowledge of the community. After establishing our business on Twitter, our team added Facebook to our arsenal of social networks. Over the past three plus years, we have also added presences on Flickr, YouTube and Google+.
2. Is your business using Facebook &/or Twitter?
We use both Facebook and Twitter.
3. Facebook vs Twitter – do you like one better? If yes, why?
Picking a favorite social network is a lot like picking a favorite child, but at the end of the day it is something that is difficult to pick one. Both networks are very powerful and have specific, but different, uses for businesses. For example, Twitter is more real-time and direct response. Facebook on the other hand is great for building up a community and generating a closer bond with companies in conversations that are longer than 140 characters.
4. Do you post daily?
Our team staffs our social media profiles from Monday-Friday. We interact with everyone who has a question or has mentioned the brand. On a typical day, we’ll host anywhere from 60-100 interactions with our social community. We also do a weekly crowdsourced blog post for micro business owners that we call Micro Business Tips Thursday. We ask a business-related question to our Facebook community and then post the top answer as a blog post on http://microbusiness.vistaprint.com.
5. What is your favorite thing about Social Networking?
Social networks allow companies to humanize their brand. In the past many communications with customers were through press releases or email newsletters that really were not overly personal. Sites like Twitter and Facebook make communications in real time and can build a stronger bond with the company.
6. What do you think is the biggest benefit of Social Networking?
The biggest benefit of social networks for companies is building a better relationship with customers. These relationships will not only show companies what they are doing well but also give an insight into areas that companies can improve on to make a better overall customer experience.
7. How do you measure Social Networking, and explain.
At Vistaprint we measure a lot of things including direct revenue from our social networks, equated Net Promoter Score, Razorfish’s SIM score and conversation share. For a full breakdown and examples, below is a presentation that goes through our measurement: http://slidesha.re/r7yk3t
8. What is the best moment you’ve had on a Social Networking site?
My favorite social media moments come when our team turns a brand detractor into a promoter. At times we have customers have had a bad experience with Vistaprint and voice their displeasure with the company on a social network. When we reach out and assist them, many of them say how happy they are that the company reached out and fixed their problem. A good number of these customers have come back and assisted other customers who may have questions, concerns, or an issue that is posted to a social network.
9. What is your best piece of advice to other businesses about Social Networking?
While there are tons of social networks out there, the only ones that should matter to your company are the ones where your customers are actively participating.
The Nanny Nine brought to you by the Social Networking Nanny