June '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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80 || P R I N T W E A R J U N E 2 0 1 6 S ocial engagement is the next frontier in the marketing world. Many years ago, those who mastered TV commercials were able to take over massive shares of their markets. The next frontier was the Internet. Entrepreneurs began to realize their web stores needed to be just as friendly and appealing as their brick and mortar ones. Now, if we want to be at the forefront of the business and marketing world, we must be active in social media. Social media isn't just about participation with individual persons, but the fact that they can easily col- laborate from anywhere, anytime. In discussing this new world, we have to talk about the busiest place out there, Facebook. The site has more than 1.5 bil- lion active users each month. That's one- fifth of the world's population. This is where you can leverage business and mar- keting opportunities that your competi- tion might be ignoring, but you must find the right way for your business to engage in the Facebook world. MAKING THE CHOICE TO PARTICIPATE Users are constantly conversing with each other on Facebook. It's often about life events or news articles, but there is also a huge amount of brand engagement. Are they on there talking about you? Are they praising T-shirts you made for them? Are they complaining that your business deliv- ered late? If you don't know the answers to these questions, your competition might. They might also be using these opportuni- ties to their advantage. The decision to participate in social me- dia doesn't have to be a complex one. It is really about the time you and your busi- ness have to dedicate to this project. If you are already overwhelmed with work, the timing might not be right. It is more important to have the basics of your busi- ness in line before taking on social media management as well. If the basics of your business are intact, then engaging in the social world is impor- tant. There is really just one rule: if you are Social Studies

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