Awards & Engraving

November '17

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38 • A&E NOVEMBER 2017 SUBLIMATION AND UV-LED FULL-COLOR SOLUTIONS By Kevin Lumberg These days, other forms of media and electronics have taken over this position, and are doing it far more effectively, con- necting sublimators not only to other sub- limators and vendors, but also to potential customers. Today, one of the most effective and successful sublimation social media communities is Sublimation and More, a Facebook page with over 17,000 mem- bers. This group is run well and focuses on helping out sublimators. As with any community, you have a lot of different personalities, and the modera- tors work hard to make sure all discussions remain civil. I recently spoke with Amy Hale, who started the group, to find out how social media affects her business. INTERVIEW WITH A SUBLIMATOR Q: Why do you use social media for your business? Hale: I feel social media is an inexpensive way to promote my business and keep new and existing customers engaged by chatting with each other about the products I sell. Q: What percentage of your business's customer outreach is done through social media? Hale: Eighty percent. I spend four to six hours a day on Facebook trying to engage as much as possible with my group mem- bers, which are existing and potential customers. I encourage customers to mes- sage my personal and business Facebook profiles. I want them to feel like they can come to me night or day with any questions or concerns they may have regarding my business or Facebook groups. Q: What percentage of your business's research is done using social media? Hale: I would say I do about 50 percent of my research on social media sites. Q: What are your most used social media sites? Hale: Facebook and YouTube. Q: What benefits have you gotten from social media? W hen I first started in sublimation over 15 years ago, there were not a whole lot of tools to learn about the technology and network with other sublimators and vendors. One sublimation hot spot at the time was the DSSI Forum (Dye Sublimation and Specialty Imprinting). This was an internet forum where people could post questions, share information, and share testing information of new products and equipment. It was a robust and active internet community, and that was the early form of social media. It was great for that time, but it was limited. A Sublimator's Social Media Success Story The Facebook group Sublimation and More was started by Amy Hale as a way to help educate and network with sublimators. IMAGE COURTESY KEVIN LUMBERG

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