Using Print to Archive the Best of Social Media

By on December 28th, 2012

Well, I finally did it. Yesterday, I upgraded to the iPhone 5 and added an iPad 4. Now I have to figure out how they change the way I live and work from the way I was doing it before.

As I have sat here musing about which apps to add now that my phone can finally handle them, my thoughts wandered back to a seminar I attended at a conference probably two years ago. I don’t remember who it was given by, or even which conference I was attending at the time, but I remember the point the speaker made.

The point was that as the world goes increasingly “digital everything,” print has unique role, not as a competitor to online media, but as an archival medium that complements it.

Think about the volume of images we accumulate (not to mention generate) both personally and professionally.  Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter. What happens to those images over time? Especially on the lifestyle or company culture boards, there are some really good images on there. Once they are shared, what additional value do they provide? Or do they just get buried under the incoming onslaught?

The statistics functions offered by these sites tell you which images, which pin boards, captured the attention and sparked the most imagination of viewers. If your clients are active in these social media, what could they do with this information? Could they use these images, these tweets, this information, in their marketing or to promote their brands? Or could you hit a Pinterest- or Instagram-active prospect with a great, creative idea for leveraging the images from its online content?

For example, could you help your clients or prospects take the most shared images and create coffeetable-style books (“Pin-Ups: The Best of XYZ Company on Pinterest”) to share with their employees or clients? How about personalized “thank you” gifts to key contributors, donors, or staff based on the images they — themselves — shared the most? Could you collect the most retweeted tweets in an informative or entertaining volume? How about the most “liked” products to create an infographic?

I’m just throwing things out there. The point is (and this was the point made by the speaker that day), many of your clients are already active in the world of social media. That world is not just a competitor to print. It can also be a source of great inspiration for generating additional print volume by using print at its best, as well.

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