7 Deadly Social Media Sins

Most print and embroidery shops are aware that a professional social media presence is a key marketing strategy, but with so many platforms, algorithms, and updates to consider it’s no wonder businesses can lose their way.   

There are plenty of tips on how to get started and how you should do it, but not as much help on what not to do.  In this post we’ll explore the common mistakes that can hinder follower growth and engagement or worse still, damage the credibility of a brand.  So let’s get to it with our guide to avoiding social media faux pas.

Sin 1 – Getting too personal

Whilst showing some personality makes for a more fun and engaging account, it’s important not to get too personal.  Before you publish a post consider whether it is relevant to your business or your market.  Does the post align with the image that you wish to portray?  Is it of use or of benefit to your business or your customers?  If the answer is no, then try a different post.  

Keep your profile professional by refraining from posts around sensitive, religious or political issues.  Doing so can alienate customers and a invite heated debate that could damage your reputation.  Think about whether the sample print your showing could offend or polarize a customer before you hit publish.  Unless you target a specific niche in a potentially controversial space, then it’s best to keep these views clear of your business profile.  

Sin 2 – Incomplete profile

If someone discovers you through social media but can’t access further information or contact you, they’ll become frustrated and move on. Ensure the effort you put into your social media content is backed up by a complete profile including a link to your website, a brief description of your services and your contact details as a minimum.  

Sin 3 – Ignoring comments

More and more consumers are taking to social media to share their positive and negative experiences, to discover and research brands and to resolve their customer service issues.  Regularly monitor your posts so that you can respond promptly to comments (within one hour is ideal). Take the time to reply to positive feedback and if the feedback is negative, don’t miss the opportunity to remedy the situation.  Your other followers will be looking on to see how you handle complaints as this reflects how much you care about your business and your customers.  

Only delete a negative comment if it is offensive or abusive; otherwise, it will only infuriate the customer and throw your integrity into question with the onlookers. Acknowledge their concern, be honest, and if it can’t be quickly resolved in the comments then let them know you will contact them via direct message.

Sin 4 – Rarely posting or posting too much

Post too little and you’re followers may lose interest and unfollow you.  Worse still, they may wonder if you’re serious about your business and indeed whether you are still operating.  On the flip side, posting too much can appear spammy and annoy your followers by clogging up their feeds.  Set aside time each day or a block of time each week to schedule out your posts.  One or two posts per day is ideal.  

Sin 5 – Poor use of hashtags

Clever use of relevant hashtags is a great tactic to increase the visibility of your posts however, avoid overuse and take caution with trending hashtags.  Although it’s tempting to get in on a trend, make sure you do your research first.  Many a brand has damaged its reputation by jumping on an irrelevant or highly sensitive topic such as these brands.

Sin 6 – Buying followers

However attractive it may seem to buy followers and quickly boost your follower numbers, the quantity of followers isn’t important.  Having followers that care about your business, engage with you and that are likely to purchase from you is what counts.  It is far better to take the time to slowly and steadily build your following with people that are genuinely interested, than to buy a bunch of followers that have zero interest in what you say or do.

Sin 7 – Not focussing on your audience

The purpose of social media is to be sociable, not to have a one-sided conversation.  Sure, the whole idea is to promote your business and attract customers, but if every post is too salesy you will turn off your followers.  Focus on building relationships with your audience by providing engaging content, valuable tips, humour, news and stories.  When you post a sample of your work, offer a little insight into your process, the care and attention to detail your team take, the technique, the story behind the design or the customer.  In this way you’re still promoting what you do, but you’re leaving them with something more lasting and inviting conversation.  

When planning your posts put some thought into who you would like to do business with.  Are there markets you enjoy working with or that you would like to attract?  Plan content around the interests of these markets.  What content would they find useful, entertaining and inspiring? What aspirations could you help them achieve?  What challenges could you help them solve?  

For example, if you want to do more printing and embroidery for fitness brands, post content that would resonate and position you as an authority in this space, such as:-

Still not sure what to post or if you should publish a post you’ve created?  Buffer created this clever little 12-Step Social Media Checklist.  

All the best with your social media efforts and feel free to share your experiences in the comments.

 

DecoNetwork welcomes aboard Michal Gembrowicz

We are thrilled to introduce Michal, our newly appointed UK & Europe Sales Manager. Michal was a DecoNetwork user and advocate with Adlogo for over 8 years.

“I have many years of experience in DTG printing, embroidery, screen printing and sublimation in the UK.  Over the years I have become acquainted with a wide range of embroidery business owners, T-shirt suppliers and printing machine suppliers. Having run a t-shirt printing business from quote to production using DecoNetwork, I have a working understanding of the software and a deep appreciation for it’s capabilities.  I look forward to sharing my knowledge and experience with DecoNetwork users.”

As the UK & Europe Sales Manager, Michal’s main responsibility will be to promote DecoNetwork and to provide excellent service to our subscribers across the UK and Europe.  He is committed to ensuring our clients have the required knowledge and support they need to get the most out of using DecoNetwork.

Michal says “DecoNetwork is a great tool that more UK and European printers and embroiderers need to know about. Successful business owners can be reluctant to share their knowledge for fear that competitors will steal the secrets to their success.  So I would like to help shift this perception.  I believe competition can bring out the best in people, elevate the industry and motivate everyone to strive to the top.”

Michal will be setting his sights on growing the DecoNetwork business throughout Europe and says “I am excited to work with such a great, supportive team.  Since joining the DecoNetwork team, I realize the amazing potential DecoNetwork can deliver to printers and embroiderers.”

Erich Campbell joins DecoNetwork

Atlanta, GA – DecoNetwork is proud to announce that industry guru Erich Campbell will be joining DecoNetwork as our new Partner Relationship Manager.

In his new role, Erich will be responsible for working with DecoNetwork partners in North America. He will also champion DecoNetwork’s educational initiatives, including webinars, blogs, videos, and more.

Erich has many years of experience both in production and management of e-commerce properties and understands the full value of a reliable, versatile tool like DecoNetwork.

“DecoNetwork has been a trusted companion in my work,” Erich says. “I’ve been on the other side of the counter and I’ve come to respect them as dedicated people who believe in and stand by their product. I’m looking forward to being part of the team and seeing what this new combination of personalities, ideas and abilities will bring to the industry.”

Erich has always had an eye towards making the decorated apparel industry stronger, more profitable and easier to navigate, whether through digitizing, writing or education.

“Being a part of projects that I know will benefit the whole garment decorating community makes me come alive,” he says. “Joining the DecoNetwork team means that I’ll be able to help decorators put tools in place that, in my experience, have worked better than anything else on the market. I can help them build strong industry relationships, refine their ideas, and create novel solutions to their problems. I’m empowered to help our clients succeed.”

Erich will also be intimately involved in DecoNetwork’s future development, utilising his more than 18 years’ hands-on experience in the embroidery and decorated goods industry.

“Now that I’m at DecoNetwork, I can give my industry peers the benefit of what these tools can offer and share my extensive on-the-job experience with the wonderful people on the DecoNetwork team as well as our customers. I know that we can make a difference for the people who need it most,” he says.

For more information, visit https://www.deconetwork.com

Elite Custom Clothing, UK

 

Our CEO Neil Pentland and newly appointed UK & European Sales Manager, Michal Gembrowicz recently paid a visit to Elite Custom Clothing in Rushden.  Pauleen and Adam use DecoNetwork daily and we were so inspired by their success story that we wanted to share it with you.  

 

Their Story

Pauleen’s journey in garment printing started 30 years ago in college.  Her course required her to start a business and run it for six months, so she decided to try printing shirts for some of the students.  She asked the principal for permission to use the school logo and once it was approved, she had lots of requests from the students for logo emblazoned varsity jackets.  

After printing many varsity jackets for the students, she found word was quickly spreading and her customers were returning with other unique design requests.  At that time she was outsourcing the printing to another company, but she decided to try printing them herself.  Pauleen took the leap and invested in her own printing machines.   

 

The Problem

Elite Custom Clothing was growing and all the paperwork was being completed manually which was very time consuming. She started looking for a solution that would give her more time to concentrate on other aspects of running and growing her business.

 

 

The Solution

A self-confessed ‘DecoNetwork Addict’, Pauleen uses Business Hub for almost every aspect of the business, from quotes to orders to production and everything in-between.  DecoNetwork has made a huge difference in streamlining the business.  Elite Custom Clothing now employs 8 staff and they have more than 3000 customers recorded in their Business Hub.  

 

They are proud of the history behind the building they are based in as it is where George Frederick Whipple, of Rushden Engineering Co. created the first portable garage engine starter in 1922.  This important landmark is where the motor windscreen washer and the “trafficator” (motor car indicators) turnicators were invented.  This building and its history are a source of inspiration that keeps them motivated to build on their success and do great things.  We look forward to following Pauleen and Adam’s journey.  

 

Do have a DecoNetwork success story you would like to share?  We’d love to hear it, email us at info@deconetwork.com

 

How to create an irresistible cart abandonment email

 

The sad truth is, many virtual designs are abandoned every day, left cold and lonely, waiting for their time to shine.  Why is it that someone would take the time to carefully create a design and order, only to jump ship at the critical step of closing the sale?  If you know that your pricing, taxes, shipping and payment process is all in order then the most likely causes are:-

  • Their internet connection was having problems, or they accidentally  closed the browser;
  • They were unexpectedly called away or distracted;
  • They’re comparison shopping and gathering quotes;
  • They’re still researching and are yet to make a decision;
  • Shipping costs were too high;
  • The total cost was higher than they expected.

The good news is that if the cause was any of those listed above, all is not lost.  There is still a big opportunity to close the sale.  A proactive measure such as a well-timed email can tempt the customer back and get results.  So let’s reclaim these missed opportunities with this step-by-step guide to a cleverly constructed email campaign.

 

Step 1 – Identifying cart abandonments

Through DecoNetwork’s Business Hub you’ll be alerted to any abandoned carts in the left menu panel.  You can see what stage they bailed out and the customer’s details, the products they selected, the order value and their saved artwork.  Armed with this valuable insight you can cleverly target your email.  For example if they abandoned at the shipping stage you could entice them with a discount on their shipping or free shipping.

 

Step 2 – Customize your email 

Now that you have identified an abandoned cart customer, you can email them on the fly by clicking ‘Contact Customer’ and tailor the messaging to suit their proposed order.   Or to save time you can customize your Abandoned Cart email template and word it in a way that it would suit any abandoned cart customer by going to:-

Admin > Settings > Email & Order Templates > Email Templates > Customer Contact Emails – Abandoned Cart Follow-up Email >Edit.

 

Step 3 – Make the subject line irresistible

 To increase the chance of your email being read make your subject line concise and intriguing, compelling or entertaining.

Here are some examples:-

  • Did you forget something?  
  • Where did you go?
  • We want you back
  • We like your style _____ (personalize with first name)
  • Donut forget your delicious design
  • Share your design with the world
  • We’ve saved your design for you
  • Thanks for visiting us at ______ (your store or business name)
  • Nobody puts baby in the corner
  • It’s time to take unveil your masterpiece

 

Step 4 – Compose the email

Offering a discount towards their order is a common tactic to entice the customer to buy now.  Here is an example of a well-crafted email template:-

Hi _________,

We noticed that you created an awesome design on our website but didn’t complete the checkout, so we took the liberty of saving your design and order for you.  

Your creations should be shared with the world so how about we give you a helping hand?  Simply complete your purchase by clicking this link _____  and use coupon code  ‘welcomeback’ at the checkout to receive 10% off your order.

If you have any feedback or questions we’re here to help.  Simply reply to this email or give us a call on (phone).

 

And it’s super easy to trigger your email template to send automatically.   Just click the Options tab, tick the box and specify the number of days you would like the email to be sent from the cart abandonment.  Ideally the reminder email should be sent within 1-2 days to strike while the iron’s hot.

So there you have it.  Abandoned cart emails are quick and easy to set up, measurable and the ROI is great as the customer has already displayed an interest in your products and services.  Get started on recovering those sales today and feel free to let us know how you go.

DecoNetwork Template Builder

Blog Post Brenden 7-2-1 Release

The DecoNetwork Template Builder is a new addition to DecoNetwork 7.5 and empowers you, as a site owner, to build customizable templates for your customers to use and personalize on your website.

prod5

To launch the Template Builder:

  • Log into your DecoNetwork website.
  • Browse to Admin > Stock Designs.
  • Click ‘Create Template’ from the actions drop-down list.
    actions-drop-down

This will launch the Template Builder.

In this new designer interface you can upload images, add text and build a template that your customers and select and personalize on your front end website.

template_builder

 

Once you finish building your template you can name and save your template:

name_templates

Select a name, category and optional price for your template:

save_template

Once saved, the template will appear in your front-end website your customers to select and personalize.

Any text will be edited by the customer in your front-end website, with the texts formatting and effects being retained.

tiger

 

You can experience this and more awesome new improvements in DecoNetwork version 7.5!

 

 

Screen Printing live preview of design color reduction

Blog Post Brenden 7-2-1 Release

Another favorite in DecoNework 7.5 is the screen printing live preview of design color reduction.

When a consumer uploads or selects a design, DecoNetwork will automatically reduce the image to the maximum number of colors you allow for screen printing, PLUS match the colors in the design to the screen printing color palette you specified in DecoNetwork.

 

DecoNetwork will also automatically calculate the cost of the screens used. If the design is uploaded on a dark garment DecoNetwork will also automatically allocate one screen for the white based and deduct the total number of colors a customer can choose by one.

In the back-end your production worksheet will clearly show the number of colors and WHAT colors your customer chose for their screen printing design.

This new improvement in DecoNetwork 7.5 ensures 100% accurate pricing for screen printing on your front-end website, and ensures your customer will see exactly what they are ordering on your site.

If you would like to learn more about the innovative ‘DecoNetwork Search’ tool in DecoNetwork 7.5 which gives you instant access to everything in your business, see our previous post here.

DecoNetwork Search – Instant access to everything

Blog Post Brenden 7-2-1 Release

DecoNetwork 7.5 has delivered a lot of goodies that many people have been waiting for. But as with every release we all have our personal fav and DecoNetwork Search is one of those.

DecoNetwork Search is the new blue search bar that appears in your top back-end window when you are managing the Admin section of when in Business Hub:

DecoNetwork Search in back-end Admin section

DecoNetwork Search in back-end Admin section

 

DecoNetwork Search in Business Hub

DecoNetwork Search in Business Hub

 

From DecoNework search you can literally locate anything in DecoNetwork including:

  • Customers
  • Orders & quotes
  • Products
  • Stores
  • Application pages
  • Settings
  • Add-on apps
  • Help topics
  • …and more.

Time is money, and we just saved you a tonne of it

You’re busy. You don’t have time to become an expert at every application you use, and in the end all you want is for it to simply work.

Take, for example, you need to update your current tax settings. Previously in DecoNetwork you had to remember where the tax setting page is. With DecoNetwork Search all you need to do is ‘Deco it’.

Enter ‘tax’ and instantly every help topic, app, page, product AND taxes appear in a simple list.

Click ‘Current Taxes’ and you are taken directly to your current taxes settings page.

tax-search-link

 

You never have to remember where another setting page is again!

The same goes for customers. Enter their name, email or phone and all matching customer records appear including quick-links to the orders, quotes, production, shipping and artwork approvals.

customers

 

Give it a go yourself! Next time you need to find something simple ‘DecoNetwork Search’ it.

10 Brilliant print & embroidery promotional videos

Blog Post Brenden 7-2-1 Release

There’s a certain magic to the garment decoration process that only a visit to your shop can truly capture.  The rhythm of the machinery, the smell of the ink, the feel of the fabric, the dedicated team hustling to bring the designs to life.  Seeing this first-hand gives customers an appreciation for your craft and the skill behind their finished product.  But in this digital age you’re likely to have customers all over the country (maybe even the world) that will never get to walk through your doors.  So what’s the next best thing?  How can you convey not just what you offer but what sets you apart?  One way is to tell your story through video.

Video content is a powerful marketing tool that is rapidly rising in popularity. It is a great way to give a behind the scenes tour of your shop, services, equipment, team and processes.  To many people the print and embroidery process is a mystery, so if you can remove that uncertainty through an informative and inspiring video, you’ll gain a more engaged and loyal customer.  

So how do you create a video that really resonates?  Make it about the problems you solve, what you offer above your competitors, the experience you give your customers, show some of your personality and passion and share the larger vision behind what you do.  To inspire you in your own efforts, we’ve scoured Youtube for some standout examples of promo videos for print and embroidery shops.  

Little Mountain Print Shoppe 

This is the kind of video that sticks with you.  The meaningful story behind the name, the beauty of the surrounding country, the clear sense of purpose Joe has and the beauty in the printing process pulls you in.   

Super Special 

Do not adjust your set, you haven’t just stumbled upon an MTV music clip.  It’s just Super Special’s unique aesthetic and style.  The synchronisation of driving beats with the printing press in ‘Genesis of a t shirt’ is hypnotic and stands out from your typical promotional videos.  

Oh Boy! Print Shop 

This one won me over with the story behind their name which honors the legacy of Jim’s grandpa.  They also show great care, sincerity and attention to detail in their work.  Oh and it’s beautifully shot with a stunning intro and outro.  

The Prince Ink co. 

What’s not to love?  A sweet ride, warm and inviting storefront, hoop shooting, tasty taco’s, primo printing and a swinging soundtrack.

Traxler Custom Printing 

The pride the Traxler team take in their work and in supporting their local community shines through in this video.  They’re values and the experience you can expect when working would win over any prospective customer. 

Superior Ink Printing 

What’s great about ‘Life of a craftsman’ is getting to know many different members of the team, from the owner to the production team to quality control to customer relations everyone’s voice is heard.  There is a clear unity in their efforts, values, vision and passion for what they do.

Print Renegades 

Take a walk (or skate) through the Print Renegades factory and you’ll feel like anything is possible when you collaborate with them.  Their enthusiasm and positivity is infectious, maybe it’s something to do with the delicious tunnel fresh pizza! 

Awesome Merchandise 

Living up to their name, Awesome Merchandise show a clever montage of snippets of all the little details that go into decorating products, from conversations to coffee, equipment to pooches, and so much more.

Fresco Press 

The founders share the origins of their business and what has lead to their growth.  What’s nice about their story is their focus on nurturing brands through a talented design team and in providing more than just t-shirts.

Jak Prints 

A great showcase of their team, wide range of services, grand scope of their operation and some sweet specialty finishing services.  They cleverly brand their video and promote some special deals at the end.

 

For ten quick tips on how to creating compelling videos for social media, check out this post by Hootsuite.  Share your thoughts in the comments on your favourites and let us know any stellar videos that we may have missed.