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An Easy Way to Go Social

Social Media

DLI’s new service will help members populate and update their Facebook feeds effortlessly to build engagement with customers.

By Ian P. Murphy

Outside the plant, most drycleaners already know social media makes it easy to keep up with friends and family members. They might use Facebook to share events and keep up on the news, or post pictures of their families, pets, and vacations to Instagram. They may track a favorite celebrity on Twitter, or share recipes via Snapchat.

But drycleaners don’t always harness the power of the social media to advance their businesses with the same fervor. Working in a plant is often too demanding to take the time to tap out a message on the closest touchscreen, and it isn’t always convenient for operators to post information about clothing care to Facebook or tweet the details on a flash sale.

“Drycleaners understand that online marketing is important, but they either don’t know how to start, or don’t have the time to do it,” said DLI web developer Ricardo Gonzalez. “Their hands are full with more pressing business matters.”

That’s where DLI’s new service comes in. Unveiled at Clean 2017 and launched in July, Effortless Social Media populates members’ Facebook pages with informative, entertaining, and consumer-centric posts without asking operators to lift a finger. “Our members can sign up for the service, and we will automatically post an article directly to their Facebook pages,” said Jon Meijer, DLI’s Director of Membership and Marketing.

That’s right: Effortless Social Media automates the tasks of researching, writing, and disseminating the information that can help improve brand recognition and promote professional drycleaning services. The service posts a new story each week to keep member cleaners’ feeds fresh—and keep their offers and brands top-of-mind with consumers.

“You won’t have to do a thing, and it will keep your Facebook page fresh,” Meijer said. “You can add your own slant to it, too. Let’s say the article is on shirts; you will be able to add something to it: ‘By the way, we have a shirt special.’ It’s in the tradition of trying to stay ahead of the curve.”

Frequent updates keep businesses at the top of news feeds and encourage customers to check pages regularly. “A good social media presence involves regular posting online, which is something that most cleaners don’t have the time to do,” Gonzalez said. “Instead, DLI will do this for them. That allows members to save hours of time each month and focus on what’s important.”

Posts educate customers on clothing care and drycleaning processes, filling them in on topics such as fibers and fabrics, soils and stains, items that can be cleaned, and the value of professional clothing care. An educated customer is a good customer and such posts will build trust in your operation and encourage readers to give you their business.

In addition to more practical tips, Effortless Social Media also posts an occasional quirky (but still clothing-related) item to keep members’ pages approachable, inviting, and above all, shareable. “Social media shouldn’t all be business,” Gonzalez said. “These will be interesting, clothing-related stories that might lead to more sharing by customers.”

Consumers look to the social media for informative content, and if you provide it in the clothing care arena, you’ll position your plant as an expert resource—the first place a local customer or prospect will turn for all things drycleaning. And if you post interesting information consistently, they’ll help you spread the word.

“Quality content is the key to any successful social media strategy,” said Lisa Marcyes, senior social media marketing manger with Marketo, a prominent marketing automation firm. “Users who find content interesting, unique, and informative will freely share it on their social channels, leading to higher engagement.”

The service also helps drycleaners get up to speed on social media marketing fast, Gonzalez said. “Most cleaners don’t know where to start, what information is important, or how to apply it to the drycleaning business. Effortless Social Media will provide a short class that [includes] only the information necessary to increase sales.

“Social media marketing is great at increasing brand awareness,” he added. “Connecting with customers through Facebook will help customers see a cleaner’s brand name more frequently. If the content is good, it will lead to sales. And if the content is shareable, a cleaner’s brand [will be] shared with non-customers, leading to greater brand awareness within the community.”

Silver, Gold, and Premier members may sign up for the Effortless Social Media program at www.DLIonline.org/ESM.

Budget members may upgrade to take advantage of this and several other DLI programs, including the new Drycleaning Encyclopedia App, Stain Removal App, and much more.

Non-members are invited to join DLI at the Silver, Gold, or Premier level to access DLI's money and time-saving benefits.

Ian P. Murphy is a freelance writer and editor based in Chicago. He served as the editor of American Drycleaner magazine from 1999-2011.

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 7/18/2017 10:05:46 AM