Social Media is the big thing to have really impacted businesses big and small to some extent over the last 5 years in a major way. Brands like HMV and Habitat have found that Social Media can be a major problem if not managed properly whilst other brands have really utilised the rapid viral power of the media for great economic benefit.
However, it's still quite amazing to note just how many BIG brands still don't advertise their social media in places where they advertise their other delivery channels...backs of lorries, stationery, uniforms and in corporate signage for example, but also not on the giveaway items like promotional pens, mousemats and notebooks etc.
In fact, everywhere a logo can be printed, is an opportunity for a social media icon, hashtag or a social account alias to be printed. Some companies, of course, do manage this really well and we noticed Bulmers Cider using social tags ahead of traditional domain tags on some of their TV campaigns. And who can fail to notice some television programmes subtly plugging a hashtag (who watches 'Bad Education'?)
The only problem with social media, though, is the sheer spread of social media channels we now all have access to. A fifth or more of the world has a Facebook account, Twitter is alarming in its rapid growth but what about Pinterest (widely accepted as one of the best forms of interaction at the moment), Flickr, YouTube and LinkedIn? Just how can a company factor in so many aliases to a sometimes very small print area?
We feel, that sometimes you don't need to list everything in 'black and white'. The demographics of social media users is different from other forms of internet usage and there's more a natural built-in 'know-how' of what to do, where to go and how to find stuff. So, in many instances, simply listing your company name and a list of recognisable social icons on printed merchandise may be enough. It's certainly better than nothing at all.