Social media icons in print is simply stupid

I'll admit, its odd to see the occurrence of Facebook, Twitter, and other social icons cluttering up the bottom of print material, this includes brochures, letterheads, cards, banners, ads. This visual has been spreading for years and has left me shaking my head asking why? We are referring to the icons without any list address or engagement of sorts.

How are you supposed to share from a print?

The purpose of using social media is to promote sharing of content, to foster engagement, and to create a real-time relationship with your customers. How is this supposed to be possible via icons on print material? I mean, what’s the expectation? Am I the reader supposed to see a Facebook icon and grab my phone, and search for your company so I can "Like" you? Or is the goal to simply promote… " hey, we're on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest… look at us… we're online"?

It's expected for your company to use social media

First, your print material lists a website, then it's a given you're probably on social media too. In fact, simply listing your website is sufficient, and makes it easier for me to find you on social media. Since I'll assume when I visit your site there will be actual clickable icons to your social media channels.

Sure, some prints include QR codes, at least these provide some method for me to interact with your company. Though, the payoff is usually sub par, and I’m left with a failed interaction. But at least they tried. But to waste space on a Twitter or other social icon… that's really simply promoting that channel's brand, not yours… is just plain dumb.

Don't use social media icons like logos…

Maybe I'm missing something. But if you want to engage with customers on social media… don't try to do it via a link on print material. I mean, connect via online, where you know you can actually be social. Or even better yet… do something that makes me "want" to be social with you. Do something engaging and customers will find, follow, like or friend you.


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