How Your ‘Traditional’ Business Can Survive In The Social Age

Everything is about social media these days, absolutely everything. Even when it isn’t. Wait… what? You know what I mean. Businesses about characteristically NOT modern things are having to tread their toes in the murky waters of social. Just how do they survive in the digital age?!

Paperstone, a successful office supplies company, are currently celebrating their 10th Birthday Campaign. It’s an impressive feat for a business based upon things like paper, pens, and well, you know – all things NOT technologically advanced, per se. Now, of course they sell technological products, for example, printers, laminators, and so on and so forth. But whilst these products are directly related to our computers and our internet activity (think ‘cousins’ rather than seeing them as being totally separate or alienated) of course the company has had to integrate its strategy. They’re not called the ‘office supplies good guys’ for nothing. Just how did they do it, to advance themselves, whilst staying true to their roots?

It all started in 2004. Paperstone was founded and its vast array of products were showcased in a catalogue. But it soon came to their attention in 2005 that if they wanted to succeed in these new and heavily digital times, they’d need a website. This was of course launched, and has continued to become the site that it is today. The business kept growing and growing, and if you take a look at their celebratory birthday page, you can see exactly how our world was changing all the while. They rose from strength to strength, even winning their very first industry award in the summer of 2009.

In 2010, they thought it was about time that they got involved with the big, bad world of social media. Their Twitter bio today even places the fact they’re an online business as its defining structure, and they credit their mix of office and industry news with a healthy dose of quirky stories and pictures of Ruby – their Head Of Office Security (she’s a dog… no, literally!) as a reason for their healthy social following. Although the numbers of followers aren’t yet huge, it’s respectable, and their modern approach to social media marketing is certainly to be admired – as is their digital marketing in general, in addition to impressive digital PR tactics and site content.  This attention to modern methods of doing business has proved to be an excellent decision – in 2012 they won the BOSS award for e-tailer of the year.

Today, Paperstone sell around 20,000 office products that they comfortably sell online, with over 100,000 orders placed – a true merging of the two worlds. So, if you are worried about how your business model fits in with today’s fast paced society, try to take a leaf out of Paperstone’s book. (They can probably supply you the paper to help you do it!) This case study is living proof that any business can take advantage of digital marketing tips to come out at the top of their relevant industry.


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