Business cards continue to evolve over time. What used to be a simple piece of paper that had a phone number and name on it has morphed into a double-sided snapshot of someone’s business or personality – with graphics, codes, websites, logos, colors, emails, and anything else that can set someone apart while encouraging you to connect with them. One of the questions Vistaprint often gets is, “Are social media sites or mentions finding their way onto business cards?” We decided to find out.
As social media continues to become a greater focus for our micro business customer base, it appears that references to popular SM sites are in fact making their way onto physical direct marketing materials – specifically business cards. A recent analysis of U.S. business card orders at Vistaprint over the past 12 months showed that some of the most popular social media properties (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace) have more frequently been appearing on them. In October of 2009 social media mentions were included on just 2.5% of business card orders. One year later that number has risen to nearly 4%.
Facebook is the site most mentioned on business cards and has continued to grow in popularity as its user base has increased. In October of 2009, Facebook was included on less than 1% of Vistaprint business card orders. As of last month, that number had grown to nearly 4%. And while Twitter has gained in popularity both in usage and amongst the mainstream media, that hasn’t translated into adoption by micro businesses on business cards. Currently Twitter is mentioned on just under 1% of business card orders, seeing slight gains and losses over a one year span but never cracking the 1% barrier. Micro businesses are clearly seeing the benefits of having a Facebook page for their business and highlighting it in marketing materials, whereas Twitter has not yet had the same impact.
Not surprisingly, MySpace has fallen in popularity as its user base has diminished. One year ago the property was mentioned on 1.5% of business card orders. That number has fallen to .6% just one year later. Twitter has passed MySpace in terms of business card popularity. Finally, LinkedIn references were miniscule, holding steady at .1% over the last year. The hypothesis here is that micro businesses are feeling the need to connect where their customers are, rather than network or connect with other professionals in their space, which is the primary function of LinkedIn.
So are you including any social media sites on your business cards? What have the results been? Do you plan on including them in more and more direct mail or even online marketing pieces?