DENVER, CO (December 14, 2022) – Holiday traditions abound this time of year, and one of the most beloved and time-tested of these is the sending of holiday cards. But today’s greeting cards, and those who create them, are anything but traditional in their approach to cultivating loyal customers. In fact, greeting cards, considered old media, are harnessing the power of new media to reach today’s consumers.
“A digital platform like TikTok might seem like an unusual place for a business that deals in printed products,” says Sarah Schwartz, editor-in-chief of Stationery Trends, an award-winning magazine for the greeting card, social stationery, and related lifestyle gift industry. “But makers in the stationery space are endlessly creative, as is clearly evident in the dynamic products they create, and they bring that same fire to their social media feeds. Whether it is packing orders, sketching designs into life, or just clowning around the office, their videos connect them with both existing and new audiences in a 21st-century format.”
“But while stationery and greeting cards may feel old-fashioned to many TikTokers at first glance, humor is universal, and greeting card and stationery makers are quite practiced at quickly getting a laugh or emotional response,” Schwartz, who also maintains ThePaperNerd.com, continued. “For example, Shayna Norwood of the Chicago shop and letterpress brand @steelpetalpresshas 19.8K followers. Whether she is sharing aspects of her small biz life as she calls it, glimpses into her ongoing battle with anxiety, or the often profane and always hysterical merchandise populating her store shelves, many of her videos garner views in the thousands.”
The differences in traditional and modern communication methods stand out. Greeting cards move in one direction, from sender to recipient with patience and time required on the part of both parties. Social media thrives on its immediacy and interactivity – 24/7 platforms where parties can exchange ideas. Similarly, once printed, a greeting card is a static item. Social media is fast-moving and constantly changing, seemingly at odds with the concept of a finished, unchanging product.
However, upon closer examination, the similarities between greeting cards and social media are striking. Both offer very personal experiences for users, creating a sense of connectedness. Both are also evocative and able to generate emotions that are deeper than just a momentary experience. A platform like Twitter even has character constraints much like greeting cards – a little must say a lot!
“Independent makers in all industries must find ways to use social media to connect with customers,” says Nora Weiser, Executive Director of the non-profit Greeting Card Association, “and greeting cards are no different.” For a visual industry like greeting cards, a platform like Instagram is a must-have, not a nice-to-have for makers. Says Weiser, “we even allow our members to take over our organization’s IG accounts for our industry events, and retailers and consumers who follow @noted_expo or @usagca can see new products and get to know makers in real-time, including behind-the-scenes as they design, print, and ship their cards.”
Today’s consumers value the people behind the products they buy, and social media facilitates that. When you’re shopping for greeting cards this holiday season, heading to your local gift or stationery shop is a great way to find unique items but don’t forget to hop online to explore the creativity of the makers behind your favorite card lines and follow them to stay in the know about trends, ideas, and what’s new.
About the Greeting Card Association: Founded in 1941, The Greeting Card Association (GCA) is the non-profit U.S. trade association serving the greeting card and social expressions industry. GCA represents nearly 200 American and international publishers and industry partners by promoting the tradition of sending greeting cards, helping members grow their businesses, recognizing creativity, and serving the industry and citizen mailer as a voice for media, leadership, and advocacy on industry issues. Learn more at: www.greetingcard.org
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