For years, fans have laughed and cringed with Jim Halpert as he’s navigated the uneasy workplace environment at Dunder Mifflin, the fictional paper company featured on The Office. After all, anyone who has spent any amount of time working in an office job can surely relate to the awkwardness and inappropriateness of some of the things that have gone on.
But while Dunder Mifflin may not be real, the problems it’s dealing with are, and they’re not particularly unique if you’re a business-to-business organization, or if you have a specialized and hard-to-market product like paper. So we here at Constant Contact decided to take on Dunder Mifflin as a “client” and help them with their marketing — specifically their Facebook marketing.
How should the Scranton, Penn., office of Dunder Mifflin use Facebook? Here’s our advice:
1. Pick an admin.
The first thing the Scranton office should do is pick one person to manage the business’ Page. We nominate Pam Beesly, the office administrator (something tells us Dwight’s going to want nothing to do with this “social media” stuff). She seems to be the most on top of things, and will speak for the business with a warm and personable voice.
2. Show off the team.
The greatest asset the Dunder Mifflin team has is itself. That’s what really distinguishes them from the competition. Especially given the impersonal product it’s selling, we’d say Dunder Mifflin should use Facebook to make a more personal connection with customers and show off the people that make the company so special. Talk about Andy Bernard’s theatrical pursuits, or Kevin Malone playing in a band called Scrantonicity when he’s not sitting with the accounting team.
3. Share photos and videos.
Forget the embarrassing shots that former Regional Manager Michael Scott took at Christmas parties past, or his movie Threat Level Midnight. Instead, Facebook would be a great place to show off photos from the Dundies or Halloween parties, or footage of the team having fun at their recent garden party. Let customers see who they’re talking to when a salesperson calls.
4. Find other uses for the core product.
Sure, paper isn’t the most glamorous or exciting product. But somehow, we think the team could find some creative uses for it that would get customers to see it in a different light. Perhaps each week someone like Jim could create a different kind of paper airplane and let it fly, or someone could show off some origami, or how paper could be used as a funnel in a pinch, or how a case of paper makes a good doorstop.
5. Have fun.
Continuing that theme, one thing we’ve learned over the years is that the Dunder Mifflin team knows how to have a good time. They could show that to fans and customers on Facebook by including video footage of events like its Office Olympics, or the dance the group did at Jim and Pam’s wedding. Or, maybe some fun facts could be shared, like how many pieces of paper it would take to stretch from Scranton to the moon.
6. Help customers by becoming a resource.
Office supply costs sure can add up. And while Dunder Mifflin does want to sell more paper, it could probably earn the respect and loyalty of its customers and fans by sharing articles and helpful advice about topics like recycling. No, that won’t move the sales needle, but long-term it will position the business as a resource, and more than just “where we get our paper from.”
7. Put the spotlight on the customers.
Jim, Dwight, and the other salespeople speak affectionately about their customers (when they aren’t trying to keep their business, of course), so why not give those customers a little love on Facebook? Share quotes, photos, or videos of customers saying why they continue to use Dunder Mifflin as their paper supplier.
New CEO Robert California said it best in a recent episode when he encouraged the team to stay strong in the face of competition from larger office supply chains. Dunder Mifflin — and real businesses like it — has a great opportunity to distinguish itself by using Facebook effectively. We look forward to seeing our “client” win more new business as a result of engaging with its customers on the social network.
What advice would you give to Dunder Mifflin? Or is there another fictional organization that you’d like us to help? Share your thoughts in the comments below.