Using Promotional Products with Social Media
As we go into 2011 marketers are increasingly using social media to create brand awareness, attract new customers, and manage and monitor their relationships with their existing customers. I read tons of tweets and status updates everyday; and I realized something. I really do not remember most of the content that I read. With the bombardment of information that is posted online it is nearly impossible to keep up with all of it.
This is not to say that everything that I read online is forgotten. The internet is actually the first place I go when I want to get new information on products and services that I am interested in. Links and information given on social media that interests me sticks out and I will actually remember them. Brands and companies that inform, entertain, or interact with me always stand out from the companies that are overly self promotional or automate tweets/updates with scattered and seemingly random information.
Being genuine and standing out is what companies must do to effectively use social media online. Creating content generated towards their target market and interacting with customers is key to this strategy. In addition to these strategies, an incentive plan needs to be put in place to get customers to take actions beneficial to your company and evangelize your brand. Building loyalty among those interested in your company can only have positive effects on your business. Businesses using foursquare do this all the time by giving “mayors” of their location special discounts or giving promotions to customers who check-in at their location. Using promotional products are also a great way to evangelize followers of social media. For example:
- Give the first 25 followers on Twitter a free promotional item such as a t-shirt or water bottle who re-tweet your message and make them pick it up at your location. This will drive customers to your location and build loyalty. When they re-tweet your message it will also be seen by all of their followers, spreading your message even further.
- Run contests on Facebook and give out promotional gifts such as gym bags or key chains. For example: “post a creative picture of yourself at our location on our Facebook page and receive a key-chain; show a sales rep (bartender, waitress, owner, etc) your keychain and receive 5% off your total purchase (bill, tab, etc). Using promotional products and social media this way will create fun content for your company to use and spread your companies name. When the customer posts a picture of themselves at your location all of their friends will see it on their status update. Your return on investment will be much higher if used this way, instead of just giving out free key-chains.
- If your business relies on lots of foot traffic (retail, restaurants, etc) than use Foursquare. Spend money on getting a really nice promotional product, such as a premium leather jacket (maybe even a nice hang bag if your business has lots of female customers). Give the mayor (and maybe the 2 or 3 people with the most check-ins). These are obviously some of your best customers since they are visiting your location often. Rewarding them will keep them coming back, and they will more than likely recommend your location to others. When they are wearing the jacket (or carrying the bag) others will see a very nice premium product and ask/see where it came from. Since your company fostered goodwill, your best customer is going to give a glowing recommendation for your company. Your business will also build foot traffic by having people constantly checking-in at your location trying to obtain these premium gifts.
These are just a few ways to combine your social media strategy with traditional marketing. Combining promotional products with social media is an easy way to build a fan base and create buzz for your company. For more ideas please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our web store at www.markabull.net.
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