Second Story Blog

Pair Promotional Items with Social Media

It’s certainly no secret that social media has a huge presence in people’s lives today. It involves daily interaction for many, offering a place to share a wide variety of experiences. In fact, there are 2.2 billion actively monthly users on Facebook, 1 billion on Instagram and 328 million on Twitter. The cool thing is that businesses can capitalize on this trend, whether on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, to help them build relationships with and become more memorable to customers.

Let’s take a look at some more numbers: A recent BPMA study revealed that 87% of people keep a promotional product for a year or longer, and 66% remember where they got it. When it comes to a single post or tweet, it’s almost immediately forgotten — unless it’s paired with a promotional incentive. The key is meeting people where they are and then offering something unique and creative. People love getting free stuff, and giving them an item that will only enhance their memory of your business will certainly produce great ROI. Further, why wouldn’t you introduce a promo item if 79% of those who receive one say they’d give the brand business in the future?

Next comes a relevant question: What does this look like practically? A classic approach is offering branded merchandise if users repost or share something you’ve posted and then follow or like your business on a given social media site. The incentive is usually tied to a contest, which motivates people to follow your instructions in hopes of winning what you have to offer. Other incentives that incorporate more creativity are fantastic, such as a treasure hunt: You could provide clues via posts that lead to certain products and have people take photos of the products once they find them. Doing something like this really gets people engaged and excited about your brand.

QR codes and hashtags are also effective methods for making sure people are in the know and excited about the campaign you’re running. Hashtags in particular work well in spreading the word about a new product or upcoming event, allowing all posts with that hashtag to be found together.

So what items do you use? Good news: A great promotional item doesn’t have to be expensive. Customized T-shirts, pens, mugs and bags are all effective products for getting people to take action on social media. You could even consider a higher-priced item like a Bluetooth speaker for a grand prize that’s part of a larger campaign.

Let’s take a look at some of our products with corresponding ideas:

Broad Spectrum Lip Balm: Hand out this protective lip balm at your company’s physical office, with a unique raffle number included on each label — then have customers post their number on your social page for a chance to win a larger promotional item like the Bumpster Bluetooth Wireless Speaker. People will be excited to find out if they’re a winner, and the winner will appreciate such a practical item while seeing your logo consistently. Even those who don’t win will be reminded of you every time they apply their lip balm!

Two-Tone White Frame Sunglasses: Host an outdoor event in the summer and give attendees a pair of personalized sunglasses. Have them post a photo of them wearing the sunglasses to your page, offering a discount applicable to their next service when they do. You could also start with a social media post and include this item in a summer pack giveaway filled with personalized items of all kinds!

Keeper Cup (20 oz): Take advantage of your event’s hashtag by including it on the imprint of this BPA-free cup before giving it away during the event, either empty or filled with their beverage of choice. Follow up by encouraging them to post on your social media page using the hashtag as part of a competition or simply as a way to get your name out to their friends. Recipients can take the cup home with them and speak well of you whenever others see it!

No matter what product or method you choose, the important thing is to be innovative and fun, which will drive people to actually take action. Once you’ve invested your time and effort into a great social media initiative, tie in other marketing strategies so everything you’re working on comes together as one seamless campaign. For example, in addition to your social media posts, you could write a blog post about how the event or promotion went (content marketing) and/or pair the item with a meaningful cause by donating a certain dollar amount to a nonprofit to generate goodwill (cause marketing).

Your ultimate goal is to build engagement and customer loyalty, and the more you can personalize your outreach to fit your target audience and bring all your efforts together, the more likely you’ll be able to accomplish it.