Social media has become the go-to marketing vehicle for companies looking to generate interest, conversation and increase consumer engagement with their brand. Likewise, at Steel City Marketing, we have invested both time and money into making this part of our marketing efforts. We love communicating with both existing and prospective clients on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and use many of the online tools available to connect with them. However, we still believe that social media is yet to make other forms of traditional marketing redundant, so we focus our efforts on creating a cohesive strategy. The promotional gifts industry is a niche sector of the marketing world but it is essential that we move it forward with prevailing trends. We help our clients to use the unique benefits promotional gifts offer to enhance their social media campaigns.
Recurrently, clients ask “what ROI can promotional gifts provide?”- A question equally common to social media strategists. Statistics show that promotional gifts can in fact deliver a higher or equal ROI than most other forms of advertising. So how do you use this to improve your social media strategy? In a recent national study by the BPMA; some particularly interesting facts stand out:
“87% of recipients stated they have kept a promotional gift for longer than a year”
“84% of respondents agreed that a branded promotional gift increased brand awareness with 66% saying they could remember the brand printed to a product from a previous year”
“79% confirmed they were likely to do business with that company in the future”
It goes to show that a promotional gift lasts longer than a tweet or a status. They are concrete, have utility and are a less disposable marketing tool than many assume. You can use the longevity they offer your brand campaign to increase traffic to, and awareness of, your social media efforts. Read on for our top three tips.
1. QR Codes
QR codes are a visual bar code which can be printed to a wide variety of materials. To read a QR code you need to download an app to any modern smart phone. The app is used to scan the code which sends users direct to a web site, social media page or blog.
- These nifty codes can easily be printed to promotional items of your choice. You are not restricted by product material and popular gifts include pens, sticky notes, and mugs. Printing to an item with more utility, as opposed to a flyer, will increase the longevity of your QR code.
- Incentive your recipients by using the QR code to direct them to a competition. This will increase user engagement with your company and traffic to your desired page.
- Steel City Marketing can generate your own personal QR code for whatever site or web page you desire.
2. Hashtag Campaign
Hashtags are a way of tracking a topic or trend on social media. They were popularized by Twitter, but can also be used on Google+ and Instagram. A user can click on words or phrases proceeded by the # sign to see what other users are saying about it. They are a fantastic way to monitor who is directly engaging with your brand.
- Devise inventive hashtags to create a buzz around your company or campaign. Puns and humorous phrases work particularly well; keep it light, fresh and ‘social’.
- Hashtags are also useful for events, product launches and conferences. Use them in the preceding weeks to inform people about dates and speaker line-ups, then on the day to broadcast trending debates.
- Promote the hashtag by printing it to a selection of promotional items. These can be used in mail-outs or as giveaways at your event or conference; offering a visual reminder for clients to get involved.
3. Promote Your Sales Staff
Social media allows you to give a face to your brand; it is a way to humanize your sales executives, who were once only a faceless voice on the phone. People are naturally inclined to respond better to people they have developed a connection with. Use this to develop personal relationships with clients and in turn, increase the likelihood they will continue to invest in your brand.
- Create your staff individual work Twitter and Google+ accounts and even consider including them as an administrator on your Facebook page. It is an additional method to stay in touch with clients who have busy schedules, and ensure that you are always the first on hand to offer your services when required. Guarantee that clients are aware of this ‘free’ service by including the social media handles on printed business cards and email signatures.
- Track relevant search queries using Twilerts and Google Alerts to find new clients talking about your market. Sales executives can contact them via their profiles and reduce the need for cold calling.
- Go the extra mile and send out personalized promotional items to potential and existing clients. Increase engagement by choosing items which are relevant to their business. For example, we have sent out car shaped stress toys to mechanics, sweets to school organisations and lip balms to beauticians.