Don’t Be Stingy, Give Up the Product
Social media has indelibly changed the way we market and brand our companies forever. To compete in the social “mediasphere” (and in general), companies must give to get (G2G). My definition of G2G is as follows:
“The ability to provide consumers real value, rich information and even parts of a company’s ‘secret sauce’ in exchange for their patronage.”
Perhaps the biggest G2G opportunity your company has is its product. Recently I've seen a few really smart companies using their product as a powerful consumer engagement tool. My experience has been that clients who have adopted G2G are having unprecedented success, even in this shaky economy.
Consider trying the following to see if G2G could work for your business:
- Run pop-up specials on your social media channels. Request comments in exchange for the opportunity to win product. For example, try this on Twitter: “The first three people to answer X question successfully will win a free widget.”
- Ask your customers for videos, pictures and stories documenting their experiences using your products. In return, provide them with free product. A great example comes from Chipotle restaurants. It has a campaign (click here to see) encouraging customers to send in fun pictures of themselves with its product visible for an opportunity to win “free stuff.”
Don’t be stingy here. The more products you give away, the more you draw customers and prospects to your brand.
These are but two examples. The sky is the limit as to what kind of creativity you can come up with. Consider the benefits:
- Your contests, pictures, videos, etc. go viral and extend your brand's marketing reach.
- You create goodwill for your brand. Remember, social media is the great equalizer. In a world constantly inundated with negative messages, people love to tell — and hear — a good story. Giveaways make for good stories.
- Nothing engages consumers like a giveaway. And engaged consumers are known by another name — repeat buyers.
Here’s my own G2G promo: The first three people who email me at firstname.lastname@example.org will win a free half-hour consultation on social media and how to implement G2G in their companies.
Jim Gilbert has been creating direct marketing programs that drive superior ROI for almost 30 years. Fluent in consumer or B-to-B, creative, operations, and analytics, he marries the strategic and tactical sides of direct and social media marketing in a seamless fashion that gets results. He's CEO of a multidiscipline direct marketing agency, Gilbert Direct Marketing, Inc., which focuses on direct mail, catalogs, DRTV, telemarketing, print, alternative direct marketing media and social media marketing. Jim has been involved in start-ups, expansions and turnarounds, and is an expert in helping multichannel marketers get to the "next level." He's a former adjunct professor, teaching direct marketing at Miami International University, and is President of the Board of Directors of the Florida Direct Marketing Association. Jim loves to talk direct marketing, and has done many lectures on direct and social media marketing.