Promotional Products and Social Media

Recently we’ve received quite a few pictures from our customers of promotional products that we’ve ordered for them in action Whether is was the promotional sound activated wristbands used by a dating app or the custom corn hole board used at a sales conference, we love seeing how a promotional product can go from an idea to it’s in-use execution, and, much like proud parents, we make sure to feature them on our social media sites. This has become one of the newest trends in promotional products, tying them to social media. So for today’s blog post I am breaking down the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of the tentative bond that promotional products and social media are forging.

The Good
Between Facebook now asking us what we’re reading/listening/feeling, Instagram’s ability to document each and every meal, and YouTube fostering a new generation of “haul” videos (videos where the host takes the viewer through what all they bought that day), people have never been more willing to talk and share about their favorite brands and items. Promotional products have never had a better stage to shine on.

Ask recipients to tweet you a picture of their promotional product in use, choose a witty hashtag, and you could be well on your way to Twitter fame. Think of Taco Bell’s #doritoslocostacos campaign, they had everything from pictures of the actual tacos to images of those waiting in line or taking their first bite (more of my odd love affair with Taco Bell’s revamped advertising here). Thank them for being part of your community and always make sure to feature content from your users because it’s a good way to let users know that it’s as much about them as it is you.

Which brings me to my next point: have a little fun showing off a little. Take, for example, the custom corn hole boards I mentioned above. Posted on a social media site, this image conveys the message that even when they are trying to sell you something, this vendor still wants you to enjoy yourself. If even General Electric managed to make themselves more than enjoyable on Pinterest, then we have no excuse!

The Bad
And now comes the fine print. Creating content, making connections, building loyalty – these things take work. Personally, I find the challenge a fun one but like the old mottos go, nothing worth having is ever easy. Luckily for you, our sales team can help you find the perfect promotional product, but you have to figure out the QR code or hashtag.

Sure, there will always be internet trolls and naysayers but you can curtail most of those by choosing a promotional product that lasts and quickly addressing any issues that come up via social media instead of deleting or ranting in response. And even if your online campaign gets sidetracked, hopefully it will be as hilarious as when the internet banded together to send popular rapper to a remote part of Alaska. This particular campaign was a winner on all counts: not only did Listerene Fresh Strips get tons of exposure, the rapper PitBull was able to show himself as a personable artist who is true to his word, and the town of Kodiak Alaska got to have a lot fun.

So, as long as you cover all your bases and prove yourself gracious in the face of the unexpected, the bad can end up being good.

The Ugly
Sometimes, things can go from bad to ugly. If customers are very unhappy with a product, they may take to social media to blast away, and if not handled delicately, the whole ordeal can turn into a social media scandal. To avoid reaching “the ugly” stage, make sure your product and campaign doesn’t cross the line of outrageously funny to outrageously offensive.

The Conclusion
While promotional products may be one of the older forms of advertising, social media is still considered the new contender. With a well planned campaign it can be easy to stand out among the crowd and shine with your chosen promotional product. Have you seen any promotional product/social media campaigns that you considered successful or have you seen ones that crashed and burned? Let us know in the comments. Have you considered showing off your promotional products on your social media sites or starting a campaign based on them?  Are you a fan of hashtag campaigns or QR codes?  I lean towards hashtags myself but have heard many a compelling argument fot the QR code.

As always, I love seeing promotional products in action so please send us some pictures or drop a link in the comments section!

Merchandising Assistant


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