By Wesley Gardiner
There are numerous ways for a business to promote itself. You can hire brand ambassadors to represent your company, use data capture staff at events and exhibitions, or you can advertise through leaflets or flyers at busy public locations such as underground stations and shopping centers. These are but a few examples of promotional campaigns for the list is endless. Many companies tend to use the same campaigns over and over again, but they should remember there are other effective and more modern methods of promotion such as embracing the social networking era.
Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Linked-in are some of the most commonly used Web 2.0 tools. They are great for communicating with potential customers, and they can be very effective if used with some creativity in mind.
A couple of statistics to keep in mind regarding social networking sites:
• Facebook has over 800 million users - that's about 11% of the global population.
• Twitter has roughly 175 million users.
• Over the last few years the use of these sites has increased over 80% with the average social networker now spending around 5 hours a day on sites like Facebook and Twitter.
As you can see, you can reach a tremendous number of people via social networking sites, and it can also be a key promotional tool that is very inexpensive to utilize.
How to use social networking sites as a promotional tool? Firstly, you need to build up your followers and fans. For those who are not familiar with sites such as Facebook and Twitter, you can create a page about your business and then put links to this page on your website. People can also search for this page and then "like" it (Facebook) or "Follow" it (Twitter). Once they do this, any posts you make on your page are shown on their news feed in Facebook and Twitter. This is a great way to keep communicating with your potential customers and keep them up to date on new offers, products etc.
So how do we get people to "Like" or "Follow" our page and grow our fan base? One idea is via Facebook using a "Win a Holiday" promotional campaign. You will raise awareness about your business by hiring promotional staff to get as many people as possible to "like" your Facebook. Your new Facebook fans will then have a chance to win a free holiday for two provided by your company.
To win the holiday, people must have their picture taken by the promotional staff holding up a sign with the company's logo. At the end of the day, the company will upload all the photos to their Facebook page and the winner of the free holiday is the photo with the most "likes". To be able to "like" the photo you must become a fan of the Facebook page by "liking" it. This not only gets the photographed person to "like" your Facebook page and become a fan, but they also have to tell all their Facebook friends to "like" the page too. As you can imagine, this can lead to huge numbers of people becoming fans of your Facebook page and now you can keep communicating with them in the future. Moreover, this type of campaign involving sites such as Facebook are more effective than asking customers to go to your website to fill in a competition form etc, as they do not have to leave their social networking sites. It eliminates the hassle of having to open up multiple windows or tabs. Once you have the customer's attention through Facebook, they will most likely follow the links to your businesses website and Twitter pages which will improve traffic and followers respectively. All for the cost of a free holiday!
It could also be argued that the above promotional campaign is cheaper than say printing flyers and also more effective as flyers generally end up on the floor, but your Facebook fans can be communicated with over and over again. If you haven't done so already, get registered on these sites and start using them to increase the profile of your business.
The Management Team at Tidy Models consists of former promotional and hospitality models who have worked with numerous clients but more importantly, numerous other promotional staff. This has given our team great experience in being able to select high quality promotional models to represent businesses.
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