It is hard to believe that the idea of social media was invented less than a decade ago. Facebook was launched in 2004, YouTube was formed in 2005 and even the online marketing powerhouse Twitter was conceptualized in 2006.
Any small business looking to promote a successful brand image must implement an extensive social marketing campaign, but trying to gather Twitter followers and Facebook "likes" can be exhausting. A stagnant online strategy can become a sinkhole for limited funds and stop a start-up enterprise in its tracks. However, marketing managers should stray away from internet promotions and instead focus on the tried-and-true results generated by traditional approaches such as promotional products.
Social media and promotional marketing are about as unrelated as apples and doorknobs. One deals exclusively in the virtual environment of the internet, while the other provides physical objects that are meant to be given out in person as business gifts. But, if the two can be successfully connected, the potential profit margins are incredible. A small business owner should keep the following things in mind when researching a social marketing endeavour.
Integrating social media terminology into everyday products
As with any promotional item, it is generally advisable to select an object that will provide high visibility through a wide variety of functions. These include items such as promotional pens, custom coffee mugs and logo usb drives. There is no target audience for these corporate gifts because nearly everyone can find a use for them, which can be a huge advantage from a branding standpoint. Therefore, these are some of the best items to incorporate creative links to Facebook pages or communication in the form of a Twitter hashtag.
The social messages that are included on everyday promotional products need to be carefully scrutinized to ensure that they remain relevant, because there is no way for a hashtag to be changed once it is emblazoned upon a logo tote bag. For example, the message should avoid commenting on a current event. A company should always strive to remain objective to avoid being associated with potentially offensive news, which could render a promotional product unusable.
Reverse the idea and bring promotional products to social media
Social media thrives on creativity, so a promotional advertising strategy should project an air of ingenuity. While still extraordinarily useful, promotional products that incorporate hashtags are not the only way to bridge the gap between the two marketing strategies.
For instance, corporations could give out free wall calendars to the first fifty people who "like" their Facebook page, or a competition could be organized to see who can post the most creative display of a company's services. Social media contests can generate an online buzz that is extremely valuable, and the more innovative, the better.
Remember - most social media campaigns are free
Companies looking for a cost-effective way to promote their services need not worry about a budget when forming a social media website, because most of these can be created at no cost. This financial freedom can open up space for an investment in effective marketing tools such as promotional products.
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube - there is no telling how long these incredibly useful marketing websites will remain free, so small businesses should jump on the social media bandwagon immediately. Promotional products are a great way to jump-start the solicitation of followers and website traffic, and can result in a significant return on investment.
About The Author: Check out Myron.com and Myron's blog to learn more ways on how you can promote your business and really stand out in the crowd.
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read more: Using Promotional Products To Support A Social Media Marketing Campaign