Small businesses are always looking for ways to engage their customers by putting promotional postcards in shopping bags, handing out pens and pencils with their logos on them, or asking customers to fill out a brief survey following their visit.
When you get it right, your customers will take action. When you get it wrong, those takeaways will wind up in the nearest garbage can or recycling bin, you’ll be out a buck or two for the cost of producing them, and you’ll miss the opportunity to create a dialogue with your customers.
So how can you use your promotional materials to drive social engagement?
Provide value-added tips or information. When you’re giving out postcards to grow your social media following, you have to give them a reason to actually take the postcard home, fire up their iPad2 or laptop, and go to your Facebook page.
For that to happen, they either have to 1) REALLY love your business or 2) find something on the postcard that makes them want to take it with them.
Depending on your small business, that could be a tasty recipe, a gardening tip, or some random fun activity that would require them to visit you online.
Make it super easy for your customers to engage. Think of all of those pens and pencils you have in that junk drawer in your kitchen. 96% of them have a company name, phone number, and in some cases their physical address.
If you’re trying to drive traffic to your website or your Facebook page, why not include the urls on the pens and pencils along with your logo? You’re already giving them out anyway so you want to make it as easy as possible for your customers to find you.
Include a clear call to action. If you want your customers to visit your website, ask. Entice them by offering a special promotion or discount that’s only available on your site.
Once they’re there, you can use your content, navigation, and calls to action to encourage them to engage—whether that’s signing up for your enewsletter, requesting a free consultation, or liking your Facebook fan page.
Have fun with it. The thing I love most about the postcard pictured above is the folks at Burgatory worked Facebook “likes” into their wording over and over again. They could have just said “Like us on Facebook” and “Follow us on Twitter” but they took it a step further. They created a postcard that mirrors the look and feel of their website, their menu, and their restaurant, creating a unified brand image.
Unscientifically, I also think using the “like” buttons six times has a way of getting into your subconscious mind—especially when you’re in a food coma after downing a Morty’s Steakhouse Burger and a hard milkshake. Yoy. I’ll also talk about why I love their logo in an upcoming post so stay tuned.
If your postcards and pens are going to drive customer engagement, they need to be 1) taken/picked up/grabbed by your customers 2) kept out of their garbage cans and recycling bins for as long as humanly possible.
For that to happen they not only have to look appealing (like something your customers will want to take with them) but they also need to include value-added content (tips and information that will increase the likelihood they’ll hang on to them).
Think about your promotional materials. What tips and tricks have you found worked best? How might you be able to tweak them to drive social engagement?
By: Shawn Graham