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Holidays = Social Media Giveaways
By: Janet Kalandranis
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Want to win something? Check Facebook or Twitter — it's contests, giveaways, promotions galore. Not unexpected, but the truth is in what will last the full month December and what will simply become annoying towards the end. Brands have seen the opportunity and coupled it with relevancy to create a new avenue for customer engagement. And, of course, giveaways won’t make every name entered a brand loyalist, but there will be quite a few that hang on past the holiday season.

Facebook feeds and Tweets this week included the launch of the holiday season of giving, and brands didn’t let this week go by without creating a program to be included in the group. Fashion brands like Rue la la, Lily Pulitzer, and Country Outfitter have been using the holiday season of giving as an excuse to ask customers to take part and interact. It’s a smart brand tactic; people are in the spirit of participating, in the spirit of giving, and ultimately allow a little more leeway on what they think is acceptable. So a lame giveaway or contest may have been deleted or ignored by a customer in March, but somehow in December this little strategy works.

And brands are being strategic about their giveaways. It’s not an “empty out the stockroom” type of contest, but one that will ultimately benefit the brand in the end. Some brands are asking for content — send a video, describe your favorite, tell us how you use. And other brands are using giveaways as a way to promote new products or those they wish customers to purchase during the holiday season. Bodum has its 12 days of giveaways, all including products that would be perfect for almost anyone on the holiday gift list.

There’s no guarantee of success with a giveaway or a freebie because it truthfully has the potential for disaster written all over it. But if there’s a strategy behind the program, combined with relevant timing and a specific purpose, there’s a better chance the brand will gain something at the end. It might not be big, but it might be additional followers, new email addresses, or potentially increased sales. However, brands definitely cannot simply empty out the stock closet and assume success. Customers are smarter than that — plus, it’s the holidays. Be nice.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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