How to create a buzz and increase social media interaction at your next event...

Let’s face it, when it comes to promotional products at events there are two types. There are the giveaways and the giveaways. You know the difference, the giveaways are the pens, mint cards, keyrings etc. The staple go to promotional products. We love them and they’re incredibly useful (how else are we going to stock the office with pens for the next year? Buy them? We think not). And the giveaways are gifts like the iPads, the gift vouchers and the free holidays. They’re both useful on different levels.

Create a catchy hash tag

Let’s use this method - "hook, line, sinker". The hook is the giveaway - the pens, mint cards, stress items etc. that initially get people interested. The sinker is the big prize that they can win. But how? The line. A competition on social media, with a catchy hashtag, to get people interacting with your company that will get them entered into the great prize draw to win whatever magnificent prize you have chosen.

Once entered into the prize draw it will be a matter of waiting to find out who the winner is. However, during this time it means that they will be receiving your social media posts and getting a feel for who you are, long after the event is over. This extra marketing time gives you a chance to get your brand, and what you’re about, across to your customers.

Now comes the time to think about the hashtag. You need something fun, interactive and yet related to your company. To think of a few great examples of this, we could look at something like #Shareacoke which was Coke’s initiative to get people sharing their experiences on social media. It allowed people to share bottles with their name on it on social media but they also ran competitions such as if you found a bottle with ‘Ryan’ on it you could win the chance to #Shareacoke with Ryan Seacrest. Another brilliant example of a hashtag used for the line is Audi’s #WantAnR8. A competition where you had to explain why you want an Audi R8 with this hashtag to be entered into a draw to win the car of your dreams, free from Audi. The increased social media increase that this gave to the companies is outstanding and completely outweighs any cost the company might have incurred through the prize giveaways.

Our current promotion: #bringhomethebacon

However, these hashtags are already taken. So what could you do for your company? We’ll we’ve had a thought and come up with an example that you could use. If you’re in the business of flying the skies, why not run a promotion with a free holiday giveaway? Start off at your event with the hook - an aeroplane keyring with your brand on it, it’s both relevant and nice enough to keep. Then your line can be getting people to write a post on social media telling you where they would like to go, why they want to go there and who they would take and finish it with #ComeFlyWithMe. Then your sinker, a free holiday for 1 person and their friend to a destination. Oh and if you do run a competition with a free holiday, let us know. We love a free holiday!