It seems like every time I check my social media accounts, one of my favorite companies is promoting a “National Day” that falls directly into their industry. 7-11 had their annual “SlurpFree Day” on May 23rd, and Dunkin’ Donuts will be celebrating “National Donut Day” on June 1st by giving away a free donut with the purchase of any drink.
Mind you, I’m not complaining whatsoever; any day I get a free slurpee or donut is a great day in my book. It seems like every month has a day or a week that companies could use to promote their brand and create engagement with fans on the various social media websites. If you’ve never done a promotion like this, it’s understandable how tricky it sounds. It doesn’t have to be, though!
How to start:
It all starts with a little research on which days you could celebrate that would best fit into your industry. I’d recommend HolidayInsights.com, and for a clean and easy-to-read version, Renfro’s School District website. While reading through them, ask yourself, “Does it make sense for me to give out product X on day Y?” If you can make a connection, then it’s a winner and you should go for it! If you’re stretching to make it fit, then move on and continue searching. I promise there’s at least one day out of the year that will work perfectly for your promotion.
Extra Credit: Awareness weeks and months give you an extra-long amount of time for promotion. Maybe instead of doing a one-day, “everything is 50 percent off” sale, you could do a week where everything is 10 or 20 percent off. For a month long promotion, do something unique or offer discounts on specific items every day to give some variety and keep customers coming back throughout the month.
How to promote:
There’s no point in throwing a fun promotion if nobody ever knows about it! You have to promote, promote, PROMOTE your special day/week/month. Depending on how successful you want your promotion to be, put some thought into how early you advertise it. If you start to promote the day before, then you won’t have a good turn-out, but promote as early as possible and you’ll be sure to see people stopping in specifically on that day or week.
Social media is another easy way to promote your awareness day. Create an “Event” on Facebook to remind people and allow them to RSVP. This is a great way to get the word out, because when someone says they’ll attend, it lets all their friends know on their news feed and you could reach people you never would have before. You could also think of a fun and creative hashtag for Twitter that customers could tweet while waiting in line, something that encompasses the day into it (Some examples are #SlurpFreeDay for 7-11 or #DonutDay for Dunkin’ Donuts). Just with the Facebook event, hashtags could put your message in front of new people.
What to do on the day of the promotion:
When the big day arrives, be ready for it! As exciting as it may be to see a line of people out the door and wrapped around your building, the people in that line will not be as excited. Long waits may even detract people passing by to come in, because who wants to wait in a line for something they don’t know anything about? Make sure you have all hands on deck and working, too. The quicker you move people through, the quicker people can get out there and tell their friends and family about your promotion!
During the promotion, try to snap as many pictures as you can of customers, employees, and other goings-on. These pictures create further engagement on your company’s Facebook page! Not only will people who were there get a kick out of seeing themselves and other customers, but people who missed the promotion or decided not to go will make a note to go next year.
Any company can throw a “President’s Day” or a “Memorial Day” sale, but you’re more clever than that. You know that having a “National Chocolate Ice Cream Day” or “Chaos Never Dies Day” is a much better way to attract customers. Or at least now you do, right? Check out those calendars and see which day is the perfect one for you to celebrate!
Amy Swanson is part of the content department at Quality Logo Products. When she’s not writing killer content for giveaway items like promotional tote bags, she’s blogging about business inspiration. She is a marketing nerd and TV enthusiast who cites Parks and Recreation as one of her favorites. But don’t ask her to put in a good word with Ron Swanson – she unfortunately can’t help you there.