Jack Cotter, social media expert for Dealerscope and CustomRetailer, helps retailers and manufacturers find the answers to their social media problems.
Follow Jack on Twitter at @JackJCotter
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You may have heard that I recently came into a substantial amount of guacamole. That's right, I won 10 pounds of guacamole on Twitter.
Through good fortune, I stumbled upon a guacamole giveaway from Wholly Guacamole, that's @eatwholly on twitter. It was a simple Twitter retweet giveaway, but it earned their brand at least one lifetime fan.
I've run a number of these for various publications. The company makes up a unique hashtag, and then keeps track of everyone who tweets it. I use a Microsoft Excel spread sheet and type in each name as they come in. Excel auto-completes the name so I know if a name has already been entered. Then I draw a random number and pick the winner.
I didn't think much about it, but tweeted:
"I don't know how a guac giveaway works but I want in. RT @eatwholly: Happy Wednesday! Let's give some guac away today! RT with #WhollyWed"
A few hours later I got the direct message that I won! So I figured maybe Wholly Guacamole would send me a coupon or something. WRONG. They mailed me a 10 pound box with a giant styrofoam cooler filled with icepacks and various types of guacamole and salsa. Super awesome. I'm on my third straight day of burritos and I've barely made a dent in my guac stash.
But as a fellow social media-ite, what impressed me most was the package inside the package. Wholly guacamole put in a personalized hand-written note, avocado stress toy, chip clip, Livestrong style bracelet, recipe card, ideas for presenting your guacamole artistically, and a map of the U.S. which suggests what each state puts guacamole on.
I hadn't felt any particular loyalty to a specific brand of guacamole before this. In fact, I love guac, but couldn't even name another brand. But Wholly Guacamole is now my guac of choice. Plus I keep going around to everyone I know and saying, "so I won 10 pounds of guac on Twitter the other day." I'd say this giveaway was a roaring success for Wholly Guacamole.
And I realized that in my own giveaways I've missed a huge opportunity to generate brand loyalty by not including personalized messages in the package. I've pretty much just sent the product, and maybe typed out a form letter with the person's name at the top. While we don't have to go all out with printed maps, brochures and swag, I'll be using that handwritten note idea from now on.
So lesson learned for me. Social media from a brand perspective is all about making people feel a personal connection. I know this, and it doesn't need to take a huge effort to make a big impression.
The next time I send out a prize package, if the personalized note looks like it was written in green ink, I probably finger-painted it with guacamole. In case you haven't heard, I have a little extra guac these days.