Branded merchandise and social media

5th of October 2018 Article by Laura Napper
Branded merchandise and social media

Laura Napper, managing director of Twilight Cleaning and Facilities Management and regular ECJ blogger talks about how branded merchandise and social media can work hand in hand.

In business today, offline and online marketing need to synchronise effortlessly. What your business is saying about itself on the Internet has to be matched with what it's branded as in magazines, leaflets, etc. In this blog, I'll take a look at how branded merchandise can help promote social media and vice versa.

According to a report in January, the German promotional merchandise market exceeded €3.5 billion a year for the first time. "...virtually every large company and 75 per cent of all medium-sized companies in Germany deploy promotional products in their customer communication", according to a German executive. For Europe, companies are expecting to increase spending by five per cent on promotional products, according to the PSI Industry Barometer.

Therefore, it is vital that promotional merchandise remains part of your marketing mix to raise brand awareness. But how can you square this with your social mediabranding? I've listed my six top tips to align the two and grow your brand...

1. Invite your customers to use your branded merchandise (using competitions, for example), take photos, and post on social media. This can be incredibly strong if used correctly.
2. Create a piece of merchandise (for example, a photo frame/jigsaw), linked to a recognisable photo on your social media feed. Ask customers for comments on the same post.
3. Instead of your company details on the branded merchandise, just add your Twitter account, and see what the ROI has been, post-launch.
4. Give your top engagers on your social media account their own limited-edition branded merchandise.
5. Use branded hashtags on merchandise. This makes the person using the merchandise link the physical brand with the online brand.
6. When using videos on your social media, try and showcase some merchandise, you can then send this out to followers.

Have fun and let me know how you get on by tweeting me @tenterdentwcc for this one #Merch or message me on LinkedIn - or suggest some new ideas!

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