Learn how to give to get, or… Don’t be stingy, give up the product!


Social media has indelibly changed the way we market and brand our companies forever. To compete in the social “mediasphere” (and in general), companies must give to get (G2G). My definition of G2G is as follows:

“The ability to provide consumers real value, rich information and even parts of a company’s ‘secret sauce’ in exchange for their patronage.”

Perhaps the biggest G2G opportunity your company has is its product. Recently I’ve seen a few really smart companies using their product as a powerful consumer engagement tool. My experience has been that clients who have adopted G2G are having unprecedented success, even in this shaky economy.

Consider trying the following to see if G2G could work for your business:

  1. Run pop-up specials on your social media channels. Request comments in exchange for the opportunity to win product. For example, try this on Twitter: “The first three people to answer X question successfully will win a free widget.”
  2. Ask your customers for videos, pictures and stories documenting their experiences using your products. In return, provide them with free product. A great example comes from Chipotle restaurants. It has a campaign (click here to see) encouraging customers to send in fun pictures of themselves with its product visible for an opportunity to win “free stuff.”

Don’t be stingy here. The more products you give away, the more you draw customers and prospects to your brand.

These are but two examples. The sky is the limit as to what kind of creativity you can come up with. Consider the benefits:

  • Your contests, pictures, videos, etc. go viral and extend your brand’s marketing reach.
  • You create goodwill for your brand. Remember, social media is the great equalizer. In a world constantly inundated with negative messages, people love to tell — and hear — a good story. Giveaways make for good stories.
  • Nothing engages consumers like a giveaway. And engaged consumers are known by another name — repeat buyers.

Here’s my own G2G promo: The first three people who email me at jimdirect@aol.com will win a free half-hour consultation on social media and how to implement G2G in their companies.

Ready, set, go! Good luck!

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2 Responses

  1. Excellent advice Jim. Some people don’t get this concept yet, but the word “freemium” is now becoming more a part of the marketing vocabulary. If you want your efforts to be personally relevant to you prospective customer, this is sure a way to do it. If you want to engage your customers. . .give away the product! It’ll come back to you many times over.

  2. Great post – it is without a doubt a G2G environment in the “social” venues. I think, too, that people like to be asked for their opinion, their advice, their votes … they like to be acknowledged and given the opportunity to participate. A business can give “entertainment” too, it doesn’t have to always be something tangible.

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