Integrating product sampling and social media

We’ve done product sampling for a number of clients, and it’s a very effective way to influence buying behavior for a brand. An Arbitron* study indicates that 2/3 of people will take a free sample when it’s offered – and of those, more than 1/3 will buy that product the same day. More importantly, over 50% of the people who took a product sample plan to buy the product in the future.

But we’ve found that product sampling can be even more effective when we also leverage social media. How can you do the same? Here are a few of the ways we’ve used social media with product sampling to increase trial of the product and ultimately sales.

1. Use social media to notify target audiences about the upcoming sampling event and to create excitement around the event. By using social media before the event, you can increase the number of people who participate in the sampling and increase conversations about the product.

2. When products are being distributed as samples in-store or by street teams, be sure to have the people who are distributing the samples encourage samplers to follow the brand on Facebook, watch its YouTube videos, etc. Having real people suggest becoming a follower of your brand is far more compelling than a sign or symbol on your website.

3. In addition to offering followers free product samples through social media, give followers the opportunity to have free samples sent to their friends and family. Kleenex did this with its “Softness Worth Sharing campaign” with great results. Over a million Kleenex packs were sent on behalf of Kleenex consumers.

4. Ask social media fans if they enjoyed their samples after they’ve received them. This is a good opportunity to make a connection with consumers and learn what they think of the product.

By integrating product sampling with social media before, during and after the sampling event, you can make your product sampling more personal and relevant to consumers. Not only will this give you more opportunities to gather important information about what consumers want and need and how your product fits into that equation but also to create advocates for your brand.
#product sampling #brand #social media

*Arbitron Product Sampling Study, 2008.

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