If you haven't already done so, now is the time to seek out Christmas gift guide opportunities to have your products featured by blogs and press. Sadly the opportunities won't always find you while you sit there and wait, so it's important to be pro-active!
HOW TO USE TWITTER TO GET YOUR PRODUCTS FEATURED BY PRESS AND BLOGS
1. Use the search term 'Christmas gift guide' in Twitter's search box. No hashtag needed. At the moment bloggers and press are requesting submissions for their gift guides, though in the next few weeks I expect that search term will reveal all the lovely gift guides that have already been produced. So get in quick, and check back as often as possible for new opportunities!
The search will default to a list of the 'top' tweets, and I suggest clicking on the 'live' tab to get the most recent tweets first (EDIT: This tab is now titled 'latest'). You can save the search by using the 'more options' drop down list and selecting 'save this search', as pictured below. Next time you click in the search bar, a list of your saved searches will drop down.
Then contact the blogger/journo via direct message or email with a short, friendly message about your product and why it would fit well with their blog/website/magazine - and see what happens.
Be aware that some blogs may be offering paid showcases, so be sure to research whether or not it's a free opportunity. If you have to pay - is it worth it? Is it a quality, juried gift guide, or just a quick way of making money for the publisher that won't get you much engagement?
Some bloggers will request 'samples' of your work to review - if you're interested in this, be certain their photography and reviews are of a high standard in advance or it could do more damage than good.
2. Use hashtags #journorequest and #prrequest to search for opportunities. Journalists and blog editors tweet requests all year round - some are for small blogs and occasionally well known magazines or tabloid press. I often retweet the best ones on Digibloom twitter account if you haven't the time to weed them out yourself.
When promoting your products via TWITTER posts, these are my recommendations:
- Include an image. Tweets with images receive much higher engagement. If you're auto-posting from Instagram and it shows as a cut off sentence with a link to Instagram and no image - you've wasted an opportunity. Post directly!
- Use one or two hashtags. Think carefully about which hashtags to use - you're using them to further your reach to potential shoppers and people that may feature your products. What hashtags might your target audience be searching? Are your products relevant to any trending topics? Is it Monday and does your product ooze motivation? #Mondaymotivation. You get the idea!
- Include a link to your product.
- Don't make every post about your products. Post about your business by all means, but show sketches, studio space, workshop, packages ready to be posted, what's on your desk, behind the scenes, retweet customer appreciation tweets, and most importantly - be a good listener too. Comment and favourite tweets from others, engage with them, and build relationships.
- Tell your audience what's interesting about your product. The majority of people are tweeting 'my product is perfect for...' or just slapping a link and an image (only really works for MUST-have products!) Use your imagination, tell a story within a few words, be positive, be fun, be cheeky. Describe it, make an emotional connection. What are the benefits? What are the features? Why do we need it in our lives?
Do you have any tips to share regarding getting your products featured in gift guides? Or Twitter tips that work for you? See the comment section? You know what to do!...