Social media marketing is a strategy that’s becoming an imperative tool for businesses worldwide. Your online presence is important, and social media is a part of that. A well cultivated social media page allows you to engage with your customers, build your brand, and drive traffic to your website.
Social media can also help to improve consumer perception, spread awareness about certain issues, and promote responsible consumerism. This applies to reusable bag use.
Including your reusable bags in your social media strategy can be an effective way to encourage reusable bag use while gaining support from customers who prioritize sustainability. Here’s what you need to know about promoting reusable bags in your social marketing strategy and some ideas for effective campaigns.
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Including reusable bags in your SMM strategy is good for business AND the environment
Marketing strategies have found great success in changing behavior. In fact, it’s been so successful that it even has its own term: social marketing (not to be confused with social media marketing). For example, a program in Dallas, Texas, was implemented in order to increase usage of car seats among Hispanic families. After the campaign, car seat usage rose from 19% to 72% within the target audience.
There are a few reasons why experts believe social marketing works, not least of all being the peer pressure that others feel. Humans are social creatures, and when we see others in our community making good choices, we’re more likely to follow.
Beyond helping to normalize reusable bag use in order to encourage sustainable choices, including reusable bags in your social media strategy will help cultivate a larger customer base. Consumers want to support companies that are making sustainable choices. This study showed that 56% of Canadians surveyed actively seek products that avoid plastic, like plastic bags. Showing that your company is committed to the environment by removing single use plastic bags in favor of reusable bags is something that customers will love to see. You’d be remiss to let this opportunity slip by.
Ways to include your reusable bags in your SMM strategy
So, now you know the importance of highlighting your reusable bags in your social media strategy, but what is the best way to do this?
The main keys to social media marketing is through understanding your audience and connecting with them on a more personal level. It’s called “social media” for a reason, and you need to connect with your followers in a different way than you might in other marketing campaigns.
Here are some ideas to connect with your audience, build a solid following, and creatively advertise your reusable bags.
Your peers are some of the biggest pushers of behavioral change. Social media influencers offer a great way to encourage that behavior change. (Lyft provides a great example of using social media influencers as promotion.)
Find a few social media aficionados in your area who have a decent following, and see if they’d be willing to help you promote your reusable bags. Keep in mind that this will be a business negotiation, and some influencers may request a fee or product discount. Send them one of your reusable bags, and ask them to include your reusable bags in one of their posts with a shoutout.
The way to be most effective is to have clear requirements (a minimum number of posts, inclusion of a hashtag, tagging your company in the post, etc.) so that the influencers know what to post. Additionally, you should find influencers who are passionate about sustainability. Influencers who truly believe in what you’re doing will be more motivated to create excellent content.
Encourage user-generated content
User-generated content (or UGC) is a great way to get content out there without having to do much yourself. It has the added benefit of getting your business promoted on multiple channels when you encourage your audience to post about your company themselves.
To encourage UGC, come up with some sort of competition with a prize. Brainstorm a unique hashtag, then ask your followers to post a picture of themselves using their reusable bag under that hashtag. The winner can receive discounts or other prizes, incentivizing them to post fantastic photos.
The benefits of this strategy are threefold: it will encourage followers to bring their reusable bags, raise awareness about your sustainable business practices, and build your social media presence.
Educate your followers (but don’t be condescending)
You can also use social media in order to educate your followers (but don’t be condescending about it because that can turn them off to your message).
Post a picture of someone using your reusable bag (with your company’s logo) with some information about the dangers of single-use plastics and how reusable bags can help. Talk about the importance of reusing the bags in order to encourage your customers to bring their own bags again and again. Include data on how individual choices can have a positive impact when it comes to the environment.
Sometimes, encouraging sustainable choices is simply a matter of letting the public know that there’s an issue. It all starts with education.
Start a challenge
In 2014, The ALS Association started the Ice Bucket Challenge. The premise was simple: you post a video of yourself dumping a bucket of ice over your head, then post it to any social media channel and challenge at least one other friend to participate. The challenge went viral, and celebrities and politicians even joined in. As a result, The ALS Association was able to increase its research funding by 187%.
This isn’t the only challenge to gain traction. Social media challenges abound, whether they’re meant to raise awareness or just for fun. Take advantage of this trend by starting your own challenge.
First, come up with a unique hashtag for people to link and follow. Then, brainstorm a challenge. Some challenge ideas could be
- A photo challenge (have people decorate their reusable bags and post photos)
- A game challenge (see how many bags of groceries they can carry at once)
- A message challenge (ask your followers to write a sign with a hashtag and have them include a reason why they bring their reusable bags)
Including your reusable bags in your social media strategy provides an opportunity to encourage sustainable consumerism, improve consumer perception of your company, and build your online audience. Get creative with your social media strategies, brainstorm new ways to engage your audience, and create a fun platform for people to show off their reusable bags and promote your company.
Looking for some great-looking reusable bags that will shine on social media? Shop Bkbags now.