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How to Use Social Media to Get Your SWAG Game Right

Frank Jackson, 03/09/2016,

The world of SWAG and the world of Social Media have one major thing in common:

– the subtle art of SELF-PROMOTION!

When ordering promotional products for one of your events, always think about how you can incorporate the greater good – making your SWAG social media worthy. Thinking this way will compound your Marketing and PR efforts. Your challenge is to brainstorm ways your social media channels can scratch your SWAG’s back, and vice-versa.

Get Creative

Social Media Followers

Whether it’s a Twitter scavenger hunt or a Facebook photo contest, be innovative with your next social media promotion. Start by following these tips:

  • Announce contests taking place around the event
  • Create custom designed social profile branding
  • Create a link between the social profile and the event webpage with visuals and a hashtag
  • Do something that surprises people and breaks expectations
  • Use humor
  • Stir up curiosity by giving people hints, but not the answer to what is coming

Your goal should be to provide incentives for people to spread the word about your booth, so make sure to take advantage of any momentum and follow up!

Social Media Chatter


Tony Hawk has been running his Tony Hawk Twitter Hunt annually since April 2009. Hawk and his team stash boxes of Tony Hawk swag in different locations around the world, and then tweet pictures of the locations. When one of Hawk’s 2 million+ followers finds it, they tweet a picture of them with their new gear – even more promotion for Tony!

Target had an innovative approach. They invited bloggers to a Beverly Hills estate, where they collected products from four theme stations where beauty concierges gave out personalized consultations based on their skin types. While this happened, guests posted to social media, and the attendees with the most online traction for a single post at the end received a gift bag filled with the whole skincare collection.

W Chicago City Center hosted a Valentine’s Day event for bloggers and other media. In line with the holiday theme, the bartenders created personalized love potions at the bar, after inquiring about their cocktail preferences. They also wrote down the recipe, and sent guests home with jars of their own potions printed with risque labels. As you might guess, attendees jumped at the opportunity to share these on their own social media profiles.

Know How to Listen

Setting up queries via a social-listening tool to monitor conversation around your event will help you understand in a concise, smart way, what your attendees liked and disliked. It will show who was the most vocal, who was the most influential, what was the demographic split of those tweeting about your event, and much more.

By using social media channels to engage and attract feedback, you are making sure you keep the conversation going. Always respond and give people the validation that their effort was worth their time. Then, think about what guerrilla tactic you’ll use at the next show.

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