Companies Are Using YOU to Promote Their Brands

  By Jaden Todd

Have you ever participated in a contest by posting a photo with a hashtag or sharing a post? If your answer is yes, you've helped a company or brand promote their product. Today, companies rely on their consumers to promote for them through likes, comments, posts, and shares. With the rising popularity of having a social media account, advertisements via radio and television are becoming less effective and that quick retweet could spread and potentially gain thousands of impressions. Giveaways are a perfect way to gain attention, the main reason is simple, people love free stuff. The opportunity cost on both the consumer and producer end is well worth it. Companies can afford to give people prizes in exchange for promotion and people are willing to take a second out of their day for the chance to win something they don’t have to pay for, it’s a win-win for everyone.  

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Look at any of your favorite brands, it can be almost certain that they have used this marketing strategy at some point before. A recent contest presented by Zumiez, "Enter to WIN a Welcome House Party in Your Hometown", requires contestants to tag two friends in the comment section of the post, resulting in over 9,000 likes and 700 comments! Journeys, a shoe and accessory company, had a contest in January 2018 that required participants to post a photo on Instagram, wearing one of their brands, and using a specific hashtag. Unlike the Zumiez promotion, Journeys requires the visual of the brands being put out there, which creates even more visibility for the company.     

This technique isn't just common among huge million-dollar companies, smaller businesses use this type of promotion for the sole purpose of people simply knowing who they are. People who still tune into radio stations often come across contests that encourage listeners to call in, participate in trivia, and like/follow/subscribe to their social media.   

With the rise of technology comes new and innovate ways of brand promotion. Twenty years ago, there wasn’t such thing as a Twitter or Instagram hashtag, so companies sought out television advertisements, radio broadcasts, billboards, and newspapers advertisements to get the word out on their products. Now, a simple comment can be your chance to win anything. People born after 2000 don't remember a time without the internet, so this should be a target audience of companies. These are the individuals who use 27 hours of digital media every week. The key to success in the industry today is to utilize the internet, especially with this upcoming generation. The more social media promotions a brand has, the more people they will reach, it's simple facts.

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