Here at Hotcow we believe that the success of a sampling campaign lies in how well you can reach consumers’ heart strings and grow awareness for your brand. Gone are the days when you could just simply hand out free samples and see an increase in sales. In such a competitive world, brands need to work harder than ever to build a connection with consumers and influence purchasing decisions.

There is no denying that social media is a great channel to gain brand exposure. It is also the place to go if you want to reach a massive audience around the world. This is why it is important that your sampling campaign works hand in hand with social media. By giving your consumers a chance to share their experience online, you can reach a broader audience for your sampling activity beyond just those in attendance. Plus, it will also help you to amplify the message, bring footfall to your event and provide content to fuel discussions on social media channels.

In 2012, Ben & Jerry’s decided to incorporate social media into their sampling program and use Twitter as a key channel to promote their ‘Truck Tour’. Throughout the campaign, Ben & Jerry’s Truck would tweet the locations where the free ice cream samples were being given out. People then started to engage with the brand by requesting them to add new locations and tweeting back their sampling experience. Beyond sparking positive conversations on social media, helping to raise awareness for the brand, Ben & Jerry’s also saw their number of fans increase, reaching more than 36,000 followers on Twitter.

Another great example of the integration of social media into sampling was P&G’s Everyday Effect campaign in NYC last year. In a day’s event, the company set up pop-up “experience boxes” for their main brands and distributed more than 50,000 samples to the public. P&G also saw their hashtag #EverydayEffect reach the number two trending topic on Twitter, and followers of @PGEveryday had opportunities to win products. With celebrities involved in the event, P&G earned massive media coverage, which helped to push out their message across world-wide.

If you are thinking about integrating social media into your sampling campaign, these are two successful examples to learn from. However, there are a few things you need to consider before rolling out your campaign:

  • Which social media channels to use?
  • Is the concept of your campaign easy to understand?
  • Is there an incentive to share?
  • How are you going to approach your consumers?

If you choose the right channels and make it easy and interesting for people to share, then you will be able to extend the reach of your sampling activity and engage in meaningful conversations with a larger audience.

Hotcow is experienced in implementing local and nationwide product sampling roadshows and developing clever creative concepts that emotionally engage shoppers and drive them into action. Request our Product Sampling Media Pack, “Turning sampling into customers”.