Monday, 17 February 2014

Random Act of Kindness Day: marketing tips for Staffordshire businesses

It brings me great joy (and also a great boost to my ego) to tell you that today is Random Act of Kindness Day 2014.  Why is that? Well, because it’s also my birthday and in my opinion, the national day of awareness couldn’t have found a better date. 

By Ashleigh McLeod

Unfortunately, today is not a bank holiday but rather a day where the nation is challenged to do something kind for no reason at all.

As we all know, Staffordshire is the creative county and, on that basis, we have absolutely every reason to get involved. Here are my top tips on how Staffordshire businesses can use today as an effective marketing tool:

1. Social media
Social media is a great opportunity to get in the spotlight today. If #RandomActofKindnessDay isn’t trending by the time you’ve read this, then make it happen. Hashtagging popular terms on Twitter is a brilliant way to draw positive attention to yourself.

A West Midlands bus company that operates throughout Staffordshire held a very successful social media campaign on Twitter recently. They offered anyone who tweeted them, whether negative or positive, a free £10 LoveToShop voucher in the run up to the day of significance. The transport company, which usually gets a lot of negative attention on social media, let every user know that it was for Random Act of Kindness Day and successfully managed to turn its followers into screaming fans.

If only they’d hashtagged and prepared the campaign for today, it would have been perfect. Maybe they have something else in store – we’ll see.

2. Make the most of your Corporate Social Responsibility budget 
There are lots of charities based in Staffordshire such as Beacon4Blind, birth defect charity Newlife and life-limiting condition charity, the Katherine House Hospice. All of which are very friendly and easy to work with.

Local media love charity work, especially if it were to come from a business on The Sentinel’s top 100 companies in Staffordshire list. CSR can put a personal face to business and we all know how impressive press cuttings can be in sales meetings.

3. Blog, blog, blog!
According to Social Media Today, studies show that businesses that blog regularly are more than two times as likely to generate leads via their website as businesses that don’t. Chances are that both consumers and businesses are going to be looking around at what others are doing today, which makes Google a hot source of content.

Whatever you do, make sure you blog about it or hire a PR agency to do it for you! Be sure to include title tags, labels and search descriptions, which are all great for SEO.

4. Just picking up the phone
Let’s just go back to basics for five minutes today and just pick up the phone. The fact that it’s Random Act of Kindness Day gives you the excuse to call a new business prospect, simply because you want to see how their day is going and offer them any help they might need.

If you target consumers, picking up the phone might be a little more difficult; I suggest a quick email marketing campaign instead. Perhaps, you could send a funny image and include a subtle link to your website. ‘Something to make you smile today’ is a perfect subject line for this.

Don’t forget, you can also get into the spirit of things by simply being kind. Do something for someone who needs help. Life isn’t all about marketing after all.

And, if you’re feeling extra kind today, take a moment to remember that some of us have birthdays today. These people have a particular preference for chocolate and shoes and can be found at @ashleighmcleod2. That’s what I heard anyway…

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