Awards and recognition are great … but other than putting a smile on your face and a spring in your step, most honors don’t amount to much for a company’s bottom line. Unless you promote it.
If you’ve been recognized by Google as a “favorite place”, now’s the time to start promoting it. And I don’t mean just sticking the decal on your window. There’s more you can do.
How to Promote your Favorite Place status
1.) Okay … yes … put the decal in your window and talk to customers/visitors about it.
2.) Spread the word away from your bricks-and-mortar shop. Consider what Avante Gardens, a florist in Orange County, Calif., has done:
First, owner Cathy Hillen-Rulloda blogged about it, which reaches anyone that follows her blog without visiting the store on a regular basis. It also reaches any industry peers who may read the blog. Don’t just stop with your blog, though; mention it on Facebook, Twitter, or whatever social network you use. Tell the local Chamber of Commerce and invite them to do a story in their next newsletter. Tell the local newspaper.
If you read that blog post, you’ll see a couple other clever things Cathy is doing:
3.) Build a contest around the decal. Like most people, Cathy doesn’t have the right gear to scan the barcode on her decal, so she’s doing a contest:
“I haven’t been able to scan the window decals bar code yet and am offering a free dozen long stem roses arrangement to the first visitor who can read it with an Android or iPhone, so come on down!”
Very smart. But that contest could be over tomorrow. It could be over right now for all I know! So Cathy has a secondary offer in place, too:
“We’re also offering a free gift to anyone who scans the decal between now and January 31.”
Avante Gardens is going to get a good 6-7 weeks of in-store promotion with that decal. That’s even smarter than a contest that might be over in a day or two. But it doesn’t have to be a contest. The main point is…
4.) Get your visitors to interact with the decal. It doesn’t do any good just sticking on your window; make sure people notice it and get to do something with it. Get them to scan it and see what happens. Why? Because when they make a connection with it, word of mouth will take over.
Customers who know about, play with, and have some connection to your Favorite Place decal will tell their friends.
They’ll tell their friends about the chance to win a free gift. They’ll tell their friends about the cool barcode scanner app that they finally got to play with. They’ll tell their friends to go check it out, too. And that’s really what this decal thing is all about — an excuse to create better word-of-mouth marketing for your small business.
So, go promote it.