Social Media and Corporate Gifting
by Jennifer Maggiore, Founder & CEO, red balloon social media
Did you know that more than 2 billion people use social media in some form? That’s a lot of people talking to each other, and most will never meet in person. red balloon social media is always looking for new and meaningful was to help our clients reinforce those virtual relationships with their audiences, whether B2B or B2C.
If you’ve worked with us, you’re no stranger to my love for gifting, and letting our clients, prospects and influencers know just how appreciated and important they are to us. Gifting also helps us to reach out and make a virtual relationship feel more authentic and tangible by bringing goodwill into the real world.
In March, I attended the Circular Summit conference for women entrepreneurs in Houston, TX, and had the privilege of meeting a woman after my own heart, Katy Aucoin, founder of gifting app dearduck. If social media and a highly tasteful gift curator had a baby, you’d get dearduck – the app makes it easy to invite your friend and family, reminds of you upcoming gift giving occasions, and lets users create a personalize list with thousands of lovely items at different price points in a number of categories, including apothecary, beauty products, tasty treats and accessories. Users can customize the gifting suggestions by providing as much detail as they like, including favorite flavors and scents, and preferences for vegan or organic products, and more.
I recently spoke with Katy about her inspiration for the app, and how corporate gifting and social media can work together, enjoy!
Conversation with Katy Aucoin, Founder of dearduck
KA: If you’re one of the few marketing leaders who feel like they have their social media under control (more or less), you might still be feeling like something is missing.
JM: So true, I often feel that way – many of the relationships we develop with clients, and on behalf of clients, can feel so intangible, and can take longer to develop. That’s why we love sending tangible gifts, but it can be tough to find something personal.
KA: You know how sometimes when you spend a ton of time figuring out a gift, it still doesn’t hit the mark? That’s because it’s pretty much impossible to find the perfect present for someone without knowing what he or she wants. And yet, asking—not to mention telling—can be totally awkward.
So dearduck gets to know you and the people in your circle to take the guesswork out of gifting. We observe. We listen. We curate. We do all the research and heavy lifting so that you can be the heroic gift-giver you’ve always wanted to be. And the insight we provide—we know so that you don’t have to ask or tell—transforms the whole gifting experience from, you guessed it, waaah to woohoo!
JM: Why do you think gifting is important? Do you think this is inspired by an older, traditional frame of mind, or do you think it’s become more important to give great gifts today?
KA: As human beings, we’ve been exchanging gifts for a loooong time. It’s a basic human need touching on all the things we love: celebration, recognition, sharing. When gifting is effective it is proven to strengthen relationships. The New York Times summed it up nicely: “some researchers believe that evolutionary forces may have favored gift giving.” In other words, even thousands of years back, your generosity and social acumen were a factor in plain old survival.
JM: And that certainly holds true today, maybe even truer when you can’t be in front of someone face to face when developing a business relationship. What benefits do thoughtful gifts provide in a business setting?
KA: When building a business relationship you are building a deep level of respect and trust in one another. It is important to show you understand that person. When you choose the right gift – even down to the right scent of candle, the right type of chocolate – that connection is strengthened and a layer of trust is built. That person instantly feels understood thus deepening the connection. In contrast, when that mark is missed the opposite happens. The relationship takes a step back and the point of the exchange has failed.
Each person has totally different consumer DNA – made up of tiny little preferences. There is no one gift that is the right gift for everyone. People often send the same gift to all clients, colleagues and employees because there is no way to find the right gift (without being TOO personal) for each person.
JM: What are the gifting trends business people should be capitalizing on?
KA: dearduck of course :)! On a serious note…With today’s technology people expect hyperpersonalization which is where dearduck comes in. We allow businesses to connect with their clients in a way they are unable to (efficiently) do today.
We also see gifting going way beyond traditional holidays and birthdays. People are giving gifts that are driven by emotion, which has a much higher impact on the relationship. These are more frequent and less expensive than traditional gifts but tend to connect people in an amazing way. These are exchanged for things like congrats, thinking of you, perk up on a Monday!
JM: I love that you also prompt gift giving for fun events like Cinco De Mayo and the Kentucky Derby – I think especially in the corporate world, it makes us more memorable when we have fun with gifting. Any last thoughts on how social media and corporate gifting work together? For example, I love sharing a photo of hundreds of little packages going in the mail – people who aren’t our clients or influencer-partners get VERY curious about what it’s like to work with us 🙂
KA: And, on the other hand, it’s also a natural human behavior to share your gifting experiences, especially through social media. How many times have you either posted or seen someone post something along the lines of…”LOVING my necklace from @susie!” on soical media? This is another way to reinforce the relationship, which strengthens it even after the gift was exchanged.
Companies In The Giving Spirit
According to Incentive, businesses spent 27.4 percent of their budget on corporate gifts in 2016, an increase from 20.6 percent from 2015. Additionally, companies are gifting more frequently and for more occasions than previous years. Why the increase? As the economy is improving, companies have more financial freedom to show appreciation on the corporate level.
We also know that companies are now reliant on social media. Companies are devoting entire lines of their budgets to social media, which involves connecting with new clients and customers. In order to seal the deal with clients sourced online, smart companies will increasingly look for ways to marry social media and gifting. This is where red balloon social media fits in, and why we like using apps like dearduck.
Looking for new and creative ways to reach prospects and strengthen relationships? Contact us today for your complimentary consultation. Looking forward to sending a gift your way soon!