Creating a Successful Social Media Giveaway Contest

To get new and repeat customers, giving away free samples of your merchandise in social media is a powerful and hard to resist marketing strategy.

Giveaway marketing in social media involves distribution of free samples or services with the aim of promoting your business. It is a powerful strategy that pays back in a torrent of new and repeat customers. It works on a very simple principle. Psychologically, people cannot resist the lure of receiving something for free. It is a powerful drive and the king of the words in marketing strategy even today, no matter how worn out it may sound. The effect it has on people is more than hypnotic.

Social Media is a great place for conversation about your product.
Social Media is a great place for conversation about your product.




How it Works

Giveaway marketing works in two ways. One, prospects who get the chance to test your merchandise or service for free have a chance to compare it to the competition, and eventually continue purchasing it. Two, the prospects feel the psychological obligation to return the favor, by continuing to use your products or services.

The Role of Social Media

The expansion of social networks made possible for businesses to operate their own contents, marketing through affiliates and giveaways which in return can provide a great link building base for SEO, create social engagement and increase traffic. Social network giveaways increases brand awareness, providing constant sharing on social hubs like Facebook and Twitter.

Determining the Scope

The first thing before establishing a giveaways contest is to determine the goal of the giveaway. Whether it’s aimed to increase social engagement to your business’s Facebook or Twitter page, or its purpose is link building machine, the goal should determine the type of contest and entries that will be used. Simultaneously, this is the point where the budget of the contest is determined.

Fly the Rafflecopter!

One of the best ways to launch a giveaway contest for your business is Rafflecopter. It’s compatible with Facebook and it’s free. It creates widgets that you can easily embed into your site or blog. It is comprehensive, so that using one giveaway you can achieve different objectives, as it gives the ability to create multiple entries. If you add the Rafflecopter widget to a permanent page on your site, the links and publicity generated to that page will remain once the contest is over and the widget removed. It also allows easy sharing on Facebook, as it automatically creates a Facebook app with a widget.

Importance of Emails

Don’t forget your email subscribers. It’s a good gateway for expanding the fan base. On the other hand, it gives the customers ability to keep up with your brand. Reaching out to your current customers and subscribers gives you an opportunity to “seed” the giveaway with existing fans.  Additionally, this gives your customers an opportunity to engage with your brand.

Decide What to Give Away

It usually boils down to these three rules: the items have to be cost effective, they must be intriguing and the most importantly, they must be branded. People carrying them around are instantly turned into walking ads in an obvious but non-aggressive way. Stress balls are an ideal giveaway item. They are useful, inexpensive and everybody likes them. In addition, they are effective for any trade or industry and come in all shapes or sizes.

How it is Done Right

Among the franchises who have taken the giveaway approach seriously are Corona and Tony Hawk. Corona’s “Most Liked” campaign was based on liking their Corona Light Facebook page. The luckywinner had the opportunity to have their picture displayed on a billboard in Times Square. Tony Hawk’s contest, on the other hand consisted of a series of stashes containing the giveaway items, and their location pictures posted on Twitter. The point was when one of their 2 million+ followers finds it, to tweet a picture of themselves with their giveaway loot, further boosting the marketing engine.

image by Khalid Albaih on Flickr

 

Tips on How to Start a Beer Brewing Company

If you know how to make beer and want some tips on how to start your own brewing company, you need equipment, supplies, and a market to sell your beer.

So, you have decided to pursue each man’s dream, and to start your own company for beer production? If, by any chance, you have sufficient knowledge about how to make beer, then there is only the matter of equipment to solve, and you are good to go. But, on the other hand, if you lack the skills and the guideline, or you simply want to go through all of the items required in order to be a successful brewer, then feel free to take a closer look at these tips and directions, in order to be the best there is.

a mug of beer
Many love beer. If you know how to make beer, you may want to start a beer brewing company.

Money and Space

First thing required, is of course, the space where your brewery will be situated. It should be on a dry place, with the constant temperature, for the large scale changes can spoil the taste and quality of beer. If by any chance, you own spacey and dry cellar, this would be an excellent place for your new dream factory. With a nearly constant temperature, humidity and light, you can plan on whether to install heating system or not. In addition, for being in house you already own, the money you would usually spend on rent can be invested in a better way; for buying more quality equipment, for example.

On the other hand, if you live in an apartment or a flat, consider taking on hire medium sized hall. Higher costs of rent can be avoided by taking it for half of a year, with the possibility to pay in installments. Although this kind of payment can require a significant amount of money at the start, it will pay off in a several months. Also, when it comes to equipment, if you can afford it, buy the best available at the market. If not, there are a lot of second-hand sales to go through, and in addition, you may get a word of advice from the people selling it.

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Brand

Don’t expect to be worldwide known brewery during the night. One of the most important things in this kind of job is tradition. All of the large manufacturers have tradition that goes back for several centuries. In order to be successful, you need to find a market, and there is no better place to start than your favorite pub or a bar. Ask the owner if he is willing to sell a few caskets on a promotional night. In return, you may provide him with low price, or even giving him a smaller amount for free, depending on the quality of your beer. Also, the package of your beer should be recognizable and as simpler as possible.

The beer bottle itself should be made out of glass, for it preserves taste better than any other material. In addition, it can be easily obtained, even grinded and recycled for repeated usage. As for the brand, don’t spare money to trademark everything. Literally, on whatever you can, put a trademark. Maybe not immediately, but in a beer brewing niche sooner or later having a protected design to which you can turn to, is beneficial. Also, by seeing trademark sign, your brand will have stronger impact on the consumers, for you will be seen as a serious factory immediately. Be aware though, that any downfall or drop in quality can harm your image, so try to judge when is the right time to protect your brand. We recommend that first build up your quality, and then seal it with the trademark.

So, with everything said taken into consideration, careful planning is required. Mingle among people which are in this type of business for a longer period, and ask for an advice. General image about them is that they are open to cooperation, and who knows, maybe you will find a future partner or a coworker?

 

 

beer image by Wikimedia Commons

Spice up Your Party with Photo Booth

A photo booth rental will give you and your party guests high resolution, quality prints on high quality paper to remember the moments of your party.

You will remember a photo booth rental from the fun moments, funny jokes you only remember in days after the party, your own face expressions along with nostalgia, all as a print on a piece of paper. High quality prints done instantly in high resolution, on high quality paper, to be more precise. Wide angle lenses in soft portrait lighting system snap pictures of up to eight adult people, anywhere you wanted it to be placed, be it lobbies, big rooms, small rooms, halls, backyards, stairways, elevator lifts even.

Photo Booths are available for hire for your special occasion.
Photo Booths are available for hire for your special occasion.




You will be crazy about the look of the high quality prints done instantly in plush looking booths exceptionally, hosted by our professionally trained hosts, all night long.

Absolutely no distorted head shots. No harsh flashes, no passport style images with blurry colors and smudges on the lens. Just you, a couple close friends, your facial expressions set, and click. Anyone who cares about the look of them and their friends in pictures knows what I’m talking about and how important it is.

 You will see no mechanics coming to set the machine up or anyone coming to fix nothing that broke down, since nothing will break down, for the whole night, guaranteed by our servicemen that set the whole thing up in advance for the evening. You pay no lay time and any venue will be served with the best photography experience possible. From the day you order, to the day you receive the pictures in the mail our main focus is to keep you satisfied with the professionalism and experience our impeccable workers have to offer.

Choose between color [including a printed background in the offer] and black&white imagery, curtain background color and everything you could need to make the photos look as personal and nice as you need them to look, for years to come, in one [or all] chosen print formats, of twelve you have to choose from, for you to share them with people you want to show your good times to.

These photo booths come with professional on-site hosts, included with every hire, who will be servicing the photo booth guest books, explaining how anything and everything about this service works to the guests and even cleaning lens smudges and keeping the whole machine clean.

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Glow Party Supplies

Author: Sophie is big fan of photography and decoration. Love to share her tips&tricks and keep serching for new inspirational ideas.

Photo Booth image by AFSB

 

Feng Shui Tips for a Perfect Bedroom

Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese interior design method in achieving energy flow, peace and harmony by the arrangement of furniture in your living space.

Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese interior design technique. The main goal of this technique is achieving harmony and peace of mind by arranging furniture items in your living space so that they ensure the free energy flow. As a consequence (or benefit), people inhabiting that particular space will be charged with the positive energy that has been produced by and reached through the Feng Shui technique. By applying this technique, you are going to achieve a balance and calm in your bedroom. When reaching that state, you will be able to function without stress (or at least under less stress) and your sexual life will be improved, too.

bedroom with illustration of air flow
Feng Shui is an interior design for the free flow of energy.

According to this technique, the bedroom needs to be filled with fresh air as much as possible. To make that possible, you should get rid of unnecessary things from your bedroom. Feng Shui generally recommends lessening the amount of things and items in your home. If there are a lot of things, energy will be wasted on them and your space is going to be inefficient in terms of energy. To ensure that the air flows freely through your bedroom, you should buy or get thin, relaxing curtains.

Also, the window(s) of your bedroom should be opened as much as possible, even in winter. Apart from that, do not go for large carpets in the bedroom. They accumulate negative energy and dirt, which then affects the energy balance of the whole bedroom and people sleeping in it. Instead of thick carpets, ordinary or shaggy rugs could serve as a fine alternative. They are easily cleaned and removed, more importantly, and they do not stop the air flow in the bedroom.

Appliance and Gadget-Free Bedroom

To make your bedroom completely fengshuish, you should leave all the appliances and gadgets in another part of your home. TV sets and mobiles emit radiation which affects the positive energy reached through the free air flow in the bedroom. It is not also radiation that harms the surrounding space, but also the role of technical devices in the bedroom. If you want to practice Feng Shui, it means that you need to devote yourself completely to it. Also, if there is another person with you in the bedroom, the more newly created positive energy you share, the more you will feel. Complete commitment to your partner and the energy field of the bedroom should be mutually exclusive with appliances and gadgets. However, music can actually enrich the sensation, so a CD player is allowed.

Colors in Feng Shui bedroom

This technique promotes only human skin-like colors for the bedroom. These colors have a soothing effect on human eye and brain, as well. Applying these colors will only add to overall tranquility of the room and it will also amount to the general energy level in the room. Shades of these colors can be used in different parts of the bedroom. For instance, if the wall is beige, the rug can be light brown. Through different colors, you can make a real visual palette that could symbolize the color variety and beauty of various peoples and races in the world.

Solar Water Heating, a Family Friendly Home Improvement

An affordable and efficient way of making your home heating system more efficient to reduce your heating bill is by installing the solar water heating.

Living in the climate in which you do not need any heating is the most efficient and least expensive way of dealing with the heating system and all the problems it carries along. However, if you are not that privileged and you must think every winter about your heating bills and alternative ways of heating, then you need do think through all the possible options of reducing the consumption and price of heating.

Put all the figures on the paper and see if your energy expenditure requires solar panels in the first place.
Put all the figures on the paper and see if your energy expenditure requires solar panels in the first place.

If you live in a town or a city, the heating system you are attached onto is usually the central heating system, where each building and its flats are equipped with radiators and that way receive the energy for heating. Long-distance heating systems have proven to be the most practical option for those who live in buildings of blocks of flats. Having a flat in a block of flats usually means that it is not the most practical way installing solar water heaters there, because blocks of flats are usually isolated from the sun and they do not get enough sunlight. However, living in a house is completely different. Houses are usually situated in clearer areas and they get more energy from the sun.

One of the most affordable and efficient ways of making your home heating system more efficient is by installing the solar water heating. The water that we use when having a bath or washing up is usually heated in an electric water heater. Those water heaters are connected to the circuit system and they also spend energy, this time electric energy for making the cold water warm or hot. Installing solar panels onto the house roof and connect the solar water heating system with the electric circuit is a practical and affordable option for reducing your electric energy bills.

The solar heating panels use only the energy that comes directly from the sun and they can help you reduce the overall monthly cost of heating in general. The panels are connected with the water supplying system and their pumps send the water from the tank that is placed under the roof to the tubes on the roof when they are alerted by electric sensors that the sun rays are strong enough to start heating the water, which is then, when enough heated, sent into the regular electric water heater. On the other hand, when the weather is cold and there is a possibility that the tubes will freeze down, the water is retreated from the roof panels to the water storage tank in the house.

This hot water system represents a little bit more expensive initial investment, since the normal panels that require professional installation do cost between 4,000 and 8,000 dollars, depending on the size of the panels you want to install. Before making the final decision, it is a wise thing that you call professional solar installers who understand the whole process and who have enough experience with it to come to your place and estimate where you should put your solar panels and how much it will cost you.

Put all the figures on the paper and see if your energy expenditure requires solar panels in the first place. If you are a single pensioner or a 24/7 office worker, then it is not the most urgent investment in your life. On the other hand, if you have a family and several children, it might get quite messy when it comes to shower and bath issues. In that case, solar water heating panels will be perfect for your house. If it happens that the water from the roof panels is not heated enough, it can be additionally heated in the traditional electric-heater manner. Every solar water tank has the plug in for the electric circuit, which can provide the additional energy.

DIY Solar Power Made Easy

Five Ways to Make Your Home Safer

Home safety is more than equipping your home with safety equipment like fire extinguishers. You also should drill your household with safety procedures.

How safe is your home? Home safety precaution measures like installing smoke detectors, getting non-skid mats or even handrails tend to keep everyone safe.  However, by only equipping your house with means to keep it safe does not mean you are prepared as well.

Safety should be a priority for the family in the household.
Safety should be a priority for the family in the household.

As they say, practice makes perfect.  You should practice safety procedures, just in case. Simple safety routines can mean the difference and they are not hard to practice. On the bright side, you can also make them into family games, just to make it fun. To freshen up your knowledge go over these five easy tips.

Fire hazard evasion

If you have smoke detectors, do not only use them as decoration, test them regularly to see if they are working, they just might save your life one day. Practice fire drills with your family, so that every household member knows exactly what to do and how to help the others. Buy smaller fire extinguishers that can be left around places that are most likely to cause fire hazards, and of course teach everyone in the house how to use one.

Cleanliness means safety

Keep poisonous chemicals out of children’s reach as well as all other sharp objects. If you had to call pest control, did you clean your house thoroughly enough for children to be safe? Remember, kids like to touch and taste everything, and to make sure they will have a safe house to play in, call cleaning services once a year. They will make sure that your house is as clean as a whistle.

Identify hazard causes

Make sure that all parts of your house are hazard free, by identifying where family members can trip or fall you can install safety measures to counter it. Keeping a clutter free house lessens the chances of someone having an accident, also remember to teach everyone in the house why clutter is bad. Pay special attention to staircases as they need the most care if you want to ensure everyone is safe.

Sharp tools and corners

Try to make corners of furniture padded so that your little tuckers can play around freely. Also, remember proper kitchen etiquette; knives and sharp tools or chemicals go to places where children cannot reach them, even if they tried. Hold house meetings regularly where you can discuss proper safety procedures for the kitchen.

Water safety

Come up with practices that will keep your family safe from dangerous water related accidents. A tub can be fun to play in, but what happens if no one is around to help you if you get underwater for too long? To evade situations where your family could get hurt, make sure there is always someone around to help each other. And if you have a pool, gates to the backyard are a must.

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KidSafe Home Safety Products

water safety image by Wikimedia Commons

Men’s Beauty- Dealing With Hair Loss

There are medical and surgical procedures to stop male pattern baldness, the most common cause of hair loss. You may even grow some lost hair.

Every man’s worse nightmare is male pattern baldness, the most common cause of hair loss. Going bald is something that men cannot control and is heavily stigmatized in society, although nowadays there is less negative stigma surrounding it. And, a lot of men are deciding to pick up the razor and have shaved heads by choice. Ultimately though, for men it is tough to deal with hair loss in general.

There is no cure for male pattern baldness, but the process can be reduced.
There is no cure for male pattern baldness, but the process can be reduced.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for male pattern baldness, it is something that men have to deal and live it. For now, we cannot change genetics, because it is hereditary. No need to be sad though because there are a lot of medical and surgical procedures which can help you not only reduce baldness but even help you regrow some of the lost hair.

Propecia or Proscar

This is a drug that prevents the buildup and body’s conversion of dihydrotestosterone, a hormone which is partly responsible for male pattern baldness. Although this drug does not prevent baldness completely, it does help prevent further hair loss and some surveys have even concluded that miniscule hair re-growth is possible. The bad side is that you will have to take it continuously otherwise the effects will wear off quickly.

Read the label and check with your doctor about Rogaine side effects. Check with your doctor whether it will be safe or not to use this medication. Unfortunately, once you start the medication, there is no stopping or going back, you will have to stick with it if you want to preserve your remaining hair.

Rogaine or minoxidil is a cream that should be applied to the balding patches twice daily, and as long as it is used on a regular basis, chances are that even hair regrowth will appear. It will prevent the further spread of baldness, but unfortunately, it will not cure it. You can get more info about Rogaine hair cream here, and here is a nice review of product.

Hair Plug Transplant

One of the most common surgical procedures is to transplant little pieces of scalp with hair roots to balding spots, and hopefully hair regrowth would start once again. On the good side, it is possible to regrow hair to a certain extent, on the bad side, scarring will be a visible problem and you will be limited to not so short haircuts.

Before any surgical treatment however, make sure to check up on your surgeon as it is crucial to find one that has absolutely clean references. If you can find patients who can testify, that would be the best. Find out more about hair transplant surgery here.

Do Not Hide It

Besides drugs and surgical interventions, one way to fight male pattern baldness is to actually accept and embrace it. Many hairdos can actually work out for you, and even though your hairline is receding you will be able to pull off a sexy look.

One way is to shave your head completely, for some it will work better than the others, but a shaved head is not as terrifying as it sounds. Maybe this is the new look you were looking for.

If you do not like the idea of shaving your head, try the alternative that is cutting your hair really short. The rule of thumb is to cut your hair short enough to expose enough scalp in healthy areas to minimize the balding effect.

Just Wig It

As a last resort, you can always buy a wig that will cover your head. However, be careful not to go overboard. People will notice that you have a head-rug, but as long as you keep it good looking and not something that stands out. Nobody will appreciate a bad wig.

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Back of man’s head plus 4” by Beyond My Ken – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons