Patrick Whelan

Want to drive more social media engagement? Use print! It sounds counterintuitive, but time after time, both the data and anecdotal evidence tell us it’s true. As proof, look to Skinny Cow, which offers low-fat dairy treats.

Skinny Cow uses print to drive participation in its social media and mobile contests. To engage consumers, the company offers daily giveaways. To participate, consumers must purchase one of the company’s products, such as low-fat cheese or ice cream bars, at a retail location. Then, theytype in the barcode or six-digit game code from the box or wrapper to see if they have won. They can tweet about the contest to gain an additional chance to win.

By printing codes on its product packaging, Skinny Cow drives traffic into its retail stores. Once consumers have provided their mobile numbers to enter the contest, Skinny Cow begins to send them push notifications, as well. Tweeting multiplies the impact of the campaign at no additional cost.

Printing personalized barcodes and game codes on boxes, labels, and wrappers is a simple operation that can be adapted to many different consumer products. Codes can be overprinted or, if printed in small quantities, digitally printed right onto the package.

If you don’t produce the kinds of consumer products that lend themselves to these types of codes, you can drive foot traffic by printing generic codes or “secret URLs” on office, in-store, or even trade show displays, banners, and signage. Change them out frequently to prevent sharing.

Print and mobile/social media don’t have to be competitors. In fact, print may be one of the primary ways consumers find you in a digital world.


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