It’s beginning to look at a lot like…fourth quarter in the toy business, which means it’s GO TIME. All hands-on deck.
Our industry had to get really flexible and do things radically different the last two years, but then as now, promoting holiday gifts in the media and social media are very important and can make or break your season.
Whether you’re a retailer or a manufacturer, everyone can participate with media and social media. Here are some tips I’ve utilized over the past 28 years of running a toy and game public relations firm:
- Stores can call, email or fax local media and invite them to come to the store to see your Top 10 Gift ideas, or some or all of the ASTRA Best for Kids award winners if you have them. Or offer to come to the TV studio or newsroom with a bin full of toys to show. Either way, have notecards handy with the name of the toy or game, price, and why you love it.
- Vendors can send out a press release about their best-selling toys or games to media and offer to send a sample for review.
- Show the fun of toys and games on social media. It’s recommended to post at least twice a week, and as you start to collect content from influencers with their reviews, include User Generated Content (UGC) on about one-third of your posts or content.
- Vendors who sell certain toys to retailers they want to curate can tag the retailer’s social channels when they post, to help bring attention to the store and the toy’s presence in their store.
- Vendors, this isn’t the time to quibble about sending free samples for media and social media reviews. It’s the minimum of what’s needed, expected, and required. Many big vendors pay large cash fees plus free product – that’s the environment.
- Retailers can invite influencers to come to their store and shop with a gift card so they can write about their experience shopping in a small store.
- Get your feet wet with Halloween promotions, then lead into Neighborhood Toy Store Month.
- If you reshare content on social media, make sure to tag the source (reviewer) and thank them in your caption.
- If you’re on TikTok, try getting more active on it. If you’re not on it, set up a channel, familiarize yourself now before things get crazy, and try posting there regularly. We’ve seen clients get over 1 million views of posts that “went viral” and it can be very meaningful to your business.
This holiday season should be relatively back to normal, and that means it should be for media and social media too. Here’s hoping everyone has a gangbusters season! ∆
Toy Times Magazine, October 2022 — THE MAGAZINE OF THE AMERICAN SPECIALTY TOY RETAILING ASSOCIATION