Keeping in touch

Holly Daulby, managing director of Honest Communications, speaks to Gift Focus about how to keep customers up to date between trade shows.

Shows and exhibitions are a fantastic opportunity to showcase your product range, show off your new products and brand developments while also having face-to-face interaction with customers and stockists, both old and new. While they can be a time- and budget-consuming activity, shows are undoubtedly worth it. But they are over in a flash and, particularly if it's the only marketing activity you do, they can leave a big gap in your communication with customers. So what else can you do?

Keeping in touch: Image 1 Customer database
GDPR has left customer databases in tatters. However, what it has meant is that the details that remain are those of your most engaged, loyal customers. If they've opted in to hear from you, make sure they do!

It can seem easy to fire off a “one size fits all” email newsletter to customers, but taking some time to filter your list and create segmented versions of a newsletter will soon pay off.

Perhaps a special version for new customers or one for those who have purchased from a certain product line? Customers will appreciate it, and it's less likely to end up in the spam folder!

Get social
Social media provides endless opportunities for direct interaction with customers, but a lot of companies are deterred from that because of time constraints. While outsourcing it can be the solution that frees up your time to focus on other areas, there are some quick hits you can do to maximise your social potential.

To simplify things, we recognise three levels of social media activity. Posting, conversing and listening. Simply posting is the easiest option, and while there is nothing wrong with it, it's not the best use of your time and resources. Using scheduling tools, you can send your posts out for the month in one session and then not have to think about social media until the next month. But where's the social element to that? It's about conversation, not just sending out messages in a one-way avenue – it needs to be a two-way street!

In the conversing stage, you engage with customers and other profiles, share interesting content with your followers (which will build your position of expertise) and keep up to date with relevant topics. Then finally comes listening, which is where the biggest results can be found. Social listening helps you to identify new customers. A bit of research into your customers will tell you the topics they are likely to talk about, and then a quick search will bring up those customers. Engage with them, but don't be too salesy – offer them a solution to their problem, and they'll soon become advocates!

Media relations and influencers
Word of mouth is the ultimate success-maker for any brand. Having someone that you trust recommend something is a key decision-making factor that converts people to customers. While Betty next door is a great advocate and can spread the word to her neighbours, you need to get those with big followings on your side. Enter journalists, bloggers and influencers to help tell everyone how great you are! A PR campaign can help with that, and by working with targeted media and influencers in your sector, you can soon build rapport that will boost your brand's profile. Find out who the big players that you want to be working with are, and have an open an honest conversation about how you can work together for mutual benefit. Or better yet, find a PR agency that already has those connections and relationships, and that knows how best to get results.

Honest Communications is a PR and social media agency with vast experience in the home, garden and lifestyle sector. To discuss how Honest Communications can help raise the profile of your brand, visit or email

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