The sound of jingle bells are drawing closer, and your social media plans for the holidays are all laid out…or are they? If they aren’t don’t panic. You still have time. And if you are wondering if a holiday social media strategy will really have an impact, the short answer is, yes!
The top 500 retailers earned $2.69 billion in 2013 according to Internet Retailer’s Social Media 500 as reported by Business Insider as a result of shoppers clicking through social media. Additionally, a survey conducted by MarketLive asked a 1,000 smartphone users about their online purchasing habits and specifically how social media will influence their online holiday shopping. The findings, 30% of participants had made a purchase because of something they saw on a social media channel. About half of those surveyed said that looking for gift ideas and sharing product reviews on social media networks was important to them.
So, what does this mean? It means whether you sell a product or a service engaging with your customers and potential customers through social media is essential to boosting those holiday sales. But in a time already saturated with advertisements you don’t want to cram more cheesy ads with Santa, reindeer, and elves down your audiences’ throat in hopes of seeming relevant. Instead why not embrace the spirit of the season and give to your customers. Give them content and fun, things that they can use this holiday season. Here are 7 ways you can leverage your social media this holiday season while not bombarding your customers with solely promotional posts.
- If you are really ready to grab the spirit of giving by the reindeer horns, support a charitable cause. Encourage your followers to join you in whatever cause you see fit to help out this holiday season. This can build your brand up as a trustworthy name and a company your customers will be proud to associate with.
- Ask your followers to share their story. Ask them for their favorite holiday traditions or recipes. Encourage them to share holiday tips or about events in their communities that may be a great way to entertain out of town guests.
- For a funnier way, hopefully, to engage, hold a picture caption contest. Is there a funny holiday photo out there that has always tickled your fancy but you just couldn’t find the appropriate words to describe? Let your followers do it for you. It is a great to create engagement, and you may want to even award a small prize such as a gift certificate or 20% off an item or service you offer.
- Delivery countdown. Remind your customers that the holiday season is the busiest for deliveries, and they must order by a certain date to get it on time. It creates excitement and urgency while allowing for some advertising.
- Share your office holiday stories. People want to engage with other people, not just brands. Show your followers you are people by showing them the office decorations and some of the best pictures from your holiday parties or maybe your ugly sweater contest.
- Add some holiday cheer to your profile pictures. Do you have a mascot? Throw a wreath around its neck. No mascot? Add some lights to the perimeter of your profile or cover picture. Though it is a little hackneyed it does show you are no Grinch!
- Stay relevant by watching for trending holiday hashtags. Staying on top of trending topics will help you get in the conversation and more exposure. Also, if you want to think about creating your own hashtag trend check-out these five successful campaigns by Teddy Hunt.
These are some fun and engaging ways to really connect with followers over the holiday season, but remember, like the rest of the year you the end goal is to increase sales. Don’t forget to plan a budget and strategy to most effectively convert those engagements to purchases. Also, measure the success and ROI of your campaigns. This way you will know how many visitors you had to your website, the engagement level of followers, how many new followers you obtained, etc. All this will be helpful information for planning and strategizing for future campaigns.
I’m a mom, a small business owner, and I’m a marketing professional with over a decade helping businesses with their branding and online presence. When I’m not spending time with my family or on my business, I love cooking (and eating), racquetball, yoga, and shopping. My favorite authors are Malcolm Gladwell and Steve Martin. My favorite movies are L.A. Story, Little Mermaid, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and Trainspotting.