The holidays will be here soon. With just 26 days between Black Friday and Christmas and an announced 15.5% growth in in-game ecommerce sales, retailers should take advantage of every marketing opportunity.
Social networks are one of those opportunities. It can help expand brand reach, build awareness of promotional efforts, support overall sales activity, and do it at minimal cost to the merchant.
With that in mind, here are 10 social media marketing tips you can use this holiday season.
1. Use social media as a layer, not a channel
Don’t think of social media as an individual channel, but as a layer overlying other marketing activities. While it might not be a catalyst that directly contributes to sales, using social media can support whatever you do. The key is to think omnichannel and integrate social media into every business.
For example, combine social media with email marketing by asking people to share your post with their friends and followers. Add social sharing buttons (including the Pin It button) to your website’s product pages. Create content on your website that people will want to share, as well as social media content that links to your ecommerce site.
Read my article “8 Ways to Integrate Social Media With Existing Marketing” for more ideas.
2. Decorate your social media graphics with holiday themes
Almost all social networks use profile pictures and cover graphics. Some, like Twitter, also include background images. Get your shoppers in the holiday spirit by updating these images with seasonal themes.
If you don’t have access to a graphic designer, sites like fcoverphotos.com or Canva have plenty of ready-made images. Pixlr, an easy-to-use photo editing tool, lets you overlay text on graphics. You can also achieve the same effect with PowerPoint.
3. Give your content visual appeal
One of the biggest social media marketing trends to emerge of 2013 is the use of visuals. So, in line with the changes to the profile and cover graphics, add some visual spice to your vacation posts.
As a rule of thumb, include a graphic with most of your social media posts. Add a graphic element to blog posts so that when visitors share your content on social media, the image will appear with it.
4. Use Pinterest to inspire shopping ideas
Pinterest is especially popular during the holiday season, as people are inspired by everything from Halloween decorations and Thanksgiving centerpieces to Hanukkah and Christmas gift ideas.
Two easy ways to capitalize on this interest are to create vacation-themed boards and add Pin It buttons to your site’s product pages.
5. Organize contests on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
Contests are a fun way to use social media, especially this time of year. Sites like Offerpop and Antavo have several out-of-the-box contest solutions to make your job easier.
6. Send personal vacation greetings to loyal customers
Businesses can take inspiration from individuals and send special holiday greetings to customers via social media to express their appreciation. It’s an unexpected message to them that could lead to increased sales for you.
Create a Vine or Instagram video and post it to your Facebook page timeline, send direct messages to customers who follow you on Twitter, or host a Google Hangout with your most loyal customers just to say hello. If you’re friends with customers on Facebook, send an e-card using an app like 123 Greetings.
7. Create relevant and interesting content
Posting to your blog, Facebook page, Twitter feed, or other social network shouldn’t be about you and your products. Think in terms of creating content around topics of interest to your customers, especially during the peak holiday season.
This could include creative seasonal decorating tips, a list of ways to reduce stress while on vacation, ideas to make the vacation more meaningful, inspirational quotes, and more.
8. Support organic efforts with advertising
Social media ad campaigns are cost effective compared to other forms of advertising and are a good way to increase reach and introduce your brand or products to new people.
9. Leverage the social influence of your customers
Buyers are more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals. Because people tend to trust others with similar interests, it makes sense to leverage the influence of your customers. Because of their inherent sharing capabilities, social media is the primary vehicle for doing this.
10. Support a noble cause
The minds of people turn to giving during the holidays, and that doesn’t just mean friends and family; charitable donations also tend to increase.
Businesses can use social media to achieve social good – by supporting a good cause. Besides the perks that charities receive, it’s a way to build goodwill between you and your customers, which can lead to greater loyalty and increased lifetime value.
Use crowdfunding sites like Go Fund Me or YouCaring.com to also give your customers the opportunity to give.