The holidays are fast approaching and the influence of social media for holiday shoppers is significant.
In fact, a Crowdtap survey of the 2014 holiday shopping season indicates that 76 percent of respondents used social media for holiday gift discovery – an increase of 17 percent from 2013.
Furthermore, 68% percent of respondents said recommendations from family or friends on social media impacted their holiday gift purchases the most and 64% stated holiday shopping inspiration comes from social media.
Given the 2014 results, and the advances in social media adoption and savvy over the last year, imagine the influence of social media on this year’s holiday marketing!
Let’s address a few keys to help ensure your holiday social media success – tactics you can implement now whether you are a retailer, small business, doctor or other service provider.
1.) Post your promotions
Specifically in retail, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and After-Christmas Clearances are expected promotional drive times. As a retailer, align marketing strategy and advertising mix well in advance.
Reinforce traditional promotional channels with your social media posts.
But don’t just reuse the content in your latest email; keep the same underlying messages and brand identity, but change the content and imagery to suit the audience and media for each social media platform.
For non-retail businesses wishing to capitalize on the mindshare of these events, such as, spas, nail salons and cosmetic surgeons, simply apply these same tactics and reap the benefits of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and After-Christmas Sales.
2.) Use a plethora of platforms
Be prepared to use more than one platform to reach your audience. Different social media platforms shine at particular points along the path to purchase.
While Facebook rates as the most influential platform for holiday shopping by 59% of consumers in the Crowdtap survey, don’t neglect the others; Pinterest inspires, blogs share research and promotions and Instagram helps share the spoils.
In addition, consider adding videos to your mix this year.
We’ve seen the rise of fantastic behind-the-scenes videos on Snapchat and Vine. (Don’t worry – these platforms have moved far beyond just the naughty stuff.)
Did you receive a new shipment? Take video of someone unpacking the boxes, merchandising the goodies or using the wares. Do you have a new service? Record a willing participant partaking of the new indulgence or necessity.
3.) Make sharing easy
They say sharing is caring and as we witness in the graphic above, shoppers like to share the goods.
Or at least the pictures and details of their purchases. Consider adding holiday social media contests for your followers who share their procurements and tag your business in their posts.
A fantastic recent example is J. Crew’s #shinyponies contest, in which J. Crew encouraged people to Instagram their favorite shoes with the tag #shinyponies and #jcrewcontest.
The contest ended on October 18, 2015, and five lucky shoe lovers will win 12 months of shoes. As far as we can tell, the promotion was a social media success.
4.) Give thanks and show gratitude
Don’t forget this is the season of giving and of being thankful.
In addition to your usual notes and tokens of appreciation for your customers, clients, partners, employees, fans and followers, express your gratitude on social media.
Not only will it make them feel good about their relationship with you, but it will also show your human and kind side to the rest of the social media world. A win-win and everyone feels all warm and fuzzy.
5.) Staff for success
You’ve pinned, promoted and posted and now you are ready to hang your stockings with care.
But, wait! Have you staffed your social media team in such a way that someone is always watching what is going on?
Social media is another avenue to customer service; don’t fail your customers, clients, fans or followers by not responding in real time on holiday social media.
For a quick refresher on this topic, read my post on Roaring Pajamas on customer service on social media.
6.) Be merry
Finally, remember to have some fun with your holiday social media.
With all of these holiday tactics (and all of your social media posts throughout the year, for that matter) infuse some personality.
Bonus points awarded if you are particularly witty, sappy, silly or visually appealing and your holiday social media posts cut through the clutter and go viral.
What are some of your plans to engage your audience and celebrate the holidays on social media?