Before you plan a campaign, make sure you set some goals. Are you trying to raise awareness for your brand? Are you trying to increase your Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest fan base? Or, maybe you’d like to increase your sales conversion. Regardless of the goal, make sure you aggregate your baseline statistics so that you can check them against your campaign efforts to see what is working and what is not. The beauty of social media is that it is relatively easy to change tactics as needed. Be sure that any social media you do fits within your brand personality and parameters.
One last thing–don’t forget there are holidays other than the one you celebrate this month. This December’s holidays include Hanukkah, Christmas and the Mayan-predicted end of the world. Make sure your efforts include these.
Make life easy for your fans
Right now, coming off election season and immediately getting into holiday advertising, is not a good time to push your product or service. We, the public, have developed a keen eye for ads and an ability to easily dismiss what we are seeing. There are other ways to garner attention for your brand that are more consumer friendly during this season.
- Share tips on de-stressing during the holidays.
- Share favorite recipes and ask that your fans share theirs.
- Offer daily gift ideas.
- Offer reviews of your products and products suitable to your brand (i.e. if you sell homemade soaps, partner with a local natural lotion or candle business to share your message).
Reward your fans
Loyal fans are your biggest asset. They are the best advocate for your brand to their family and friends. You should reward them for the work they do on your behalf.
- Create exclusive events for your followers
- Create exclusive sales (you can differentiate the sale or a special code by social media channel to see which channel is most effective).
- Create sales that are time-sensitive or require followers to bring a friend
- Give a percent off or free gift for any fan who shares your page
- Offer a free, brand-relevant gift for stopping in
- In your location and on your other marketing materials, place notification of special discounts for social media followers
Engage your fans
Social media marketing is different from advertising in that advertising is telling your customer what you want them to know about your product or brand. Social media marketing, however, is a conversation. You can’t just post an item and not check back to see what’s happening with it. It’s important to respond to fan comments, good or–especially– bad.*
Since search engines now factor social media into the algorithms that help push your business to the top of search results, engagement is of the utmost importance. The holidays offer many opportunities for engagement.
- Share any holiday charitable involvement you are engaged in and allow your fans to share theirs (you could also include an offer of a free can of food for every specific purchase to get your fans involved – keep a running tally of total given to the charity of choice).
- Upload a video of your charity/charities – these may be found on the charities’ YouTube (you’ll need to ask for permission).
- Offer a backdrop within your location to take holiday pictures to post. Make sure you ask for permission to tag the customer. When the pictures are tagged, they will show up in the customer feed for their friends to see.
- Or, take the same concept but put the effort into the customer’s hands: anyone who posts holiday photos taken at your location or with your product receive a gift, a discount, or are entered into a drawing for a brand-related prize.
- In a more general sense, you can even ask fans to post pictures of anything holiday related (your Christmas tree, Hanukkah light display, favorite gift given or received).
- Ask what is going on when the weather is inclement (i.e. too much snow – who’s going sledding?) and get photos. Non brand-related posts about the weather shouldn’t be relied upon regularly, but in general, posts about the weather are always a quick and easy way to engage local followers.
- Create a poll around the holidays (favorite tradition, tradition lost, new tradition, who actually drinks champagne at midnight on New Year’s Eve, etc.). If you can find a way to tie it into your brand, even better.
Don’t forget to check your stats and measure before and after so you don’t get bogged down in something that isn’t working for you.
These are just a few ideas to boost your holiday social media marketing. Use these directly or put your own special spin on them. Feel free to let us know if you did something that was particularly clever or successful. We’d love to highlight your success stories.
*There is no possible way to please all your customers. They have bad days. You or your employees have bad days. Sometimes a bit of service or individual product simply doesn’t turn out the way it should. Should a customer be upset enough to post a complaint on social media, you should immediately address the issue and try to rectify the situation. Remember, other people are seeing and judging your interaction. If, despite best efforts, you are unable to please the customer, your fans/followers will understand the lengths you went to and be there to support you.
Submitted by Bridget Oaks of Toucan CREATE – a local marketing company that integrates social media with community presence through personalized marketing.