Social Media & the Holiday Season — Top Marketing Tips

Frankly, I think all of us are in disbelief that we have even made it this far into 2020 with all the crazy things that have been happening — lockdowns, locust swarms, election stress, and murder hornets. And now it’s already time to get your holiday season social media campaign underway. This is one thing that you don’t want to add to your stress list. There is huge pressure this year to make a social media campaign that truly connects with your audience and convinces them to open their wallets. It’s predicted that this holiday season will see more online shopping than ever before but it also means there’s going to be tons of competition out there too.  So, Social Media & the Holiday Season — Top Marketing Tips – let’s do this.

#1 Schedule Your Posts

The holiday season is a hectic time for your business. You’ve got increased orders, perhaps employees on leave, and your own personal responsibilities to worry about. You cannot afford to push your social media campaign to the wayside this year. Organise everything now so you don’t miss out later.

Create a complete social media calendar with every post scheduled to go live on opportune days and at peak posting times on all your platforms.

What you’ll need

Start getting all these ready:

  • Branded images
  • Landing page URLs (if applicable)
  • Captivating and engaging captions
  • Calls to action
  • Teasers

The strongest social media campaigns are coordinated across all your platforms, using all available tools — posts and stories.

Don’t worry — it’s ok to make some adjustments to your campaign as you go along, tailoring to your audience’s response. But, you should have at least a few key posts ready to go.

Use a cross-platform social media dashboard like Agorapulse to make your life easier.

On your dashboard, compile a series of generic holiday content that isn’t date-specific. This content can be reused to a reasonable extent and keep your calendar full with minimal management. Avoid making an statements that could age quickly or depend on ever updating news!

#2 Get Your Ads Approved

Pretty much all businesses with any sense are going to be running social media ads this holiday season. That means platform moderators have their work cut for them to try and get all ads approved in time.

Create your ads today, so you can submit them for approval. This doesn’t mean they will go live immediately — you will have the option to designate the run dates.

Plus, if your ad gets rejected, you have time to remedy the situation.

#3 Get Ready to Spend $$$

With so many businesses gearing up to start their social media campaigns, demand is bigger than ever (particularly in lockdown era). Brace yourself for how much those ads will cost you. CPC will go up — be prepared to spend more than you typically do. Try not to be put off by the high costs.

Of course you should ensure that your ads will be profitable, but good ad campaigns at this time of year have the potential to rake in huge profits, and the extra cost is usually worth it. On Facebook and Instagram, it’s possible to set a bid cap limit to ensure you never go over your cost limit.

#4 Tease Launch Dates

Generate some excitement around your products, services, and promotions.

Tease that big Christmas sale. Proudly announce the launch of your limited-time holiday season products. You get the idea. Customers are bombarded with choice and promos this time of year which usually means shoppers will have done their research to find the best deal.

Get ahead of the game by sharing your upcoming launches so customers already have your business on their mind.

#5 We Wish you a Merry Christmas

‘Tis the season to sell, sell, sell, right? Yes, but don’t go overboard. You should also try to connect to your audience on a human level. Not everything is about business. Especially at this time of year, customers will expect to see non-sales messages from you.

It’s important to add a few genuine well-wishes to your social media calendar that have nothing in them overtly sales-related.

See some examples:

https://www.instagram.com/p/Brzl-WvFb5I/

https://www.instagram.com/p/B6duv8pgrvN/

https://www.instagram.com/p/B6eDFprn5s7/

“But I’m not a greeting card company” — you may muse. In today’s market, more and more customers are beginning to notice brand ethics and choosing whom to open their wallets to accordingly. Well-wishing holiday messages will both boost your engagement and demonstrate to customers that you are more than just a faceless corporation.

#6 Get Ready to be Bombarded With Messages

This is perhaps the hardest one to manage. With such a huge online shopping demand this year, you are going to get a HUGE influx of inquiries. It’s best to dedicate someone/people purely to tackling the torrent of messages.

Consider: if you don’t reply quickly enough, customers will take their money elsewhere.

Your enquiry battle plan

First, think about the top 3 things your customers are going to be asking you about. Usually, they are:

  • Shipping dates
  • Order status
  • Product info

If you’re using a social media dashboard, there should be a function to create saved generic messages that you can use to promptly reply to enquiries. You should also be able to set up automated rules which sift through messages to find the most urgent customer inquiries. Whether you are using generic replies or not, it’s a nice touch to address the customer by their name. Also, DON’T use a generic reply that doesn’t quite fit the customer’s query — it will portray your business as tactless and uncaring. Take that extra minute out of your day to properly address any customer’s concern and you’re much more likely to secure one more sale.

#7 Use Stories To Get Festive

Every platform seems to have a Stories feature now right? Whilst you don’t need to use them all, here are some ways you can utilise Stories to get fans in the mood for spending. Stories may look impromptu but for the big brands they are definitely not. Here are some tips:

  • Go live and share a teaser for a Christmas product
  • Remind your followers about deals or Christmas sales
  • Share behind-the-scenes footage from your store (make it christmassy
  • Collaborate with an influencer or co host a giveaway
  • Utilise user curated content like images, gifs and videos to gain more Christmas traction

Experts Weigh In

Take a look at some extra top tips from the front line.

Use the tag feature available on some platforms

https://twitter.com/MissBeeBright/status/1324065076417093632

Videos sell

https://twitter.com/TwitterBusiness/status/1316820466837803013

Consider producing a marketing video which you can play as an ad and/or publish on your social media platforms. Video marketing can boost leads and awareness.

Holiday-themed merch

 //www.instagram.com/p/CG90VRqBFua/

 

Yes, this is a plug from another business, but the idea stands. It costs Starbucks relatively nothing to produce those holiday-themed cups every year. But think of how much profit they rake in through their increased social media presence from the obligatory December selfie with the famous Starbucks holiday cup.

You may not be on the same scale as the coffee conglomerate, but you can still hugely boost your reach through holiday-themed shopping bags, Christmas cards, or mulled wine spice mixes — the possibilities are endless. Something that appeals to customers at this time of year, with your brand on it, is practically FREE marketing.

Top Things to Avoid

Now you know what you should be doing to guarantee the best holiday season social media campaign your business has ever seen. But what should you avoid at all costs?

Forgetting to thank your loyal customers

Yes, you want to boost your reach this holiday season and get as many new customers as possible. But what about your long-standing, loyal customers that have stood by you through thick and thin? Thank them! Make them know that you appreciate their business. Even a non-time-consuming thank you email shows your customers you care. If you want to really grab their attention, you could throw in a bonus promo code exclusive to established customers.

Not getting to know your competition

With customers doing extensive research this holiday season, you can’t afford to be left behind. If your competitor has a better deal, you can expect a hit to your projected profits. Not only does keeping a close eye on your rivals keep you in the know about appropriate price points and sales, but you can also pick up ideas on marketing strategies, and ideas for holiday bundles.

Forgetting to retarget

Reaching new audiences and proudly introducing your business to unknowing customers is paramount this holiday season. But what about your loyal customers who already know and love your brand? Far too many businesses neglect the fact that targeted messages to your warm audience are pretty much guaranteed to pull in sales. A great way to engage past custom is to target Facebook ad campaigns to those who have visited your site recently.

With the holiday season a time where most customer purchases are intended for other people, it’s likely that a customer who was happy with a previous purchase from you will want to gift that good or service to their friends and family.

The Takeaway

The holiday season is a potentially rewarding time of the year for retailers and the right social media posts and digital campaigns can really make a difference. Tweet me @Charli_Says with your top social media holiday tips or to find out more about social media management.

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