03 Dec How to Set Up an Effective Social Media Strategy This Holiday Season
The reality of Christmas sales creeping earlier and earlier each year can be intimidating. And each year, the standards of holiday social media just get higher. If you’re stressed about creating a social media campaign that will engage your customers and maximize your sales without sounding pushy or cheesy, this blog is for you. We’ll cover basic social media techniques that are particularly important during the holidays and 3 ways you can set your campaign apart.
To start, here are two basic social media practices you need to be following, especially during the holiday season.
Visit Your Customers Where They Live Online
It’s vital to cultivate social media campaigns that focus on the areas where your audience hangs out. If you only have a Facebook account, but your audience is mostly millennials on Twitter, you’ll have a rough time connecting with them.
If you have multiple social media accounts, the holiday season is a great time to see which accounts your audience really pays attention to. Devote time to each of your main accounts at first, then cut down the time you spend on the type of social media that gets the least amount of engagement.
Read Your Customers’ “Wish Lists”
One of the best things about online marketing is that it offers quantifiable measurements to help you figure out what your audience wants. When deciding the direction to take your social media campaign, consider the following metrics:
- Average number of posts from your audience
- Followers and/or likes
- Page metrics (length of time spent on the page, click through rate, etc.)
Once you’ve integrated these fundamentals into your social media methods, you’re ready to develop a unique, eye-catching holiday campaign. Use the following three strategies to make your social media campaign far-reaching and engaging.
1. Create a Social Media Advent Calendar
One way to get your audience interested and invested in your social media persona—and, by extension, your business—is to create suspense. Think of it like an advent calendar: you need more than just a single, high-excitement event to keep your audience consistently engaged. Tweet This
iTunes used an excellent version of this concept in 2013. Users who downloaded the free “12 Days of Christmas” app had the option to download a free song for 12 days during the holiday season. This tactic didn’t just benefit iTunes—the featured artists reached a broadened audience as well. The goodies in your social media advent calendar don’t have to be sales—they don’t even have to be salesy.
Even if you can’t afford to give away products or services for free, you can still use this strategy. Here are some low-cost ways to build your social media advent calendar:
- Celebrate minor holidays throughout the season. Did you know December 4th is wear brown shoes day? Celebrate with a sale on brown shoes and a call for brown shoe pictures on your Instagram.
- Create a different coupon for each day of the holiday season. To encourage varied social media engagement, only publish the coupons on specific social media accounts.
- Hold community-focused events, like a food drive. These events get people to engage online and in person, and can engender a customer’s respect for your business.
For best results, tailor your advent calendar to your business and your audience.
2. Build on Traditions, But Don’t Rely on Clichés
It’s easy to fall into the rut of overdone Christmas clichés. Some Christmas conventions can read as underwhelming and tired—two words you never want connected with your social media campaign.
The holidays are inextricably tied to strong emotions and traditions. Hold a brainstorming session and come up with ideas of how you can connect with your audience using those traditions. Tweet This An example of this tactic is IKEA’s interactive 2014 holiday catalog. The catalog uses images of warm gatherings with family and friends to sell trendy furniture.
This tactic will depend heavily on the industry you’re in, but it’s a great way to up your audience engagement. Here are some industry-specific ideas:
- Food Services or Supply: Food is one of the hallmarks of the holiday season. Post some of your staff’s favorite holiday recipes and ask your audience to share theirs.
- Lighting, Roofing, or Home Improvement: Decorations go up and come down throughout the holidays. Post safety tips or tutorials written in a conversational, personable tone. Invite your readers to share pictures of their décor and their own decorating tips.
- Plumbing, Emergency Services, or Law: While the holidays are a time for laughter and family, they’re also a time for strange happenstance. Ask your audience for their funniest, strangest, or most unforgettable holiday stories. You might be surprised what you find on your feed.
While developing this aspect of your campaign, step back a few times. If the campaign isn’t creating the engagement you’d like to see, change tactics. Personality and a connection with your audience are crucial for creating social media traditions that don’t fall flat.
3. Inject Your Campaign with Genuine Holiday Spirit
As commercial as the holidays can be, on an individual level your audience is looking for more than the best prices of the season. In this situation, generous giving can get you pretty far.Tweet This
People are still talking about West Jet—a Canadian airline that, in 2013, got Santa to bring an entire plane’s worth of people what they asked for for Christmas. Most businesses can’t afford such an extensive, covert operation. Luckily, you don’t have to. Here are some simpler ways to help your audience get into the holiday spirit:
- Invite children in your community to help put up your holiday decorations. Post tweets and pictures.
- Provide homemade baked goods in your office. Use recipes you’ve collected from your online audience. Compile the recipes on Facebook so Santa can get more diversity from his baked goods this year.
Once you’re in the holiday mood, it’ll be easy to convince your audience to join you.
Establishing an effective social media campaign doesn’t have to be overly stressful. Apply these tips, keeping your audience in mind each step of the way, to develop a campaign that draws attention and sales this holiday season.