The holiday shopping season is a busy time for consumers researching gifts and looking for the best online deals they can find. Social media is key for attracting the attention of potential customers even with decreased organic reach and increased competition. So, this year, more than ever, brands need to formulate and execute a solid plan that boosts the brand across social media channels. Here are some steps you can take to help make your holiday season a success.
Start Early and Plan Meticulously
Start planning your holiday social media content well ahead of the busy season. Winging it at the last minute will result in disjointed and disappointing campaigns. Use a social media calendar to lay out your content. Map out the beginning and ending dates of your holiday campaign. Indicate which social media channels you’ll utilize and how often you will post on each platform. Keep things organized, simple, and focused on engagement and conversion goals.
There is no magic number of how many posts you should push out. Consumers expect to see higher volume on platforms like Twitter and Instagram and less on Facebook or LinkedIn. The key is to be where your target audience members are when they are there. Dig into the insights data available from those social platforms to determine what might work best for your brand.
Make note of channel-specific content as well as content that will be pushed out on all of the social media platforms your brand frequents. Give your graphic design team sufficient lead time for any design heavy campaign requests. Use a combination of images, text, videos, and graphics to keep your holiday content exciting and eye-catching. Just not at the expense of clarity. Offer value-added content that concisely communicates what you have to offer consumers this holiday season.
Incorporate a set of hashtags into your holiday campaign content. There are differing views on hashtag strategies but all parties agree that well-selected hashtags can make all the difference in the success or failure of your posts. Use a mix of trending hashtags and those specific to your industry. To help decide how many hashtags to use for your brand, research how many hashtags your competitors and sector influencers typically use and then experiment with different numbers until you find regular success.
For more on this topic, see our article: Hashtags: Let’s Talk #s
Identify Which Products or Services Will be Promoted
There are a number of ways to decide which products or services should be prioritized during your holiday campaigns. Definitely include your top-sellers. No need to think their popularity will dwindle during this busy time of year. Seasonally related products are also an easy sell during the winter holiday months. Consider gift categories you can promote such as stocking stuffers, mid-week Hanukah gifts, and so on. The key to social media is to be visual. Show people what they should buy from you and why they should buy it.
Create a Campaign Concept
Brainstorm with your team to come up with the key message you want to convey. The big idea that will put your brand in the forefront of consumers’ minds and encourage them to buy from you. Create a common message or theme you can use to tie all of your content together around the holidays and all your brand has to offer.
Sometimes a more indirect route works better than a message that says, “It’s the holidays, buy our stuff for people.” Show people interacting with your products or services. Tell people how your brand can help make their daily lives better. As your creative team works out the messaging, keep some things in mind.
People are over the hard sell. With so many companies competing for attention on organic social media, a value-added approach will work better. Make your campaign all about your target audience, their interests, and their needs. Find an angle of approach that makes your brand stand out from the competition. Create a tagline that sums up your campaign and will help your brand stay in the minds of consumers.
Create Holiday-themed Content
Ideally, customers will see your ads on a social media platform and move directly from there to either your website or ecommerce site. For this reason, holiday-themed landing pages are an excellent part of any holiday campaign. Save the more direct sales messages for those specifically crafted landing pages. Include a concisely worded call to action button and arrange the landing page content to keep visitors focused on the ultimate goal of a purchase.
Include holiday-themed content in several blog posts. Stress the benefits of various products or services over details about features. Clearly explain the value being offered and show consumers how they might use your products or benefit from your services.
Put It All Together
A clear chronology is important for your holiday social media campaign. Determine the order in which posts will be shown from the beginning of your holiday campaign to the very last day of content. By laying it all out in advance, you can make sure your campaign is communicating a clear purpose, that information is going out in a sensical, organized manner, and that every social media channel will feature engaging, value-added content appropriate for the target audience on that platform.
Make sure the content of each post follows all brand guidelines. Your holiday campaign should also align with your overall business goals. Keep the tagline and branded hashtags consistent throughout your posts. Ensure that the campaign concept is clearly present is all content.
Don’t give up on website visitors who don’t make a purchase. Instead, keep an eye looking forward and set up remarketing campaigns. You can do this by including a retargeting pixel on your website. A retargeting pixel is a small, unobtrusive piece of code that you add to your site that can track a user to Facebook or Google and display ads for your products or services that will keep your brand in consumers’ minds. It allows you to “follow” users around the web and send them targeted messages that encourage them to return to your website and complete the transaction. This type of online advertising is perfect for keeping your brand in front of consumers during this busy season and can turn bounced traffic into conversions.
Engage with Customers
Social media is after all social and an engaged and satisfied customer is one of your best online allies. Respond to questions and comments from your followers. Make comments on their content or give them a “like” here and there. The key is to let your brand’s personality come through in your social media interactions to help humanize your business and build solid relationships. Find ways to encourage personal connections.
The holiday shopping season offers an excellent opportunity to attract new customers and encourage past customers to return to do business with your brand yet again. Social media is an excellent way to connect with both existing and potential customers. The key to a successful holiday social media campaign is to be strategic and intentional in your planning, content creation, and execution.
The experts at Strategy Driven Marketing have worked with brands of all sizes and across all industries. We can help you make the most of your holiday social media efforts through a tailored marketing plan, content creation, social media management, and more. Whatever your social media needs are, SDM is ready for the challenge. Contact us today to get started!