Social media marketing is a great way to increase sales during the holiday season. Here are eight ways you can make social media work for you this holiday shopping season – and why it’s important to do it.
We live in a world where social media has to be part of your marketing in some way. As of April 2022, Facebook alone has more thanworldwide. Looking at US numbers alone, the shows that the percentage of social media users between the ages of 18 and 29 is 84%, while it is almost the same with 82% for people aged 30 to 49. In fact, 45% of American adults age 65 and older use social media.
The bottom line is, even if you’re not a big fan of social networks yourself, your business needs a social media presence. If it’s not where your customers are, you’re missing a big opportunity — one that you may be giving away to your competitors.
Consumers in particular spend a lot during the holidays. According to the National Retail Federationholiday sales increased 14.1 percent to $886.7 billion in 2021. Online and other non-store sales increased 11.3 percent.
Even if they don’t buy online, consumers search online for gift ideas and often turn to social media for gift ideas and opinions. Here’s how to get their attention — and their orders.
Recognize the power of photos and videos
People like to know what they are buying. In a store, they will see something on a shelf, touch it, feel how heavy it is, turn it over to see all sides, and read the information on the labels. That ability to touch and feel is lost online. But you can replicate part of the experience using images and videos. Post images of your products or services that will engage social media users. If applicable, post product demo videos. Or post photos with close-ups of features customers might be looking at. Of course, be sure to link from your posts to enable customers to purchase and/or get more information.
Not all matches work. Some fall flat and show less interest than you hoped. But with a little experimentation, you can find one that resonates with your customers. If you’ve already found one that works, customize it for the holidays. If it was an in-store contest, adapt it for online and make it a holiday theme.
Set your expectations correctly before you start the match. Make sure your contest or promotion isn’t primarily about sales. Make it about collecting leads instead. Building your mailing lists, both email and traditional mail, is just as valuable.
Use digital marketing
Digital marketing is inexpensive compared to print. What if you only pay to post your ad to people who live less than 10 miles from your business? What if you only target men aged 18-24 or people who are married with children?
Precisely targeting your audience allows you to place your ad in front of the people most likely to buy, and that drives down the cost of the campaign lower than print ads. You can spend $5 or less a day and still potentially reach thousands of people.
Take a cue from Amazon. During the holiday season, they fill their website with messages like, “Two days left to order and receive your shipment before December 25th.” Amazon creates urgency. You can create it with time, by saying a certain product is scarce, or beat the rush for Black Friday.
Few people come to social media for advertising. They can turn on the TV if they want. They come to social media for the community. Your customers want to interact with others and consume content that appeals to them. Take a lesson from the big brands. Coca-Cola, with its 89 million Facebook followers, fills its page with beautiful images, videos and other community-building posts. For Halloween, sheon how to make a cooler box out of a pumpkin.
Make your page about giving people something that makes them feel good. Solve a problem, say something uplifting, or thank them for being part of your community.
If you want to sell it has to be soft. Instead of advertising your next sale, offer a coupon or tell your fans about a free gift.
Collaborate with another company
Unless you pay, Facebook will likely post your content to about 10% of the people who like your page. What if you partner with other non-competing businesses in your area and cross-post? They post your content and you post theirs. Again, it’s not about posting your latest sale; focus on informing people about you.
Use your store to gain followers
If you have a physical storefront, create business cards with your social media information. Tell them that you offer web-exclusive holiday coupons on your social media pages. They can’t find them in your store – only online.
Don’t try to be everywhere
There are many social media platforms. You don’t have time to have a huge presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and others. Choose one or two and concentrate your efforts. If you’re targeting younger customers, include Instagram. If your customers are a bit older, use Facebook.
It boils down
You can’t ignore social media this season. Your customers are there. If you don’t reach them, your competitors will. Don’t worry about the hard sell; make it about brand education and gifts. Gifts can be coupons, free in-store gifts, holiday advice, or just a thank you.
Above all, experiment. If something doesn’t work, try something else, but don’t give up.