There are nearly 4 billion social media users to date globally, with more than half of them turning to their social media channels to learn about products.
In Instagram alone, 90 percent of its users are following at least one business account. So if your business is not taking advantage of this tool, you haven’t reached your full sales potential yet.
Because, why stop at a million-dollar annual sales when you can triple or quadruple that amount just by using social media? Especially during the holidays that are now fast approaching, they account for at least 20 percent of most retail sales each year.
Your social media presence gets you direct access to your customers and builds this amazing community that can only benefit your brand. With more importance being placed on distancing and safety nowadays, many buyers are totally ditching brick-and-mortar stores in favor of digital shopping. This means even greater odds for your social media marketing to pay off big time.
Since the holidays are just around the corner, we have laid out the following steps for your social media optimization with the help of a knockout marketing plan that aims to boost your brand and, more importantly, sales.
Step 1: Check your past performance
We know that the holidays can be a great time for many businesses to bounce back, especially from a weakened market brought about by lockdowns.
But before you embark on yet another holiday marketing strategy, pay a visit to last year’s efforts using key metrics. This is your benchmark since the situation remains in the era of Covid-19. Have you run a Black Friday promo during that unprecedented time? Look at what you’ve done and how they impacted your business, sales-wise.
Consider all the promotional materials you used, the social media platforms, creatives, etc. What worked, and what didn’t? Which ones had the highest ROI and engagement? What links produced the most web traffic and conversions? Were you able to establish a buying pattern based on your posts? Draw your conclusions and apply them to your current plans.
If some of them did not do so well, learn from those mistakes and think of other ways that you may have missed from the previous campaign and include them this time around.
Once you’ve identified the takeaways, determine which ones you can do again for your holiday campaign. But even if your sales went gangbusters the previous year, it does not mean you’ll reuse the same visuals and copy for the current year. Instead, use it as inspiration or make it even better with the help of killer copywriting captions!
Step 2: Set up your holiday-themed content
When you think about Thanksgiving and Christmas, these are major holidays that are most celebrated. And a lot of ideas would come flooding to your head, whether they are inspired by a successful copy from the previous year or something new and unique to this coming season.
At this point, though, planning your social media assets while staying within your advertising budget is important in bringing your holiday campaigns to fruition. Once that’s sorted out, you can begin collecting and creating such assets ahead of time such that you’ll be churning out your strategic posts like clockwork but with less pressure.
Start by crafting your holiday messaging in a celebratory way as it is promotional for your brand. Prep your hashtag campaign to create brand awareness or associate your business with a particular event or a lifestyle.
Take, for instance, KFC’s #NationalFriedChickenDay and the highly successful #ShareACoke campaigns. KFC lays its claim on chicken by promoting National Fried Chicken day while Coke cultivates sharing, which prompts you to buy their product as a good deed.
Put a funny spin and use puns for the holidays, such as Office Depot’s #ElfYourself. The key is to create a unique and cool hashtag that has a nice ring and resonates with your target market.
Sometimes, we can ask people directly what they want. One way to do that is by conducting a Twitter poll. Find out what your customer’s pain points are and come up with something that can solve them. Pose an intriguing question on your Instagram or Facebook to stir up conversation.
If you’re pushing for charitable causes, you can include them in your social media copies, too. After all, holiday campaigns are not reserved for selling alone; they make great instruments to spread positivity to others. And with Christmas being the season of giving, it automatically comes with a charity-like act when you promote your products to be these excellent gift ideas to loved ones.
Besides photos, post videos of your products in action. If you’re a restaurant business, you can feature your chef whipping up sumptuous masterpieces you like to promote or the ones that symbolize the holidays, such as the classic turkey for Thanksgiving.
It can be this behind-the-scenes approach where it doesn’t have to be perfect, yet it can impact the viewer. People appreciate seeing the human side of things anyway, showing more authenticity in the process.
These days though, it’s the stories that are becoming more popular as a fun marketing tool. They are these short clips that last for 24 hours such that your followers need to stay tuned to your channel so they won’t miss them. Some shops use them to post live testimonials of their buyers, lending more credibility to their products.
Personalized advertising is also gaining traction as a social media retargeting tool. Consider this approach if you have site visitors who have checked out your items, especially those who’ve done so repeatedly.
By marketing products based on customer behavior, brand awareness is enhanced, and new clients are gained. Just be realistic not to get instant results. It may take a few more retargeted ads to nail a conversion. In any case, you can explore other visuals and copies when they don’t meet your sales expectation.
Step 3: Schedule your posts
Once you have prepped the types of content and social media channels you will use, you can start plotting them in your timeline.
Best to start early and post strategically, keeping it extra on the days leading up to the major celebrations. Avoid hassles and delays by using this period to come up with your creatives. There’s more time for proofreading and editing. When you are about to execute them, there will be fewer occurrences of typos and photoshop fails, which happen when something’s hurriedly accomplished.
You can also follow a calendar of novelty celebrations such as National Drummer day on November 15 or National Princess day on November 18. There is at least one celebration for each day of the year that you can play up in your promotions. This means that even your business may not have anything going for it at the moment, there will be no uneventful day ever.
For businesses like resorts and hotels, jazz up your interiors and bring in a pro to capture high-resolution images which you can post on your socials. At the same time, you can reuse such timeless photos in future events.
Step 4: Integrate your eCommerce to your socials
We care so much for our customers that we always think ahead for them. We want them to have a seamless and hassle-free experience when they buy from us.
When posting on your social media, why not create the easiest way for them to shop through e-Commerce integrations or social selling. Almost 80 percent of companies that use this tool outsell businesses that don’t, with 51 percent of them reaching their numbers.
Your Instagram followers, for example, can click on your post to buy the item outright. No need to reroute them to a separate site. The shorter it takes to grab your product, the better your chances at making a quick sale.
Social selling is cold calling but a lot less intimidating. It allows your products to be accessible to business prospects and, at the same time, build rapport with potential leads.
The beauty of this method is you do away with the common practice of bombarding offers to your clients or spamming them. Instead, it makes interactions much more meaningful, presenting your product as a viable solution to an existing problem. It has a casual atmosphere where communication takes place naturally, making for better customer relations.
Instagram and Twitter are deemed the best platforms to integrate your eCommerce. These socials have customer support and host connections where many users feel comfortable in. That’s why it’s important for the company not to sound too “sales-y”; otherwise, the interaction will feel contrived, which can be a turnoff. Make sure your social media accounts have been running for a while before integrating your eCommerce for this to take off.
Step 5: Work with an influencer
Going all out, why not consider working with an influencer? It is a widely used marketing strategy for getting the message across and greater impact on one’s buying decision.
There is better trust and credibility when an influencer promotes your product. An influencer can even supplement your content strategy with their own marketing ideas.
By virtue, these influencers have amassed their organic following based on several things like their personality, style, talent, advocacy, etc. Their followers are inspired by what they are about, so encouraging them to buy a product they’re endorsing won’t be as difficult.
It’s not only a matter of choosing who’s got millions of followers. Depending on the product, pick an influencer associated with it, especially if it’s a niche. For instance, we see clothing companies partner up with fashionable influencers to promote their brand.
So if you’re selling fertilizer, it makes more sense to work with a plant enthusiast who has 300,000 followers than a celebrity with 10 million followers. The influencer’s niche should align with yours for a targeted audience. Given its relevance, you will likely have better customer acquisition and higher conversions.
Step 6: Host contests and giveaways
Social media marketing won’t be complete without contests that will entice your followers and page visitors to know more about your product or service.
While many expect that holiday sales will not be as extravagant as they used to be, hosting events and contests may help reignite the desire for retail and value-added services. The possibility of winning something in their wishlist in the first place can be an attractive prospect.
Word gets around about your contest, and the next thing you know, there’s buzzing among your followers. Giveaways are great because several people usually benefit from them, unlike choosing a single winner from a game. Hence, it is better to give not just one prize as it can deter people from joining, thinking they won’t have a good chance at winning in your contest.
Step 7: Engage with your audience
We use business social media accounts to promote our brand, but followers use them to entertain themselves or engage with the company.
While hosting events and contests is one way to increase engagement, you can also encourage their feedback and opinion to improve your product further. In other words, put yourselves in their shoes, and imagine how you would like it more if you were the customer.
Take time to read their comments and reply to questions. Customers hate it when their inquiries are ignored or glossed over. Almost 90 percent of customers will make repeat purchases after experiencing good customer service. Use their feedback to determine the kind of posts they like seeing.
Step 8: Monitor your campaigns
What good are all these efforts if you don’t measure the results? After all, time and money are invested in these activities; you’ll want to know if they are worth it.
Determine which posts got the most traction and best response. If your influencer marketing gave you a good ROI, you might want to work with that person again in future promotions.
Use the analytics of your platforms to get the data you need. When most of your goals, if not all, checks out, you’ll do these steps all over again next time. Perhaps it will be a lot harder since the stakes get high as you go along. That’s just one way you’ll succeed in your social media holiday planning.