Are you utilizing social media as part of your holiday marketing campaign?

Shoppers are flocking online to learn about the latest products, look for deals, and try to get their holiday shopping completed without leaving the house.

If you plan correctly, social media can help you gain traction with potential customers.

When executed, you’ll build connections, enhance exposure, and get your voice heard. Although users may not buy directly from a link you shared on Facebook or Twitter, or a picture of a product you posted on Instagram, social media still has an influence on purchasing decisions.

eMarketer recently completed a study to determine the role in which social media can affect our buying behaviors.

Although nearly half of the respondents said social platforms were irrelevant, you should act as if your content, products, and creative posts influence 100% of your customer-base.

Everyone online is buzzing about the holiday season. Spreading holiday cheer and getting in the holiday spirit helps you connect with your followers and can positively influence your brand. How should you be planning and executing your holiday social media presence?

Make It Personal

A personal post carries more weight every time than a promotional post. While you might think that the holidays will lead to sales and you need to promote, promote, promote, that could end up harming your total sales in the long run.

Instead, show what’s going on behind the scenes and how your team is preparing for a surge in holiday sales. Focus on storytelling and humanize the brand. Discuss your employees, your history, your community involvement, and your audience. Share your brand story to connect with customers and clients.

Speak directly to one person, your ideal buyer persona, and communicate with your followers to enhance their experience. When you make it personal and not promotional, you’ll see more success.

Create Videos & Shareable Content

In this age of content marketing, we need to think outside the box. Aside from sales, the goal of your posts is to create engagement that leads to more comments and shares. Our team created a video comparing a shopping experience between Black Friday and Cyber Monday to highlight the convenience of digital. Check it out below. You can also see how you can leverage your social campaigns by looking at some of the Cyber Monday winners.

It’s a visual world, and your customers are looking for images and videos that stand out.

  • Images need to stand out as shoppers crave authenticity.
  • Connect emotionally to generate shares and engagement.
  • Create a video ad that attracts attention.
  • Put your product to use and show its value through video.
  • Create a consistent experience across social platforms.

Post pictures of your products in real-life settings so your customers can envision where the product will go in their house. Get your pictures posted on Pinterest. Over 90% of Pinterest users plan or make purchasing decisions while on the website. Plus, while it is the holiday season, remember the 80/20 rule.

Not every post should be a promotion, as I mentioned previously. Target 80% of your posts as a way to drive interaction and get the conversation started. Use the remaining 20% to sell, link to a product, or direct users to a promotion page.

When it comes to the holiday season, the more your brand is seen by potential customers, the better your year-end sales will be.

Remarketing Ads to Social Media Users That Have Visited Your Site

Along the same lines, your brand exposure is increased through remarketing advertisements. Bring back repeat customers by showing your ads to users who have already been on your website.

Target shoppers that have completed an action on your website in the past 90 days.

  • Viewed a particular product.
  • Visited the online store.
  • Have signed up to receive emails about your products and services.
  • Have already completed a purchase.

For example, say you’ve recently looked at a winter jacket on a website like Macy’s or Northface, but you were just browsing. Now, through cookies dropped on your browser, these companies can promote the products you were looking at, and even similar products that can entice you to buy.

These are sponsored posts that are clearly ads and won’t affect the look of your profile. With the new cross-device remarketing feature, you can advertise to a mobile user who has viewed your site while signed in on a desktop, or vice versa.

I’ve even seen a brand remarket to me on both Instagram and Facebook with a picture of the jacket I was looking at on Amazon. I had never been to the brand’s website before, but was seeing ads directing to their page through remarketing.

I’d recommend saving your profile for personal and emotional connection posts that result in increased engagement, while allocating a budget to remarket your products to potential buyers and optimizing conversions.

Expand Your Holiday Social Media Creativity With Contests & Giveaways

During the holiday season, your customers are looking for the best deals—and giveaways are a way to get new customers. Think about offering a giveaway through a social media contest. There are multiple ways you can go about this.

Giveaway a particular product, a goody bag filled with little items, a gift card to be used anywhere, or discounts off your services. Encourage engagement and get the word out about your contest by having employees share the deal.

  • Create a unique hashtag on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
  • Clearly lay out expectations for the contest.
  • Enter with a holiday themed picture (maybe the best ugly sweater).
  • Simply have followers share or retweet a branded post that explains the contest.
  • Encourage email signups as entry into the contest.

Try to attract a large audience by posting about the contest and get people excited. Interact with your followers that entered and show them you care.

This is a great way to market to a particular audience while spreading awareness for your products and brand. The winner can make additional purchases, and entrants will expect to be marketed to by you in the future.

Even if you don’t generate a single sale, you’ve earned a number of interested consumers for the year ahead.

Become Active in Charity Work

It’s the season of giving. While consumers are fulfilling their holiday shopping list, they also want to give back to a good cause. Set up your online store and shopping cart to donate a percentage of each sale to a charity of your choice.

Consumers are more likely to switch to a brand that is charitable if products are available at similar prices.

Pick a charity that resonates with your vision as a company. Whether it’s helping underprivileged children, a particular cancer or disorder, or giving back to the community, your efforts will resonate with your audience.

Encourage your followers to share your charity involvement with their network for more likes and shares.

Getting Your Holiday Social Media Strategy Right

Holiday shopping starts early and runs late. We are procrastinators, and buy holiday gifts throughout the month of December. Focus on what it is that your customers need and highlight a few areas that unite us all.

A great piece of content that bring us together is Amazon Prime’s new Christmas commercial. They pushed friendship and selflessness in their ad for how easy it is to purchase with Amazon Prime.

Wes Anderson teamed up with H&M to recreate a Darjeeling Limited-esque commercial to spread the message of coming together around the holidays. Again, this appeals to the emotions of the audience and delivers a message that is bound to be shared.

While we don’t all have the big budgets for a creation like these examples, they show you how you don’t need to promote a product to win with your holiday marketing on social media. While sales are the end goal, starting a new relationship is the ultimate goal of your social strategy. Get in on the conversation and get people interacting with your brand.

What are you doing to make the holidays special for your customers? If you need a partner to work with you and plan the right social media strategy for your brand, get in touch with us.