The holiday season is upon us. It may be the most wonderful time of the year for consumers, but for marketers it’s the most important. A third of people in the United States plan to spend over $1000 on gifts alone this time of year, and that’s not counting the money spent on holiday decorations, food, and travel.
This is the time of year when people are most comfortable opening up their wallets, and analysts expect nearly $120 billion of that spending to go to ecommerce businesses this year. Obviously your company wants to claim part of those earnings.
To do that, make it easy for consumers to think of you when they’re doing their shopping by putting your social media profiles to work. Here are a few good holiday social media strategies that can help you earn more this holiday season.
1. Promote your holiday deals on all your platforms.
Your website is probably plastered with promotions for the deals you’re offering at this time of year, whether it’s discounts, free gift wrapping for orders over a certain amount, free shipping, or festive giveaways. Your website visitors shouldn’t be the only ones who hear about these attractive promotions. Post about them across your social media platforms. All of your followers should know about the awesome deals available for a limited time, so you can drive more traffic back to your website and make more sales.
2. Promote your gift cards as well.
Gift cards are the second most requested gift, right behind electronics. That makes them a great opportunity for sales this time of year. Make sure you heavily promote them, including on all your social profiles. Consider tying a promotion to them as well—buy a gift card for a certain amount, and the customer gets an extra few dollars off or another great offer. If consumers are trying to decide between a couple of main gift card options, a good special could push them toward buying yours.
3. Be inclusive in your holiday social media strategy.
You wouldn’t know it from most holiday marketing you see, but not everybody celebrates Christmas. That means there are a lot of consumers out there feeling left out by the marketing promotions they see all around them this time of year. You can appeal to those customers by taking a more inclusive approach to your holiday social media marketing.
That could mean sticking with more neutral holiday wording and imagery, like “Happy Holidays” and a focus on snow scenes rather than more overt Christmas imagery. Or it could mean making sure to include other holidays like Hanukkah and Kwanzaa in your social media marketing strategy.
4. Promote holiday content.
If you’re doing content marketing, then your team has probably worked up a number of holiday-related content pieces to publish this time of year, such as gift guides or blog posts about seasonal events, holiday recipes, and New Year’s resolutions. You can make your social channels more festive and drive more traffic to this content at the same time by promoting all your seasonal content across your social media profiles.
5. Publish countdown reminders on your social channels.
Borrow an idea from advent calendars and use your social profiles to countdown to the big day. Create a neat graphic that showcases the number of days left until Christmas (or New Year’s, Kwanzaa, or the number of days left for Hanukkah) and share it each day.
Consider combining each of these posts with a recommended product that makes a great gift, or using them to promote a special deal for each day leading up to Christmas. You could promote your countdown as something like a Deal for Every Day of December or 12 Days of Christmas Gifts. Whatever approach you take, it gives your followers a reason to keep checking back each day to see what you share.
6. Make your social profiles festive.
Every social media site lets you tailor your main account page, why not use that space to get visitors into the holiday spirit? Add a festive image as your background, and update your bio to mention your holiday special, or to share a message of happy holidays with anyone that views it.
Making your profile more festive is a good way to personalize your brand a bit and show your followers you’re ready to celebrate the season with them. Just make sure you remember to change it again once the holiday season passes.
7. Use paid social advertising to reach more people.
While social media is a great way to connect directly with your customers, there’s a hard limit on who will see most of your updates. If someone isn’t already following you, they’re unlikely to see anything you share. That’s the big challenge of social media marketing, since many won’t ever know to follow you to begin with without seeing your updates.
Every social media platform has advertising options you can use to reach people who aren’t following you yet. Even if you don’t have the budget for it most of the year, the holiday season can be a good time to put some of your marketing budget toward paid social advertising. You can increase visibility of all the holiday promotions and content you share on social media right at the time that customers are more likely to buy from you.
And because social media platforms generally have good targeting options, you can get the right posts in front of the people most likely to respond to them.
8. Do a big push on the last standard shipping day before Christmas.
Ecommerce businesses have a different deadline for Christmas sales than storefronts do. Your orders all have to be shipped, and late planners for the holiday need to know that their gifts will be delivered in time before they make an order.
If you use USPS for shipping, all customers that want the cheapest shipping option need to get their orders in by December 14 (if you go with another shipping provider, you can see their deadlines here). So use your social media platforms to really sell the urgency to your followers of getting their presents bought that day. Consider doing a similar push on December 20, the last day for first class and priority shipping.
9. Create seasonal images to share on social media.
Many social media platforms are predominantly image based, and even those that are more text-based like Facebook and Twitter benefit from using good images. Make a point to create festive images that evoke the season to share across your social media profiles.
Consider creating new photos of your products that put them in a seasonal context—surrounded by holiday colors, or placed in front of a background of snow.. Holiday product photography gives you a new reason to share your usual products on social media and reposition them in your followers’ minds as great gifts relevant to the season.
10. Promote charitable causes you care about, as well as your own business.
The holidays aren’t just about buying things, of course. They’re just as much about giving. 50% of people say they’re more likely to buy from a brand that supports a cause they care about, and over a third of people actively seek out brands that do so.
Your business has a great opportunity to support a cause you care about, while winning goodwill from customers at the same time. So use your social channels to promote causes that are meaningful to you. If your business is local, then find a good local nonprofit to work with. Consider partnering with a relevant nonprofit, setting up a charity drive, or donating a portion of your profits to a worthy cause.
And let your social followers know all about it. You could potentially help increase donations for a cause that matters this holiday season, and earn the loyalty of customers who care about choosing a brand that gives back.
The holiday season can be overwhelming for ecommerce businesses, but committing some time to the right holiday social media promotions can pay off in helping you make more during the time of year it matters most.
How are you doing social this holiday season? Let us know in the comments!