The red cups are out, the holiday ads are running and the shopping malls are crowded. Yes, the holiday season is here. In addition to being the most wonderful time of the year, the holidays provide an important opportunity for brands to get more out of social media efforts and reach business goals. With this in mind, we want to provide you with 5 ways in which you can use social media more effectively during the holidays.
1. Get More Leads Using Actionable Goals in Your Social Media Campaigns
One of the easiest ways to get leads and improve your social media conversions is by choosing an actionable goal with a dedicated landing page. Here’s what we mean by actionable goals. Awareness and engagement goals are important (these include impressions, clicks, and ‘Likes’), however, having a more defined goal, such as a download or sign-up, will help turn your prospective customers into leads.
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If your company decides to offer a promotion for the holidays, it is recommended to write a clear and compelling ad that speaks to the discount and points to a customized landing page, featuring a sign up form or download to receive the discount.
This format can be applied to many industries by simply modifying your offer. A product based company can offer an e-book download. A serviced based company can offer a free consultation or a demo. Whatever promotion you decide to offer, don’t forget to use Google Analytics and a URL builder to track your success!
2. Make Shopping More Convenient: Turning Likes into Purchases
Another way to improve your social media conversions is to make shopping more convenient for your customers. Although social media isn’t primarily a direct selling tool, there’s no doubt that things are changing with the introduction of third-party tools that integrate with your social campaigns.
If your brand is on Instagram, LIKEtoKNOW.it and Like2b.uy should be on your marketing radar. These third-party software integrations help social commerce (s-commerce) come to life by turning ‘Likes’ into purchases. Simply sign up on the app’s website, click on a participating brand’s Instagram photo, and receive information to buy the products featured in the photo. The difference between LIKEtoKNOW.it and Like2b.uy is apparent in their names; LiketoKNOW.it sends users a roundup of items they’ve Liked to their inbox to shop later, whereas Like2b.uy directs the user to the brand’s website to shop now.
3. Gather Insights: Turn Engagement into Market Research
Social media opens the unique opportunity of having a direct channel of communication with your target market. The holiday period gets people excited and more willing to express their opinions online. A solid content strategy that encourages users to interact and engage with your brand can be a very valuable source of insights about what the people think and want from your brand or products.
Listening to others is a key element in any successful social interaction. Social media is no different, so you must be willing to spend some time reviewing what is being said on different social media platforms. You can use third party listening tools like Topsy or Hootsuite to make sure you don’t miss any important information that you can turn into actionable items to improve as a business.
4. Customer Service: Turn a Negative into a Positive
For many businesses, the holiday season is the busiest of the year. Do you have a special promotion running? Be prepared to respond to a heavier-than-usual volume of customer inquiries via social media. Questions, requests, and complaints are often shared by consumers through their social media channels, and expectations are growing for your brand to address them in a timely and efficient manner. Do you have a big Boxing Day sale or promotion? Consider putting a team together who will be ready to engage with your community.
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5. Improve your Brand Image by Being Inclusive
Let’s face it, not everyone celebrates Christmas. Focusing your messaging exclusively on Christmas or its politically correct cousin “Generic Holidays” may leave some of your audience feeling alienated. The holiday season is a great way to bring everyone together, so you can incorporate other holiday messaging into your mix. For example, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or other celebrations that take place in December (Festivus, anyone?)
Furthermore, remind yourself that there is likely another segment of your audience who does not celebrate anything or are simply not feeling the holiday spirit. So don’t forget to keep sharing non-holiday content in order to maintain engagement with this audience.
Do you have any other ideas on how to get the most out of your social media efforts over the holidays? We’d love to hear them in the comments.
Written by: Jorge Mendoza and Missy Shana