7 tips to jumpstart your holiday social strategy.
The time period before the holidays is the biggest time of year for consumer spending, and typically the busiest time of year for many small business owners.
2018 shows signs of being one of the strongest holiday seasons in years - eMarketer predicts e-commerce will expand by 15 percent over last year, with mobile and social media being a driving force for growth.*
It’s crucial for small businesses to solidify their social media holiday marketing plans early so they can maximize their resources, from time to money.
Here are seven tips to help you prepare:
- Look back to look ahead.
- Which social media platforms delivered the most traffic to your website?
- Which posts saw the highest engagement and clicks? Did you see more shares and likes with posts that featured a video or a photo? And as for content appeal – did customers click on product promotion posts, or general brand awareness posts more?
- What posting days and times did you see the most engagement and sales?
- What posting frequency delivered the best results? Once a day or once a week?
This may be stating the obvious, but focus on what actually worked and discard what didn’t. You’re already working 26 out of 24 hours during the holiday season, so make sure each tactic is as efficient as possible. Side note: if this is your first holiday selling season, be sure to establish your baseline metrics. You’ll be glad you did because it will make planning easier.
- Define your goals and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
If you’re looking to generate leads, you might want to design a social media campaign that entices customers to share their email address. If you want to generate sales, you can design a campaign that includes special offers or flexible payment options. And if better brand awareness is your goal, focus your efforts on tracking impressions, clicks, and engagements with your content.
- Choose your channel (or channels).
Start testing with a few hundred dollars to see what kind of traction you’re getting. Add more or scale back until you get closer to meeting your KPIs. You may also experiment with your posting frequency on different channels. For example, your customers may like seeing multiple posts on Instagram or Twitter, where they check in multiple times a day, but not as many on Facebook, where they might only check in once a day. Your business’s ideal posting frequency will be unique to your customers, so be sure to monitor how it impacts results.
- Know your audience.
As you learn more about your audience, you’ll begin to understand what kinds of content appeals most to them. For example, does content that builds awareness perform better than content designed to push sales? You may find that a mix of content works best, so experiment. Develop content that tells your story or provides advice or inspiration, then develop content that showcases specific products or promotions. Combined, you’ll be able to position your business as a trusted resource your customers will want to follow long after the holiday season.
- Think outside the desktop.
So, remember to include mobile in your social marketing strategy and to ensure your website and emails are optimized to be easily read and navigated by mobile customers.
- Listen to your audience.
Monitor conversations on your social channels and your competitors’ social channels. What issues may be causing frustration or joy? What information or keywords do you hear most often? Use what you learn to help inform your own messaging and marketing.
- Target, test, and learn.
Testing will also help you to create social ads and messaging that are most relevant to drive results. Each social platform has its own “native” advertising offering, meaning you can set up promotional campaigns directly from your own account – from targeting and messaging to budget and reporting. You can target audience segments with different types of content – like videos or photos – or different messaging – like free shipping or other special offers. From there, invest in those placements that deliver the best results according to your KPIs.
For more tips and free checklists to get your small business ready for the holidays, visit our Holiday Planning website.
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*eMarketer Report: US Holiday Shopping Preview 2018: Reviewing 2017, with an Eye Toward This Season, March 21, 2018