As hard as it is to believe it’s already the end of October. Soon we’ll be sitting down for Thanksgiving dinner or going out for Black Friday or worrying how to get the most out of Cyber Monday. And as online marketers it’s the time of year we buckle down and really get creative.
For many brands the holiday spending season represents the largest chunk of revenue for the entire year. A bad season certainly won’t start off the new year well. All the more reason to get started on your holiday online marketing strategy. Haven’t yet? You better start!
BlueGlass put together a great 60 tip list for the holiday season. Hopefully with their list and my list you’ll identify plenty of opportunities for this upcoming holiday season!
Prepare a Bank of Posts
I’m a huge fan of preparing a bank of tweets or Facebook posts especially for times like:
- Writers block
- Legal has to approve all messaging
- You don’t want to miss out promoting any sales, coupons, or other promotions
- Too busy to think
Think about the types of messages you want to send out during this busy time of the year, when you want to send them, and how you want to send them. Make each message unique, but revise a few and re-purpose them across multiple platforms. Don’t forget #hashtags for tweets and tagging for Facebook messages too.
Wrap up Your Social Media Calendar With a Bow
Using a social media editorial calendar can help keep your efforts organized and focused. Set up your calendar to include days and times to message, themes to keep consistent throughout the month, cross promotion messaging, and those involved in setting up and executing the messaging. Many might not think it’s needed to set up a calendar, but trust me it really helps when you’re in a crunch during the busiest time of year – you’ll be wishing you prepared more!
A great suggestion from Blue Glass is to prepare holiday logos. At the company I work for, Vertical Measures, we’ve done this in the past for Halloween, Christmas, and even Valentine’s Day.
Carving a pumpkin in the shape of your pictoral mark, arranging candy corn in the shape of your logo, or graphically designing something are all great ideas. Prepare now and use these logos on social profiles as well as your website and marketing materials. Even if you don’t have a graphic designer on staff use a simple photo editing software and do your best.
Add Social Sharing
Quite an obvious tip but one that some forget. Add social sharing buttons to product pages if you don’t already have them and on thank you pages so users can share what they just bought. Offer posting options onto a users Facebook page with discounts for their friends and family, or suggest users tweet the latest coupon for your site.
Start Writing Great Content to Share
Simply updating a status message or just tweeting a link to your site won’t do much for your efforts. Try posting great content on your site and share on social media to engage with users before, during and after the holidays.
Video, images, infographics, or just blog posts are all great content ideas. Whether it’s a post about gift giving ideas or one that illustrates the history of Christmas, it’s a piece of content that can get visitors to your site and keep them there longer - enticing them to browse and shop.
Tis the time of year to help others. If you haven’t already throughout about a charity your company will donate to you should do it now.
From food drives and clothing drives to volunteering and donating money, there are many things your brand can do to get into the spirit of giving. Add a social spin to your actions and live tweet during volunteering events, match dollar for dollar donations on Facebook, create a contest, or get your fans/followers to vote on a charity.
Tie All Your Efforts Together with Social Media
Ensure that all marketing efforts tie together with social media this year.
- Have a printed brochure? Make darn sure that your Facebook and Twitter information is on there.
- Putting out a press release? Add a link to Facebook and Twitter.
- PR company got you a spot on local or national news? Talk about Facebook and Twitter!
Each of your efforts should incorporate some aspect of social media marketing.
Real-Time Tweets and Facebook Posts
When the day comes have your troops ready on social media.
- Have a few employees live tweet at 3 a.m. on Black Friday.
- Set up a laptop or computer by exits and have an employee take pictures with patrons after they’ve purchased.
- Have an employee check brand mentions and RT messages from customers shopping or purchasing on your site or in your store.
- Thank them for their purchases and give him a special coupon for their next visit or to share with friends and family.
There are so many things you can do with social media if you have the manpower and planning to do it.
Offering an exclusive deal for Facebook or Twitter fans or exclusive content only able to be viewed by fans is something that some brands have found to work well – no matter the time of year. Think about what types of exclusive content you can provide to your fans or followers that they’d be interested in. Is it a coupon only for them, or maybe an infographic or game only fans can see on Facebook?
Ask for User Generated Content
Asking your fans or followers for video, photos, or reviews are something your brand should do already. Around the holiday season ask users to upload photos of their recent purchases, video of them testing out their recent purchases, photos of friends/family opening their gift, etc.
If you send out e-mails to customers after they purchase items, ask them in those e-mails to upload photos or video. Offer a discount to them for uploading. Start planning for this now.
An idea examined in BlueGlass’s post was to customize your Facebook photostrip for the holidays. Thematically die it in with the holidays and change it up from Thanksgiving to Christmas. HypeArts.com also wrote about the perfect Facebook fan page photostrip branding and gives excellent directions on how to execute. Imagine the possibilities!
How are you preparing for the busy holiday season with your online marketing?