Holiday Guide to Social Media
Whether they’re early birds halfway through their list by October, or last-minute buyers just starting on Christmas Eve, the majority of holiday shoppers will approach their shopping armed with technology. In fact, more than half of them will use social media to learn about deals, research gift ideas, and find product reviews and recommendations.
What’s more, Bain and Company found that customers who interact with companies via social media spend 20 to 40 percent more with those companies than non-engaged consumers.
Clearly, if you want the cash register to jingle during the holiday season, you need to spread some good spirits via social media!
Here’s everything you need to know about getting your social media campaigns and presence holiday-ready this year:
1. Picking your platform
It’s important to maximize your social media time investment by picking platforms that will put you in front of the holiday shoppers most likely to buy your products or services.
For most small businesses, it makes sense to start with the social media platforms that are most widely used — Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. You may also find specialized platforms that are of interest to your target customers. To evaluate the usefulness of each platform, consider key questions such as:
- What value does the platform offer to users who may be your customers?
- Do the platform’s attributes, tone, and audience relate to your business?
- Who uses this platform? (Most social media platforms make demographic information readily available for marketing purposes.)
- Will this platform be easy to use, allowing you to create the maximum impact in the short weeks leading up to the holiday season?
The top platforms each have different marketing strengths. For example, if you want to quickly promote a limited-time offer, like a Black Friday deal, Twitter or Pinterest are more immediate. For building on existing relationships, Facebook is a more relaxed, in-depth format.
2. Customer service that shines
Too often, customer service suffers during the busy holiday season. But it doesn’t have to — social media can be a cost-effective and personalized way to ensure even unhappy consumers have a positive experience. Keep your customers’ spirits bright by following these guidelines:
- Be responsive. Consumers are used to instant gratification. No matter how good your response is to an issue raised via social media, current and potential customers won’t be impressed if that response took three days to show up online. Respond to complaints right away.
- Take complex issues offline. If you can solve a customer issue quickly and positively with a single post, go for it! Often, however, issues will be more complex, and it’s better to take those offline. Doing so protects the privacy of the customer and allows you to focus on resolving their issue, rather than wondering how it will all look and play out online.
- Make every experience positive. Meet unflattering reviews and confrontational accusations with the same tact and patience you would afford someone asking a simple question or offering praise.
- Answer customer questions. Not everyone who contacts you via social media will have a complaint or problem; some will have simple questions about gift return policies, holiday hours, and so on. Answering those questions as promptly and cheerfully as you would respond to a complaint helps build your reputation on social media.
3. Social posts that sing
Maintaining a decent frequency and quality of postings can be a challenge, but it’s essential during the holiday season. Plan on about six posts per week on Facebook, about 10 pins per week on Pinterest, and about 20 tweets per week on Twitter.
That volume can stretch the creativity of even the savviest online marketer. In honor of the 12 days of Christmas, here are a dozen ideas for social posts that sing:
- Use countdowns to build excitement. A post per day, counting down to the target holiday date, with an offer or deal each day can help keep your customers engaged.
- Share some holiday cheer. The holidays can be a stressful season, so spread some fun. Think about daily tweets of silly holiday trivia, posts about local nonprofits that your company is supporting during the holidays, or your favorite G-rated holiday humor.
We made a list so you can check it twice!
- More helpful reminders
- Tips and fun facts to share on social media