5 Tips on Using Social Media to Rock Your 2012 Holiday Sales
Guest blog post by Kim Bultsma. Kim has attended Georgia’s social media boot camps at DIMA and IPI, and follows Georgia via the FUJIFILM business webinars. This is Kim’s summation of Georgia’s recent holiday FUJIFILM webinar .
We’re still a little ways out from Halloween, and stores have Christmas decorations up and holiday tunes playing. Facebook is all aflutter with posts about Christmas list completions, and Pinterest pins of holiday gift ideas are rising to the top of our boards. But are you ready to launch your holiday campaign now?
Whether you are just starting to fill family portrait sessions or struggling to find unique photo-oriented gift promotions, here are five tips on party rocking the 2012 holiday sales season!
1. Keep your eye on the calendar.
Because Thanksgiving falls early this year—November 22—we get five full weekends of shopping before Christmas…that’s one weekend more than last year. That means more sessions to fill, another week for consumers to wait on ordering holiday cards, and, most importantly, one more week for you to rock out some campaigns to encourage more holiday sales. Mondays are also important to include, as they are the peak shopping days for online shoppers. Plan your social campaigns around Mondays, and add December 17 to your important dates. It’s the last Monday before Christmas to offer free shipping when ordering online.
2. Be mindful of retail trends.
Today’s shoppers socialize online more than ever before. With over 900 million people on Facebook worldwide, we are forced to think about highly engaging techniques to convert those fans into buyers. Hold contests. Have Tug of Wars on unique products. Be visual. And don’t forget Pinterest! Use intriguing images on your website that are pin-able, and then share those boards, talk about them on your other social media platforms, and tell your newsletter database about them.
3. Start your marketing strategies NOW.
We’re seeing our Facebook friends talk about their holiday gift lists, and it’s still October. Shouldn’t your strategies start as well? For example, social media was a key driver of sales on Thanksgiving Day in 2011. So what holiday marketing strategies will you employ through social media to capture your audience’s attention? Here are a few to try:
• Kick up your visual stimulation. Use graphics and web links with your posts to bring attention to your brand on social media platforms.
• Increase your frequency of interaction. Post three times a day and interact with your customers. Don’t just post sales…ask them questions for fun: What was the most memorable holiday gift you received?
• Use premium promotions. What contest could you hold? What coupon can you offer? How can you give away a gift card to the nearly 60% of shoppers who say they’d like to get one this holiday season?
• Use that email list. How can you utilize an email campaign to bring in more conversions? Remember, don’t just sell in your emails. Give your customers tips and tricks…and casual reminders on where they can purchase these great items.
4. Be fun and engaging in your campaigns.
Plain and simple: customers are tired of being bombarded with constant sales ploys. You need to be more clever in how you engage with your customers so that when you do cast out a sale, they are ready to bite. People are on social media not only for the social aspect but also for the information. So give them information! Five unique holiday gift ideas. Top tips on how to be more organized this holiday season. Four creative ways to gift a photo. And don’t forget to ask questions and harness involvement. What is your all-time favorite holiday gift? (Remember—their answers could be your next big marketing idea!)
5. Plan, plan, plan.
Build your holiday promotional schedule around key milestones during the holidays. What are you planning for your Thanksgiving email blast? Offer an exclusive deal for those who come to your stores on Black Friday. Be creative with a promo code and offer free shipping to lure those Cyber Monday shoppers. Then…be creative with your social media posts! Consider being thematic with your promotions. It makes your posts easier to write and gives you more creative liberties with your sales.
Don’t stop now! Print out the November and December calendars and start looking at the big picture. Take 30 minutes right now and start planning what you want your holiday sales season to look like. Brainstorm a list of ideas, and then start filling in your calendar. Need inspiration? Look at what your fans (and friends!) are posting on Pinterest, Facebook, and other social media platforms that relate to the holidays. Then, start planning your best holiday sales season ever!