With more and more customers turning to online resources for holiday shopping, social media should be an integral part of your holiday strategy. If you’re currently utilizing a handful of social media channels, or just Facebook, it’s best to come up with a plan to make sure you are reaching your audience and sharing the right message. We’ve put together a few pointers that will help your social media strategy go smoothly and, hopefully, profitably this holiday season.
Check out your insights. It is very important to see what’s working and what’s not working in order to make sure your social media messages are resonating with your audience. If you haven’t already, go to your insights/analytics page for each social media account and see if there are any patterns that stand out. For instance, does it seem that your posts on the weekend get more likes and comments than those during the week? Are your Tweets using relevant hashtags receiving more retweets and favorites? Are your Instagram photos featuring customers engaging more people than those featuring your staff? The information you can glean from your analytics can be very helpful, but sometimes misleading. Be sure to take all factors into consideration before completely changing your holiday social media strategy. Once you have solid information about how your followers respond to your posts, test your method throughout the season and make changes as necessary. (Not sure where to find your social media analytics? Check out this article).
Create an editorial calendar. Let’s face it, you’re not going to have time to be very creative after Thanksgiving. So take the time now to think about your offers and promotions to craft an editorial calendar that will help you increase traffic and sales. Remember that everyone else will be competing with you for people’s attention, so try something different, interesting, and compelling.
Use a social relationship platform. If you’re worried that once the busy holiday season kicks in then you’ll be left with no time to manage your social media accounts, try Hootsuite! This platform allows you to link your social media accounts to one easy-to-use dashboard where you can schedule posts on multiple platforms, retweet, comment, and more! The best part is – there’s a free version! Hootsuite is definitely a time saver, but there are a few discrepancies including the inability to post Instagram photos and the inability to edit your posts if you make a mistake (you have to log-in to each platform to do that).
Spend a little money. If you’ve done the research and you know that your target audience is using social media, don’t be afraid to designate a piece of your advertising budget for social media this holiday season. This is especially important on Facebook, where the organic reach of your posts is a lot smaller than it was in the past. You have a few ways to advertise on Facebook, so if you’re a novice user, you might want to stick to “boosting” your posts every now and then. Be sure to only boost posts that are relevant to your holiday strategy; for instance, don’t boost posts that are linking to websites other than your own. If you are an experienced Facebook advertiser, take full advantage of Power Editor to define your target audience and the structure of your post.
Be real. Although your main goal this holiday season is most likely to increase profits, don’t forget the importance of building a relationship with your customers. Take the time to respond to your customers if they are speaking to you online; show your products in an everyday setting, not just on a shelf; and make sure your posts are not always “selling.” As we are likely to be bombarded with many messages over the next few months, make yours one that stands out and makes a connection through social media to your target audience.
As the holiday season is approaching, don’t let the busyness of your online or brick-and-mortar store let you neglect the importance of your social media accounts. With the help of your analytics, Hootsuite, an advertising budget, and an appropriate message, you’ll be equipped with a social media strategy to get you through the holiday season successfully.