Here's how to use social media to your advantage during the holidays.
- Using Twitter Polls to identify your customers' needs and then solving them can create life-long relationships with them.
- Using Facebook’s features, such as Facebook Live, Events and posting on your social media page, you can make your promotions known and run giveaways to stir them up about your products and services.
- Using Instagram stories, you can offer your products and services in any number of ways to fit your needs and your target audience.
The holidays are a great time to boost your social media strategy. Social media is the perfect place to promote your business during the holidays. People are looking on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter for gift ideas and great deals.
With the right social media marketing strategy, you can boost holiday sales, engage with potential customers and spread holiday cheer. We talked to social media experts about how businesses can use social media to boost sales this holiday season. Here are four tips.
1. Use Twitter polls to identify customer pain points.
Social media platforms are constantly updating and adding helpful features. Twitter polls are an easy way to engage and connect with your followers online. You can use Twitter polls to connect with them over topics that are trending in global news or just topics about their everyday life or get feedback that can help improve your products or find out which products they prefer most. You can even use their feedback to find out the kind of posts they would most like to see.
Chelsea McDonald, senior social media strategist at DEG Digital, recommends using those features to identify pain points and then provide a solution.
"Another great tool to use is Twitter Polls," she said. "If you can identify a problem your customers are facing and solve it for them, you will create customers for life."
Twitter can boost sales by monitoring the competition and certain keywords as well. "We have a designated keyword stream on Hootsuite set up primarily to Twitter-butt into conversations when appropriate and let folks know that we have the products or blog posts they may be interested in," said Jason Myers, senior account executive at The Content Factory. "It's a tad more aggressive than we usually operate, but all's fair in love and holiday shopping."
2. Use Facebook Live, create events and run giveaways.
McDonald suggests hosting Facebook Live videos to give your followers the scoop on your deals for the holidays, what new products you have or what services you're offering. Along with Facebook Live, you should also use Facebook's events feature.
"Create Facebook Events for any in-store events you might be hosting during the season," McDonald added. "The sooner you get these out the better, and as people begin indicating interest or attendance, more people will become aware of the event and see it in their feeds."
Once you've hosted a live video or created an event, be sure to continue to post all your promotions on your social accounts. "Post regularly to increase stay top of -mind, and if you have a paid social budget, be sure to reassess your strategy for holiday," she said.
Another great way to engage and connect with your followers is with a giveaway contest. "People can use a little help this time of year and the chance to win a big gift that someone on their wish list may appreciate is a very attractive prospect," said Myers. "For the cost of one prize and some shipping, you can also work up a frenzy among your followers as they comment and enter for their chance to win."
3. Use Instagram stories.
Introduced in 2016, Instagram Stories quickly became a popular social media tool and marketers need to take advantage of this feature this time of year.
"Stories have nearly taken over the Instagram platform with their temporary availability and features that allow for product-feed integration and swipe up to shop, simplifying the purchase experience for users," said McDonald. "And don't forget about Highlights. Your temporary content can be saved to Highlights on your profile for the duration of the holiday season and removed come January."
While focusing on Instagram stories doesn't mean you should forget about posting regular pictures, it does allow you to supplement your content and post more frequently, McDonald suggests.
Instagram stories can help you showcase your products and their features. You can add links in Instagram stories that will take followers to your blog or homepage – wherever you desire. You can use clickable posts or offer your products directly from your posts.
4. Engage with followers and get creative.
While you use social media to market your business, your followers use it to have fun and engage with their favorite brands. Eileen McGovern, search coordinator at Efferent Media, suggests being creative on social media offering ideas such as running a contest, creating a holiday playlist for your business on Spotify or offering holiday tips.
"Tips for the seasonal holidays or winter season, in general, make excellent social media posts," McGovern said. "Whether you are discussing holiday safety or decorating tips, the holidays are a great time to give your business a personal appearance and voice."
Another idea to consider is a holiday ebook. It may seem like a mountain of a task, but in reality, it can be made fairly simple. You can do it a number of ways, like getting some of your most popular and influential followers to write your ebook with you or gathering and sharing e-books that teach holiday home decorating and cooking.
You should remember also that analytics are available for business with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and other sites to help you know whether your social media approach should be adjusted.
In creating your company's social media strategy, keep in mind why customers are on the platform. Avoid being too salesy. Let them know you're a consumer, too.
"Maintain some humility and gratitude," said Myers. "Be the type of business customers know, like and trust, and have fun with it, after all, if you're not enjoying the process, others likely won't either."