One of my staff members recently asked me for one piece of holiday social media marketing advice I could share with our users.
Since my company makes software that businesses use to build social campaigns, like contests and giveaways, I immediately settled on: "Give your customers the feeling that they have some input and control over the promotions and deals you offer them during the busiest selling season of the year."
Ask your users/customers what they most want from you. Even if you've already planned your promotions for the rest of this year, the information you gather could be very helpful for next year. You'll learn what kinds of products and services your users/customers like about what's already in your line-up, what they don't care so much about, and what they wish you offered. It's cheap market research.
So that's my two cents. But in the spirit of sharing, here's a roundup of sage holiday marketing advice some of our guest bloggers have shared with us.
"The holidays provide businesses with a way to connect with the audience on a more human level...because they allow us to communicate as people who share similar traditions, or they allow us to talk about what makes us unique. How that might play out: Show how the people in your company celebrate or honor certain traditions, to give your fans and prospects an idea of the people and personalities that make your company what it is. It's also a great time to showcase any charitable activities your company might participate in."
"The more you give to people, the more they want to give back to you. As business owners, we should approach our marketing as "how can I give more valuable content in a bigger way so that I can reach more people?" Now that builds brand value and creates raving fans who buy."
"To increase engagement on your Facebook Page, ask your fans to post their favorite holiday photos from their childhood or share details about their favorite holiday treats."
"The best Facebook strategies are based around relevance and context. And, the holidays provide the perfect environment to engage fans using both those constructs. Ask yourself--how does your brand tie into the holidays? If you are B2B company serving sales professionals, chances are that they are scurrying to meet year end goals or they thinking about how to reward their current customers. You can share with them ideas on how to make last minute sales or provide gift ideas for their best customers. If you are a B2C food company, how about a contest for the best cookie recipe? The goal is to think like your fans, and then help them with their holiday challenges!"
"Forget about all of iconic holiday images for a second. Don't let Santa or Frosty or Charlie Brown cloud your vision. Ask yourself what your best customers--the people who support you all year round--are doing this month.... Forget about what you think the season the holidays are about. Ask what your customers are focused on. If you don't know, ask them. No matter what their views on the season are, most people aren't shy about sharing.
Next, ask how you can be useful. For one reason or another, many people find the holiday season stressful--even if it's their favorite time of the year. The one thing that unites most of humanity is that we'd all like to be just a little less busy, tired and stressed out. Think about how your fans are observing this season and then ask yourself how you can make the season just a little easier for them. When in doubt, remember that a helping hand is a gift everyone longs for."
"Marketing has changed. It's a go-giver economy where you demonstrate the value of your product or service ahead of time by giving people the benefit of your expertise. If you are giving back to them, they will help spread the word about your business."
"Research shows that consumers trust product recommendations from friends ten times as much as marketing messages that come directly from those recommended brands. Businesses that understand that rabid fans are the best salespeople understand the real power of Facebook!"
"The holiday season is typically shopping frenzy for most consumers and brands can easy drown in a red and green sea of sameness. Going above and beyond during the holiday season helps a business stand out in a time where everyone is competing for share of voice. Businesses should aim to disrupt this time of year."
"Holiday countdowns are always popular and a great way to boost engagement. An online advent calendar is a great example--daily prizes, offers, incentives, competitions, fun stuff etc. It also encourages people to come back again, to encourage sharing of your initiative, and is often much more memorable."
"A huge part of being successful on social media is humanizing your brand. People want to connect with and buy from brands who they know, like and trust, and sharing your own holiday moments with your fans and followers is a great way to build this trust. I am not necessarily recommending you share your family's Christmas morning pictures! But sharing photos of your office holiday party, Christmas decorations or other holiday events can make your brand more relatable and human!"
"There's a lot that businesses can do on Facebook to get more sales during the holidays. The easiest thing for brick-and-mortar businesses is to target audiences by using the new Local Awareness feature. This allows you to target ads to people only when they're physically near your business. You can even give people directions to your location right on their phones. Another way is to use Custom Audiences to find your best customers on Facebook, and then use Lookalike Audiences to find similar people."
What's your best Facebook holiday marketing advice? Please let me know in the comments section.