It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. Although we are still a couple of weeks away from the actual day, for designers and retailers the time is ripe to harness the power of social media to build brand awareness, extend company reach, and boost seasonal sales. And here are some tried-and-true strategies to help you get the most out of your marketing efforts this year:
1. Use hashtags relentlessly
They are great for generating leads. Some of the most effective seasonal hashtags include #holidays, #win, #giveaway #Christmas, #blackFriday, and #cyberMonday. You can also create your own hashtag using your brand name or a special offer you’re running, and ask followers to spread the word. If done right, this simple method can make your company the next hot trend in a matter of minutes.
2. Offer freebies
If there’s one thing shoppers love, it’s free or discounted items. With major retailers luring customers in with hefty percentages off their purchases, hop on the bandwagon by offering deals that are too good to turn down. These could be special in-store discounts to clients who ‘liked’ your Facebook page, repinned your Pinterest images, re-tweeted content that you posted on Twitter, or brought a certain number of friends to your online store through a referral link. Alternatively, you can opt for the free shipping feature, or generate some buzz with a ‘one day only’ type of an offer.
(image via selfie.kennethcole.com)
3. Run contests
If planned and executed properly, online contests and sweepstakes can bring major traffic to your website. The key is to ensure that you appeal to your target market – to make them excited to participate and share their experiences through social media. One way to go is to ask your fans and followers to style holiday party outfits using pieces from your collection, and have the public vote for the best one, with the winner receiving a gift card to shop in your store (leaving you with a wider pool of potential clients attracted by all the likes and shares that have been going around).
4. Take advantage of mobile apps
Nearly 50% of consumers believe their personal mobile devices are more efficient than store associates in helping them make buying decisions. So there’s no reason not to find a way to integrate a mobile element into your marketing. Take a cue from Zappos, whose “…mobile program includes features that were recommended by Zappos customers, such as saved searches, notifications when items are in stock, product videos, and sharing products to social media networks.” If you want to replicate their success, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel and build your own app. Just take advantage of Facebook and Twitter’s ‘buy’ buttons, which are now optimized for mobile, or simply make your Instagram shoppable.
(image via mamasarollingstone.com)
5. Put a face to your brand
Social media offer companies a unique opportunity to connect with customers on a personal level. So make your page or profile interactive by asking for celebration-related ideas and suggestions, upload images of you and your team working on holiday preparations, or share a video message with festive greetings. These gestures can help foster your fans’ loyalty, nurture their emotional connection to your business, and inspire them to spend more.
Using social media to boost sales is a process that involves trial and error. With that in mind, don’t be afraid to test out the waters to see what works for your company, and you will unlock invaluable tools and strategies than can spell success for your brand not just this holiday season, but for years to come.