5 ways to promote your business on Social Media this holiday season
‘Tis the season to be shopping! In the midst of the year’s holiday shopping madness, have you wondered how social media is affecting or will affect your holiday sales as a business? Do not limit your social media existence to just “another channel to have a personalized dialogue with your customer.”
Making the most out of your online presence these holidays can be challenging. It is not easy to get news about your deal, your special event or your new product heard above all the rest of the online noise, louder especially during the holiday season. These tips may help your business stand out online and translate hopefully to the achievement of whatever goals you set for your business.
- 1. Give to your customer
Giving to your fans/followers should be a big part of your Social Media Marketing strategy especially during this festive season. Let them feel special. Give something exclusive to your online followers only. Whether it’s a free download or a discount make sure it is relevant and it matters.
- a. Discounts and offers – Reward your fans with giveaways. According to Forbes, 79% of consumers LIKE a brand on Facebook exclusively for offers, discounts and incentives. A simple status update that highlights a sale can reach a large number of your business’s existing fans. Facebook has an ‘offer’ feature. If at least 50 people have liked your Page, you can create an offer from the ads tool at a cost. This is going to be promoted by Facebook and will reach a targeted number of people depending on your budget.
- b. Organize an Event – Depending on your business you can organize a party, or networking meeting. This can be a special day for all your followers to meet and mingle. This should be used as an avenue to share something of value as a group. A TV show which focuses on raising toddlers for example can organize a Christmas event for mums to share ideas on better ways to organize their working days.
- c. Reservations and customizations – Customize products or services for your online followers. For example inscribe the names of your online faithfuls on your products if possible (you can customize diaries, pens, mugs). Give autographed cd’s if you are a musician, provide special reservations for online followers if you are a restaurant.
- d. Self-help tips and advice – Make your customer feel special this season; share a tip, trick, how-to of or about your product or a recipe.
- e. Contest – Run a contest for a few of your fans to be able to win something from you. The contest can be about which of your songs should be packaged on a cd for Christmas or which of your products should be included in a Christmas hamper etc. Figure C below shows an example of giving back to online faithfuls by Airtel. They pose the question ‘what does Christmas mean to you?’ Two randomly selected responses will be awarded airtime!
Figure C –
- 2. Decorate and join the fun
Most of the popular social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter etc allow you to change your profile pictures and cover photos. Bring out your Christmas lights and trimmings. Use this opportunity to virtually decorate your online spaces. You can include your holiday wishes and season’s greetings in such photos. You can also incorporate your offers and giveaways in such images. Use good graphics and images. At this stage in the year many people are tired and looking forward to the break at Christmas, anything that makes people feel close to the holiday is a good idea. Please see two examples of how two different businesses in Ghana have ‘decorated’ their page for Christmas.
Figure A – An example of a Christmassy cover photo from a Cake Gourmet Bakery.
Figure B – An example of a Christmassy cover photo from a Cake Gourmet Bakery.
Figure C – Another example of a christmas cover photo update
- 3. Give back to society
This is a season of giving so give, give and give! Donate to a cause you believe in as a brand! Use your business page to advertise a good cause. Your followers would like you more if they can see your business’ humanness!
- 4. Advertise
One of the best places to advertise sales is Facebook. Why? Boasting 1.15 billion monthly active users, Facebook offers businesses a very inexpensive and effective way to develop brand awareness. However not everyone who likes your page sees the content you post. It is even getting harder for fans to see your content as Facebook keeps updating its algorithm. Advertising helps you to aim that is, put your message right in front of your targets. Advertising on Facebook is one of the most cost effective means of promoting a business as long as it is done right. Do not be tempted to hit the ‘PROMOTE PAGE’ or ‘BOOST’ buttons. This may be a waste of your precious money and may not produce the desired results. Use Facebook Ads Manager or Power Editor, you can also contact me anytime if you’re looking for help in getting started with Facebook Advertising or assistance in developing your Online marketing strategy.
YouTube advertising is also a great way to reach your targeted audiences with videos. YouTube has been ranked the world’s second largest search engine. It is thus a very good idea for your brand to promote your business on this key platform especially this season.
- 5. Motivate your customers to share your brand
Motivating consumers to share their purchases, their experiences and their likes with their friends is a great way to promote your brand. Involve your followers, let them share something they will enjoy sharing. For example, if your business is a home décor or furniture outlet, let your fans share pictures of how they have used the items they bought in your store to decorate their homes for Christmas. You will be giving them an excuse to show off at the same time rewarding them by creating an opportunity for their hard work to be noticed.
You can increase the scope of your promotional efforts almost instantly if you are able to convince your fans to tweet about your business. Depending on the nature of your business, you can ask your followers to tweet an answer to a specific question and to mention your handle or include a #hashtag in their tweet. For example, if you run a boutique, you could ask people to tweet Christmas must-haves. You can then randomly select a winner from everyone who participates. Nokia is running a campaign this Christmas season across social media using the hashtag #holidayrealness by asking their followers to share their own photos or stories of how they celebrate the festive season.
Videos on Vine, Instagram and YouTube can also be great ways to engage your fans and inspire them to share your brand. Ask your fans to use their phones, tablets, laptops, digital camera’s etc to create a short video of themselves doing something with your product. For example a fashion brand can ask their followers to put up a 12 days of Christmas wardrobe ideas, where they demonstrate how they would wear their fashion pieces during the Christmas holidays etc.