Can you believe the holidays are right around the corner? It seems like only yesterday we were gearing up for summer. Alas, here we are: Fall is in the air and pumpkin spice everything surrounds us.
If you're in the retail marketplace, whether it's the e-commerce sector or brick-and-mortar, this should be your biggest money-making season. But, how do you compete with all the other entrepreneurs and small businesses out there?
A solid marketing plan for the holidays is a must. In today's world, that means having your social media calendar in order. We're going to share 8 actionable tips to make sure your brand stands out across all the relevant platforms.
Here's Why You Need to Get in Gear Now
Halloween is the new Thanksgiving. 40% of shoppers say they start shopping before they've even handed out candy to trick-or-treaters. That means, you better get going with those social media holiday ideas. The holiday season is huge for social media marketing. Last year, Twitter ads generated $6.67 in sales for every $1 spent.
First, you need to know what the calendar has on it before you can decide which ones you want to take part in, right? You know Halloween is October 31st, Thanksgiving is November 22nd, and Christmas is December 25th. To be fair, if you didn't know when Thanksgiving was, we won't hold it against you.
Now, those aren't the only holidays in the realm of social media. There are holidays for every food item, animal, and industry imaginable. Social media holidays happen throughout the year, but you can use some of them as a primer for the "real" holiday season. Take a look at a sample of some of the fun ones we're talking about:
Oct. 4 - National Taco Day
Oct. 5 - World Smile Day
Oct. 13 - National Train Your Brain Day
Oct. 14 - National Dessert Day
Oct. 18 - Get to Know Your Customers Day
Nov. 4 - National Candy Day
Nov. 8 - National Cappuccino Day
Nov. 13 - World Kindness Day
Nov. 24 - Small Business Saturday
Dec. 4 - National Cookie Day
Dec. 8 - Pretend to Be a Time Traveler Day
By this time, you should already have your social media holiday plan going full throttle. If you do it right, your real holiday campaign will reap the benefits of your hashtag holiday game.
Social Media Holiday Calendar Tips
The biggest mistakes brands make is they try and take advantage of too many hashtag holidays. If it's not relevant to your product, service, or brand - don't get involved! If you can make #NationalTacoDay work and be relevant to your company, then go for it. But if you're only using the hashtag to gain followers and engagement, it's not going to work.
Your tweets or posts will come across as unauthentic and annoying. That's the last impression you want to give potential customers or your core consumers. Without further adieu, here are our tips for embracing holiday social media posts:
1. Review Last Year's Numbers
Things change in social media and marketing at the speed of light, but it doesn't hurt to go back and analyze last year's holiday season. You'll get a refresher in what worked and didn't work.
From there, it's pretty simple. If it worked and is still relevant, do it again. If it didn't and it's still relevant, try a different approach.
If something didn't work and is irrelevant, move on.
2. You Do Know Your Audience, Right?
Chances are, you know who your audience is. Your demographics kind of give it away. Make sure you're always targeting your ideal audience. If your core consumer isn't who you intend it to be, what are you missing?
This is actually great news. Your product or service targets one group, but instead, you're hitting one you didn't even plan on. All you have to do is figure out how to speak to your ideal audience and get them to listen.
3. Use the Most Effective Platform for Your Brand
Not every brand is effective on all platforms. That's why your analytics and data are important. They'll fill you in on what channel works best.
If your audience is millennials, Instagram and Snapchat are more effective marketing tools than Pinterest or Facebook.
4. Create Your Calendar
After looking over all the hashtag holidays (and real ones), brainstorm with your team which ones will work and which ones you should pass on.
Lay out all your ideas and start creating engaging social media content for those hashtag holidays.
There are a few things to keep in mind...
5. Be Authentic
This is the age of brand authenticity. Consumers no longer fall for shady tricks or silly schemes. This goes hand in hand with not overusing hashtags. There is a way that you can be authentic and still take advantage of the holidays and that's by getting personal. But not too personal, of course.
By funny or sentimental, or even both. Your brand should speak to your audience like it's you reaching them. Wish them a happy holiday season or answer all comments with their first name. But, use discretion, especially when you're dealing with a troll or negative Nancy. Don't use inappropriate language that is offensive or abusive.
6. Be Creative
This is the time of year when you can really let your creative side shine. Illustrations, videos, Gifs, and photos will grab your audience and hold their attention longer than text.
If you have a holiday discount code or offer, attractive posts will stand out more than a hashtag. But...
7. Use Hashtags But Don't Abuse Them
Of course, using hashtags has benefits or no one would use them. But using and overusing often get confused. You know exactly who we're talking about. That one person who uses 34 hashtags for every post. Most of them they made up themselves, have zero relevance, and no one else would ever think to search for it.
But, if you want to show your sales staff some love, go ahead and take part in National Salesperson Day (Dec. 14th)! In other words, use your hashtags, even come up with brand-centric ones, but use them wisely.
8. Creating Solutions for Your Brand
Everyone should want to have a solid social media holiday calendar. In fact, most modern business owners understand in today's climate, embracing social media is a must. But they're not always sure how to best use social media to market their brand.
That's why they turn to Adventii Media. We're not your average agency. We're passionate about listening, understanding and solving.
Contact us today and let's talk!
I help small- and medium-size businesses effectively leverage their online presence in order to increase brand awareness, target ideal clients and increase leads and revenue.