During the 2013 holiday season, retailers saw a 39% increase in traffic to their sites from Facebook referrals. Furthermore, 65% of shoppers said they used social media websites for gift ideas last year. Facebook is the preferred medium of choice for marketers, with 92% putting the bulk of their holiday marketing efforts on the popular site. Here are eight tips for your brand to get the most out of the 2014 shopping season.
1. Know what you want.
Clear, concise goals are the essential launching point of every advertising campaign — offline or online. Sure, you want attention and brand exposure. You want people to click on your links and read your blogs. You want people to “like” and share your content. But ultimately, you are looking for sales, right? Decide on a percentage or dollar value you’d like to see, and monitor your progress.
2. Measure achievements.
In addition to monitoring sales, you can also gauge the success of your marketing efforts by looking at email signups, traffic to your website, likes, shares, and “@yourbrandname” interactions. Engagement shows that you are achieving important brand awareness goals that ultimately lead to an increase in sales. There are a number of tools that make measuring your goals easier. (Ask us about them!)
3. Plan your content.
A content calendar brings organization and strategy to your social media agenda. Create a spreadsheet with a column for each day and a row for each marketing channel. Work around important deadlines — the last day to ship in time for the holidays, a Christmas Eve flash sale, Boxing Day returns sale, New Years, and other special days. Early in the month, be sure you’re packing posts with gift-giving ideas people can use.
Keep in mind that people enjoy Facebook because they like interacting with family and friends, and sharing about their own lives and interests. No one rushes to Facebook to see what Corporate America is doing. Your posts and ads should contribute to these ends and strive to enrich your fans’ experience with value.
5. Use fun holiday images.
Create eye-catching, holiday-themed posts with big, bright images and clear, concise language. You can change your 851 x 315 pixel cover photo as often as every day — like an advent calendar. Use light-hearted humor to put fans in a good (spending) mood. Think of this space as a large billboard. Use it to send fans to a holiday app, showcase gift ideas, promote holiday specials, or encourage interaction. Spruce up your profile photo as well. Here you can be more personal, so have the CEO or group of employees dress in holiday sweaters, doll up your corporate mascot in festive attire, or make a special holiday logo.
6. Find nearby shoppers.
Did you know Facebook has a new Local Awareness feature? You can use this tool to find Facebook fans who are physically near your business. You can contact people to give them directions to your store or deliver a coupon right to their phones. Another option is to use Custom Audiences to find the top buyers on Facebook and tap the Lookalike Audiences feature to find similar people.
7. Pay to play.
The era of “free lunches” is over. If you expect any kind of visibility from Facebook, you’ll have to invest in a few ads. Set a budget, create a few different ads, and experiment with A/B testing to see what works. You can also use Promoted Posts and Sponsored Stories to push your holiday deals or apps. Learn more about Facebook’s latest advertising offers in this eBook from Jon Loomer.
8. Ask for help when you’re too busy.
The holidays can be overwhelming — not just from a business standpoint, but personally as well. Take some time for yourself to spend with your family. Delegate some of these social media tasks to professionals who are experienced in achieving traffic and sales boosts for brands in a month or less. If you haven’t put together a holiday plan yet, then it’s no time to experiment to see what works. Instead, rely on a trusted online marketing firm like Mod Girl Marketing for quick results and bigger sales this holiday season. See what some of our past customers have to say!