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5 Tips For Holiday Social Media Marketing

5 Tips For Holiday Social Media Marketing

With the advent of marketing automation, retailers have the power to capitalize on social media like never before, especially during the holiday season.

Companies used to pin their hopes of reaching customers amid the holidays by launching a splashy TV spot or putting a billboard on the highway to attract drivers shopping for their favourite items. Those tactics still have value, but marketing success now has to include the strategic use of social media too.

Think about what may be happening within a store, or by consumers shopping online, at any moment:

  • A teenager posts a TikTok as they try on a new coat or jacket they hope a parent will gift them
  • A mother browses Instagram to get a closer look at potential gifts for their partner
  • A single man asks his community on Twitter or Facebook for the best gift ideas for his grandparents

What consumers buy – and the brands to whom they give their business – can be influenced by other social media platforms as well, including Snapchat or even LinkedIn.

Instead of hoping their activity on social media will eventually lead customers their way, companies need to make sure they are a part of these social media conversations.

The holidays are a great opportunity to not only drive revenue but loyalty, which means you have to try and exceed expectations with customer magic in terms of personalized, frictionless experiences. You can only exceed expectations if you know what they are, though, and social is just as value as a tool for insight as it is for advertising and promoting your products.

Retailers might have shied away from investing too much time and energy in social amid the holidays because of the perceived hassles involved. After all, monitoring multiple social channels at once can be onerous, and responding to customers through them adds another layer of work to already-overtaxed staff.

With the advent of marketing automation, however, retailers have the power to capitalize on social media as never before. This includes using technology to assess the sentiment of customer conversations, identifying interests and ensuring every piece of marketing creative a consumer sees is relevant.

If you’re new to marrying automation and social media activity for your brand, here are the best ways to deliver the right experience, even during the busiest time of your year:

1. Focus on the platforms with the greatest engagement and potential

Social media marketing doesn’t necessarily mean putting the same level of effort into every single channel. As with other pieces of the marketing mix, you need to consider the habits of your average customer, the nature of your brand’s offering and the kind of outcomes you want to achieve.

A youth-oriented retail brand, for example, might use TikTok primarily to increase awareness of its holiday sales to a key demographic. Facebook ads might make more sense for a brand looking at a slighter older cohort, where you want to increase direct conversions to your e-commerce site.

There are many tools aimed at marketing towards specific social media channels, but you don’t to complicate your team’s lives with a litany of applications. In fact, part of your goal in automation should be simplifying to a single platform. This can lower costs and let you earmark more money for marketing and other purposes.

2. Dig deep on social media data to drive the right results

Do consumers tend to like your social media posts on a particular channel, or do they share the posts with their own followers? Do they click on any of the links in a social media post, or keep on scrolling and swiping to the next post in their feed?

These differences in behaviour can all be tracked, quantified and used to develop a marketing strategy based on real insight, rather than guesswork.

Don’t keep this data siloed within the marketing department, however. Automation should be helping you build bridges to other business functions such as sales and customer service. Having a single view of the customer means everyone can understand the role of social media and use it to drive more efficient growth.

3. Create holiday content that deepens the relationship

Social media usage has ballooned over the past decade for a reason. It allows people to speak to many of their friends and followers at once, but also to have one-on-one interactions by tagging people or using direct messages. Retailers marketing themselves over the holidays should take advantage of both opportunities.

There will be some social media ad campaigns, for instance, that walk through a wide range of customer interests and pain points. As you become more data-driven, however, you can repurpose content and segment it in ways that align with more specific targets within your total addressable market.

Forget about hoping to go viral. Focus on personalizing and telling stories that speak the niches and needs of customers who want to feel recognized.

4. Spark urgency and excitement through discounts and giveaways

Brands have always ensured their holiday marketing plan include special promotions that differentiate them from competitors. The difference in doing so through social media channels is that automation can let you be more granular in the offers you make.

You might see through your platform that a customer has already purchased some of your most popular items, for example. Sending them discounts or giveaways for those products wouldn’t make sense, but they might be interested in promotions that relate to complementary products or accessories.

Automation can also help you do a better job in how you time special promotions, and whether the creative assets you’re using should be updated to generate more action.

5. Bring brand ambassadors and influences into the holiday marketing mix

Consumers don’t only pay attention to companies. They also like to hear from people who regularly use products over the long term – otherwise known as brand ambassadors – and influencers who have large social followings and who are willing to act as a marketing partner.

The ability to ensure return on investment (ROI) for influencer marketing used to be debatable, but automation brings clarity to every campaign. You still own and manage the customer data behind the strategy. Brand ambassadors and influencers are simply additional avenues to meet customers where they are, and tracking URLs and other tools can give you the insight into performance you need to continue optimizing.

Don’t just come up with a hashtag for your marketing campaigns this holiday season. Tap into what technology can do to help you reach success now, and in the holiday seasons to come.

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