I know it’s just the beginning of October, and a lot of you are cringing at the thought of seeing Christmas decorations in shops; but if you have a business that is impacted by the Christmas season (hospitality, retail, leisure, personal services, food, home, etc.), you better have a strategy ready to make the most of the opportunities the festive season brings.
If you don’t already have a full-blown digital marketing campaign in place that includes promotions for these holidays, social media may be your best bet to get in front of your target audience in time to get those sales.
(Article moved from anndonnelly.com)
How to use Social Media to Maximize Sales This Christmas:
- Set your SMART goals – how many sales do you need by the end of the year and how many leads do you need to get these sales? Lay out targets for each week, so you can keep track and adjust activities as needed to reach the goal for the end of the year. (SMART = Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time Based)
- Define your target audience – who are they (physically, socially, economically, maybe even politically), where are they, where do they go online (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), and when do they go online?
- Set out your schedule – when and what are you going to post so that you can get the attention of your target audience per the information you found in the step above? At this point, you need to be posting a few times a day to build the leads you need as quickly as possible!
- Create your content in advance – what content can you easily create to populate these posts? You may not need as much as you think, as you can (and should) repeat frequently. Set out time now, or some time at the start of each following week, for the creation of content you can use from now until the holidays are over. If you create your content as needed, it will likely be weak, and you may not keep to your schedule. (See more about content below.)
- Grow your “community” – what promotions and other incentives can you use to get more connections on your social media channels and get these connections to share with their ‘friends’?
- Run competitions, promotions for social media followers only, etc.
- Post interesting and/or entertaining content that is relevant to your audience and very shareable. Include a mix of content that’s “selling” and content that’s for information and fun. If you only sell, you lose the attention of your audience and may lose them as connections (and potential customers) completely. Make sure the content is relevant (to your audience, to your business, and to the channel you’ll be posting on). Mix up the types of content, if possible, with posts, images, and videos.
- Partner with related businesses to promote to their audience and promote them to your audience.
- Promote your social media channels to current customers, in-house and in your print ads and other offline promotions.
- Join online groups and communities that include people you are targeting and see if you can build connections, whether on a one-to-one basis or by posting in the community.
- Recruit “influencers” that can promote you to their audiences or provide you with content for you own channels that will spark interest.
- DO NOT BE SHY! As Mama said, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get!” Ask for connections and shares at every opportunity!
- Set up your Conversion Path – what action do you need the connections to take to lead them through to the sale? Plot out a clear path from a connection seeing your post all the way through making the sale. Instead of leading prospects to general pages of your website, link to specific Landing Pages relevant to the post that attracted the person with content written to bring about the sale. Keep the Landing Page clutter free with only links to make the sale or contact you for further information — maybe a link to more details, but only if it’s more likely to bring the sale and not distract the visitor.
- Keep to your schedule – can you commit to this plan? Your commitment is key to its success. Consistency will help build your audience, and you don’t have time to lose. Once this season has passed, so have the opportunities that it brings. Use tools like Hootsuite and Buffer so that you can compose and schedule posts in advance and post to more than one social media channel at a time. Just make sure that using these tools won’t impact the look, timing or shareability of your posts.
- Analyze your results –
Are some of your efforts working better than others? Do more of that!
Do some activities seem like a waste of time? Don’t give up on these quite yet, because they may still be contributing to the overall plan.
Not hitting your weekly targets? You need to step up your activity to do better the next week, or you won’t reach your overall goals!
- Consider Paid Facebook Ads – are your results way off of your targets; struggling to find time to build the audience and post regularly? If you have the budget, paid Facebook Ads can help build your audience and get your message seen more quickly, but make sure you do the research on your target audience to make sure that your ad copy, timing and the audience you show it to will be relevant and increase your chance of a sale.
Not only will this plan maximize your sales for the Christmas season, you will now have grown your community that you can continue to interact with as you build your overall digital marketing strategy for the future.