The holidays are a magical time of year. Despite the holiday season starting earlier and earlier each year, there are some things that never get old: the food, the family, A Christmas Story, the killer sales. My wallet and waistline have a love/hate relationship with this time of year.
As a small business, your marketing budget probably does, too. Your consumers are overwhelmed with holiday advertising, and in such a saturated market, it can be hard to make the most of your budget and still ensure your business stands out. That’s where social media comes in.
Social media marketing can help you connect with your customers and get the word out about your business. Here are some last-minute tips to help you maximize your holiday marketing this year.
Deck out Your Social Profiles
‘Tis the season, so deck out your social media profiles to reflect that.
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When you post or share content, make sure it’s specific to holiday shoppers. Share gift guides, offer limited time sales, send out holiday greetings from your staff, or even run a holiday advertising campaign (think 12 days of sales or a countdown to the holidays). Anything to get your followers and customers excited to shop for the holidays.
Invest in Paid Social Advertising
Even if you’re trying to keep your holiday marketing costs as low as possible, it’s still a good idea to invest in paid advertising, and through social media, it’s easy.
If you’re going the paid advertising route, make sure you hyper-target your ads to show to the most relevant customers. Then, you’ll be giving consumers exactly what they want to see, and they won’t end up feeling like Ralphie in his precious bunny suit.
Since social media sites know a lot about your potential customers, you can target your ads based on location (also known as geotargeting), or you can hypertarget your ads to show to prospective customers based on factors like age and gender.
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In order to avoid unnecessary clicks and wasted money on consumers who will never convert, targeting your advertising is a must. Just don’t be too specific with your targeting. You’ll shoot your eye out.
Engage Your Customers
There’s no secret code that you need to crack in order to reach your customers. That’s arguably the biggest perk of being a small business; it can be as easy as being personable and engaging with your customers.
Comment on your customers’ posts. Share them. Encourage them to share yours. Seriously, social media can be your strongest source of free marketing if you use it effectively.
Social media can have a huge influence on your customers’ buying decisions, too. In fact, 47% of Millennials say that what they see or read on social media influences their spending habits.
The more your followers like and share your posts, the more likely those posts will appear to their followers, which means you’ll eventually gain new followers at absolutely no cost to you. Plus, most people trust their friends’ recommendations (92% of people, in fact).
If you’re really trying to keep costs low, consider cross-promoting with other local businesses and posting about that on your social profiles. They’ll post about your business’ deal, and you’ll post about theirs. Team up with other shops, and have them share a deal or a flyer from your store while you do the same for them. It’s a win-win.
Start Your Marketing for Next Year Early
It may be too late to start your marketing early this year, but keep in mind that starting early next year and strengthening your marketing will help keep your social profiles active. Plus, you’ll reach the 40% of holiday shoppers who start researching and purchasing holiday gifts before November.
Having a strong marketing strategy throughout the year will make it that much easier (and less stressful) to adapt it to the influx of the holiday shopping season. (And who doesn’t want just a little less stress during the holidays?)