As business owners, you don’t have elves to help you prepare for the holidays, but you do have social media.
Social media is a powerful marketing tool during the holidays. A survey shows 50 percent of customers use social media to find deals, and others use it to research gift ideas and learn about a specific company, according to Statista.
To help businesses use social media to increase brand awareness and give sales a boost, here are four holiday ideas you can use on your social channels this season:
1. Create an Offer on Facebook
Savvy shoppers are always on the hunt for a great deal.
Ninety-four percent of holiday consumers say discounts impact their purchase decisions, according to Invesp, so why not give customers what they want? Give them a deal they can’t refuse on a platform they’re already familiar with.
Facebook allows brands to create Offers, which are basically coupons for your customers. You can create a coupon that’s redeemable in your store, so customers can present the coupon on their phone at the register, or enter a coupon code during checkout online.
The Offer is shared with your Facebook fans, but once a customer redeems it, it’s mentioned in the customer’s Newsfeed, so it exposes even more people to your deal.
Customers can even save the deal for later, and will receive notifications from Facebook when the deal is about to expire.
Here’s an example of an Offer from Camping and Fishing Outlet:
The cost of a Facebook Offer depends on how many people you want it to reach. You’ll see budget options when you create the offer. Here are the instructions to create an Offer on Facebook, and here’s a list of frequently asked questions about Facebook Offers.
2. Host a holiday contest
Seven out of ten brands are using “gamification techniques,” which is the use of giveaways, games and contests to attract and retain customers, according to HubSpot.
Why are more businesses turning to contests and games? For starters, consumers love them, with 68 percent of adults older than 18 participating in online games.
Plus, it’s fairly simple to host a contest these days on social media.
Local businesses could encourage customers to take pictures of the holiday lights in their community. From decked-out homes to businesses lit up with a Santa’s Workshop display, customers can snap artsy photos and submit them on your Facebook page for a chance to enter an in-store gift card.
Or, have customers submit a short 100-word essay about how your product or service enhances their holiday. Select the best answer, announce the winner on Facebook and give the customer a rare coupon for 50% off one item.
If you don’t have the manpower to create and monitor a contest on social media, there are apps that can help. Try WooBox or Wishpond. (Note: Both WooBox and Wishpond charge a monthly fee for their services, but WooBox does have a few options available for free.)
3. Shoot and share a holiday video tip
Consider shooting a video that gives your customers a holiday tip, which just so happens to promote one of your products.
Videos are highly shareable, and Facebook fans seem to consume them at a high rate. Eight billion videos are viewed through Facebook each day, according to Social Media Today.
Need some video ideas? If you sell coffee and tea, create a video that shows customers how to brew your freshly ground beans for a large group. If you sell cosmetics, shoot a video that offers holiday makeup tips for people going to their company get-together. If you offer heating repair services, create a video that offers heat-related safety tips for the holidays, like how far to keep a tree from a fireplace.
Pit Barrel Cooker Co. shot and shared a video explaining how to cook the perfect holiday turkey. Here’s a look at the video from the company’s Facebook page, which received 254,000+ views:
4. Create and share a holiday eCard
Small businesses often go the extra mile to create personal relationships with customers. During the holidays, it’s nice to reach out to your customers and thank them for their patronage.
You can send traditional holiday cards in the mail, or you can take a few minutes to create an ecard that you can share on your social channels.
You can use do-it-yourself websites to create animated cards that are highly shareable. If you want to create a traditional digital card, try a site like Punchbowl. If you’re looking for something a little more unique, try a site like JibJab. This site allows you to upload pictures of yourself and your employees, and puts your faces on dancing elves or a singing Santa dancing to Gangnam Style.
How will you use social media to market your business or product during the holiday season? Share your plans in the comment section below.