For many companies, the holiday season is the time of year when they deck the halls with burlap sacks of serious cash. After all, “Black Friday” is aptly named because of the phenomenon of businesses moving from the red into the black due to holiday shopping. However, for those running e-commerce businesses, it can be difficult to claim your piece of the online shopping pie with giants like Amazon gulping up everything in sight. Fortunately, using a little bit of social media savvy, you can boost holiday sales and move into the next year better than ever. Let’s dive right into our tips:
1. Announce Your Sales on Social Media
Whether you’re a brick and mortar store, an e-comm shop, or a mixture of both, you absolutely need to publicly push your sales and promotions out to your social media followers. Consider putting paid spend against a lookalike audience to reach a wider amount of people who are similar to your fans! Not only will these lead to increased sales, but it’s also a prime time to build a bigger audience. After all, there’s no better first impression to make than “you might like our product and, oh, by the way, it’s on sale right now.”
If you want to boost holiday sales, consider getting all holly jolly with your promotions as well! Tactics like “12 Days of Deals” campaign generate excitement and repeat visitors, as customers come back to see what new items are discounted that day. It also creates a sense of urgency, as folks are encouraged to not miss out on saving money.
2. Reward Your Social Media Followers With Exclusive Deals
People like being rewarded for their loyalty, so treat your followers to a few exclusive deals as a way of saying “thanks” for their engagement with your brand! Build social-only promo codes around free shipping, percentages off their cart, or even unlocking deals early for them. Get granular with it too! Use unique promo codes per platform to get data on who is more likely to shop, and so forth.
3. Hold Holiday-Themed Contests and Giveaways
Think of this time as not only the season of giving but as the season of ruthless competition as well! If you want to boost holiday sales, hold holiday-themed contests or giveaways right before you unveil your sales to create buzz around your brand and even pull in some new followers before you drop those discounts. By interacting with your brand beforehand, you’ll be at the top of your customers’ minds when you’re good and ready.
Have your most loyal customers submit UGC (user-generated content) with your product in a festive way, or ask them to post their wish lists from your catalog, with one lucky winner getting their wishes fulfilled! If you’ve cultivated a really engaged audience, you may even go all-out by organizing a Secret Santa list where those involved purchase one of your products anonymously for someone else. This works best if you’ve got the time and systems in place for a metric ton of community management, but can pay off in the long run!
4. Use Those Holiday-Related Hashtags
If you’re promoting your sales on Twitter or Instagram (which you absolutely should be), then be sure to use season-relevant hashtags! Your Cyber Monday campaigns should include #CyberMonday, and ditto for those Black Friday promotions. Doing so will open up your deals and discounts to those who are browsing these hashtags, on their ever-hungry hunt for sales. So do them a favor and quench their relentless thirst for quality bargains by including those hashtags!
Make sure to do hashtag research beforehand to avoid potential disaster. Search it on Twitter and Instagram, as well as Urban Dictionary to check that your hashtag doesn’t mean something else entirely. For example, it’s hard to forget #susanalbumparty which was quickly changed to #susanboylesalbumparty.
5. Don’t Forget to Keep Your Audience Engaged
Don’t lose sight of having a happy and engaged audience in exchange for increased sales! It’s all-too-easy to replace your pupils with cartoon dollar signs during the holiday shopping season, so be sure to keep making engagement plays while you’re promoting your sales and specials. Ask them about their favorite Thanksgiving memory, the best present they ever opened, and which non-Rudolph reindeer is their favorite.
Flex your creative brain muscles and spin up your own content around the holidays as well. For example, a whiskey company might want to produce some videos or graphics educating their audience about some holiday cocktail recipes to try out. It’s of utmost importance that you continue to keep your followers engaged so they don’t feel like you’re forcing purchase CTAs down their throats for two months.
6. Look Into Utilizing An Influencer
Santa might be the holidays’ biggest influencer, but his rates are outlandishly expensive and most businesses can’t afford him. Luckily, there are thousands of other social media influencers out there who can be employed to promote your brand’s products before or during your big holiday sales campaigns.
That said, be sure to research them thoroughly beforehand. All too many companies fall for influencers with high follower accounts, when they should be paying attention to an influencer’s engagement rate, or the percentage of engagements (likes, comments, etc) divided by that account’s number of followers. If math isn’t your thing, there’s a handy free tool that’ll spit out their recent engagement rate for you, as well as give you a general ballpark figure of how much a sponsored post of theirs would cost.
7. Donate To Charities and Feel Like A Better Person in the Process
Don’t be an Ebenezer Scrooge, or worse, a Scrooge McDuck! The holiday season is all about generating warm feelings and good-will, so your brand should lead the charge! Announce that a portion of your sales will go toward your favorite charity. This will encourage buyers on the fence to go ahead and purchase since part of their dollar will go toward helping someone else in need. It’s also just genuinely nice to do good things and will probably make you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside as well!
TL;DR of How to Boost Holiday Sales
While the holiday season can be a challenge for small and mid-sized businesses to compete with the likes of Amazon and other big-box retail stores, it’s not an impossible feat! If you use your social media platforms effectively to inform and entertain your existing audience, then don’t be surprised to see a sizable bump in sales and new customers! Happy holidays, and we’ll see you in the Timelines!