The holidays are upon us, and if you haven’t implemented social media into your holiday marketing strategy, it’s not too late!
I’d like to share how you can continue building your online community using social media for various promotions, sales, and specials, this holiday season.
According to the Social Media Holiday Purchases graphic (PDF version also available) by Mr. Youth, 36% of social media users trust brands with a social media presence, and 80% of users who received a response on a social channel went on to make a purchase.
Social media can be integral to establishing brand awareness and reputation. The holidays serve as a perfect opportunity to consider how you want people to think of your brand.
Here are 5 ways you can use social media this holiday season for brand awareness and recognition:
1. Talk to Your Customers
Businesses can certainly use social to media to push their products and services, but it can also be used for conversation. Talk to your customers and ask them about their holiday to differentiate yourself.
Perhaps this sounds too easy, but simple questions like, “What’s your favorite holiday tradition?” or “What are you thankful for this year?” can show that you care. These are the questions that add a personal touch and can help ensure your online community remembers you.
But, don’t forget to respond! Just asking the questions isn’t enough. Customers want to know you’re listening, so make sure you’re acknowledging their answers.
2. Give Back
Most businesses utilize social media during the holidays for give-aways and exclusive sales. While that is a great use, you can also use social media to give back to the community.
Are your employees running a food drive? Will you have a company-wide volunteer outing? Is there a holiday charity event you sponsor? Document these holiday activities and post the photos/videos/quotes to your Facebook page or to Instagram with a unique hashtag. Run a promotion where you select a charity and match customer donations dollar for dollar.
Whatever way you choose to give back to your community this holiday season, social media can be an excellent tool to promote your efforts. Your customers will enjoy seeing that you are a business that gives back.
3. Encourage Sharing
Often, the best social media campaigns are those that involve your customers and encourage sharing. There are numerous ways you can get your customers to provide and share rich holiday content on your social media networks.
For example, have your online community share and tweet photos of their decorated Christmas tree. One photo can be selected each day to win a 10% discount.
You can also combine the “giving back” element here by asking customers to share photos of their charity efforts this holidays season. People want to feel connected, and they use social media to accomplish this.
The holidays are the perfect time to bring people together on your networks by encouraging them to share their experiences.
4. Highlight Your Culture
You should be using social media to promote your brand year-round, and you can ramp up your culture posts during the holidays. Are you having a Holiday Potluck? Hosting a holiday cookie bake-off? Did you decorate the office? Ugly Christmas sweater contest? Take photos!
Fun, silly holiday photos are excellent to post to your Facebook page, for example, and showcase your business. People like to see the personality behind the product. With all of the holiday happenings, you want to make sure you’re documenting your company culture as much as possible.
5. Be Helpful
People are dealing with a lot over the holidays. You can use social media to offer helpful advice, tips, and facts for customers. Post daily gift ideas, ideas on how to maximize a limited holiday budget, tips for stress-free entertaining. Using a branded hashtag will maintain brand awareness even when the topic may not directly align with your products or services.
Everyone appreciates useful advice and your customers will thank you for pushing content that makes their holidays slightly less stressful. Start brainstorming about how you can continue to serve up useful advice beyond the holidays. The season will come to an end, but your helpfulness can continue year-round.
If you haven’t planned ahead this year, that’s ok! Your holiday social media activity doesn’t require an elaborate plan (though I do typically recommend you have a strategy in place).
These 5 simple steps will help you engage your customers with holiday posts and promotions that complement who you are as a brand and strengthen your online community.
Maximizing Holiday Impact: Social Media Strategies for Building Your Brand
The holiday season is a prime opportunity to leverage social media for your business’s benefit. As the festivities unfold, your online presence can be harnessed to not only drive sales but also to cultivate brand awareness and recognition. Here’s how you can utilize social media to build your brand’s identity and make a lasting impact during the holiday season:
- Leveraging Storytelling: Every brand has a story, and the holidays provide an ideal backdrop to share that narrative with your audience. Use social media platforms to craft compelling stories about your brand’s journey, values, and contributions. Whether it’s the tale of how your business began, heartwarming anecdotes from your team, or the impact your products or services have made, storytelling fosters a connection between your brand and its followers.
- Inviting Behind-the-Scenes Moments: The holiday season is a time of festivities, both in and out of the workplace. Invite your audience behind the scenes by sharing glimpses of your team’s holiday celebrations, office decorations, or even a virtual office tour. These insights humanize your brand and allow your audience to connect with the people who make your business thrive. By showcasing the people and culture behind your brand, you strengthen the emotional bond with your audience.
- Showcasing Customer Testimonials: Positive customer experiences are a testament to your brand’s quality and credibility. Use social media to showcase genuine customer testimonials and reviews. Whether it’s through quotes, images, or video clips, these testimonials resonate with potential customers. Highlighting the positive impact your products or services have on real people reinforces your brand’s authenticity and builds trust.
- Focusing on Local Community Engagement: The holiday season often brings people together in the spirit of giving. Use social media to showcase your involvement in local community events, initiatives, and charitable endeavors. Highlighting your commitment to making a positive impact in your community aligns with the holiday spirit of goodwill. Share images and stories from community activities you participate in, thereby reinforcing your brand’s connection with the local community.
- Enabling User-Generated Content: Engage your audience by encouraging them to generate content related to your brand and the holiday season. Launch contests or challenges that invite followers to share their holiday-themed creations, such as recipes, DIY projects, or festive photos. Not only does this foster a sense of community among your audience, but it also generates user-generated content that showcases your brand in a fun and authentic way.
|Leveraging Storytelling||Share your brand's journey, values, and contributions through compelling stories. Connect with your audience on an emotional level by narrating your brand's evolution.|
|Inviting Behind-the-Scenes Moments||Humanize your brand by offering glimpses of your team's holiday celebrations, decorations, and office culture. Strengthen the emotional bond with your audience.|
|Showcasing Customer Testimonials||Highlight genuine customer testimonials and reviews to reinforce your brand's authenticity and build trust. Showcase the positive impact your products or services have.|
|Focusing on Local Community Engagement||Showcase your involvement in local community events and initiatives during the holidays. Strengthen your brand's connection with the local community and goodwill.|
|Enabling User-Generated Content||Engage your audience by encouraging them to create holiday-themed content related to your brand. Foster a sense of community and authenticity through user-generated content.|
Incorporating these strategies into your holiday social media plan can amplify your brand’s visibility and leave a lasting impression. The holiday season is not only about sales; it’s an opportunity to create meaningful connections, strengthen your brand’s identity, and engage your audience on a more personal level. Embrace these strategies and turn the holiday buzz into a chance to elevate your brand’s reputation and recognition.
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