It’s that time of the year again. The weather’s getting cooler, the smell of pine is in the air, and people are writing wish lists left and right. Yes, we are smack in the middle of the holiday season, and if you or your company isn’t getting into the spirit yet, you could be missing out on a lot of business opportunities.
In the coming weeks consumers are bound to spend more time online looking for gift ideas, decoration motifs, and other holiday-themed information. People are also going to shell out a lot more money this month buying presents and other holiday items. So if you’re selling products or services that can serve as great gifts, now is the time to promote them.
And what better way to do that than to use social media? The holiday season, after all, is very social in nature. Chatter and exchanges are happening constantly on social networks, so it makes perfect sense to use Facebook, Twitter, g+ and other similar sites to spread the holiday cheer. To this end you’ll find below a few ideas that can help you do just that:
1. Change your cover photos
One great way to get your SM visitors into a holiday mood is change up your Facebook, g+ and Twitter cover images to reflect the season. It’s also a proactive way to show off your personality and to demonstrate your efforts to stay relevant. (After all, no one likes an outdated or stagnant company.)
Don’t have an in-house graphic designer? If not, then head to fcoverphotos or to Parents Magazine’s Facebook Page to get inspired or to just grab some pre-made holiday cover photos for your Page.
2. Create a holiday board on Pinterest
Winter is one of the most beautiful times of the year. From white snowy landscapes to bright streets filled with Christmas lights, this season is filled with eye candy that’s worth Pinning and sharing. If you’re on Pinterest, make the most of the beauty of the season and start pinning fun holiday images.
Did you set up a Christmas tree at home or at the office? Pin it! Is there a snow man outside your window? Snap a photo and add it to your holiday board. Keeping up with the holiday pins increases your chances of getting noticed on Pinterest, as people will most likely be searching for holiday-themed images.
By the way, this tip also works great if you’re on Instagram, too! With the season is so pretty, you may not even need filters anymore. Just remember to tag and caption your photos accordingly.
3. Offer gift certificates
Businesses can increase sales by making it easy for their customers to buy from them. If you haven’t tried this yet, offer users gift certificates that they can give out this season. If you’re a B2C company, suggest to your customers to give your products or services to their loved ones.
Are you a B2B type of company? Remind your business clients to look your way when they’re shopping for presents to give to fellow businesses (e.g. vendors, other companies, etc.)
If your budget permits it, consider selling discounted gift certificates for the holidays to motivate people to buy. Be sure to spread the word via your social networks as well. And if possible, let customers buy certificates directly on your Facebook Page to make it more convenient. Also don’t forget, one of the best ways of tracking conversions is by tracking coupon or certificate redemption etc.
4. Be Generous!
‘Tis the season for giving, so on top of all the sales and promotions, make it a point to do a little gift giving of your own. Run a social media contest and give out presents to your most engaged fans. It’s a wonderful way to show your gratitude and demonstrate your holiday spirit at the same time.
Of course, being generous doesn’t apply to gifts and contests alone. An alternative way to show your generosity this season is by donating some time or money to a charity of your choice. Why not create a social game out of it? Something like, “For every like we get, we will donate $100 to charity.” After all, nothing spreads that warm and fuzzy feeling this season like a good deed.
5. Make sure your blog is in it as well
In the coming weeks, make sure that your editorial calendar has some holiday-themed blog posts in it. Again, this is a great way to stay relevant and keep up with the times. You are also bound to get more traffic this way, because people will surely be searching for information relating to the holidays.
For instance, you can do an analysis and compare holiday trends or sales from last year to the present time. Another great idea is to be helpful and come up with a gift guide for people shopping for presents (don’t just plug your own products or services though).
Why not create a “naughty or nice list” of companies or products that made waves this year? The holiday season is a goldmine for useful content and there are tons of timely ideas to go around.
6. Do a countdown
Nothing builds up anticipation better than a countdown. Get your fans excited for Christmas or New Year and do a “__ Days Before” countdown on your social media pages. Consider changing your profile picture or try uploading an image daily with the corresponding number of days left. In order to get people talking, include a quote, a witty remark, or a question each time you cross out another day. Ask people to respond and encourage them to share their thoughts and opinions.
Want to save time? Schedule them in advance. Automate your countdown using HootSuite or Facebook’s scheduling feature so you won’t have to think about it every day (or while you’re on your holiday vacation).
7. Send out holiday emails, tweets, and updates … just because
Every once in a while, post some holiday updates not because you have something to sell or promote, but simply because you want to spread the holiday cheer. At most, someone will see it, remember your company and talk to you about doing business; and at the very least, you’ll be able help spread some good holiday karma.
Photo credit: Winter lake – courtesy © Laurentiu Iordache – Fotolia.com