Ideas that Click

Be Heard Through the Holiday Chatter on Social Media

October 2015

With the holidays nearly upon us, it’s time to evaluate your business’ social media strategy for the rest of the year. 

Businesses are jostling to make their voices heard across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social platforms. Keeping this in mind, here are a few rules of thumb for attracting the interest of your social media followers during this time of year.

Make it Relevant

In some ways, the holidays are one of the easiest times to predict what prospective customers will be talking about and what will resonate. Create posts about the relevant holidays and events throughout those weeks—Thanksgiving dinner, Hanukkah party, Christmas morning, New Year’s Eve, or the morning of New Year's Day. Finding something to say about your company’s offerings, or sharing a joke or sentiment that is apropos, is an easy way to get into the social media conversation.

At the same time, you will want to be tactful in your posts. While shopping is a big focus for many followers, don’t make that the only topic you discuss.

Avoid posting at the times when you would expect customers to be with their family or friends. Instead, try to post just before or after the big celebrations (Thanksgiving evening or the day after Christmas, for example) when people are likely to check in and post their own photos and status updates.

Know Your Goals

Of course, the posts should also be relevant to your company and its offerings. Before jumping into the holidays, set out clear goals for your social media marketing. If you are a retailer, you will not only want to promote any holiday specials or offers, but communicate other relevant information to prospective customers, such as “order by” deadlines, and information about inventory. These types of posts serve the double benefit of keeping followers informed and nudging them toward a purchase or some other conversion.

For more service-oriented businesses, focus your content on holiday tips and resources. These can be ideal opportunities to connect with customers on a more personal level, by asking them to offer up their own holiday shortcuts, photos or experiences, and sharing those with the wider social network.

For accountants, lawyers and other businesses that are less occupied with the holiday calendar than the fiscal year, you can still stay relevant and stand out from the competition by posting valuable information about year-end planning.

No matter what strategy you decide is a fit for your business, establish a way to measure the success of your campaign. At the end of the season, look at data, including sales generated by social engagement, number of followers or traffic to your website.

Go Local

Considering the biggest brands are breaking out their top deals and marketing messages, it is also a good time to focus on your core audience with a personal message. Create promotions and posts that speak to the particular geographic and demographic traits of your customers, rather than trying to cast as wide a net as possible. Create posts about neighborhood events, such as charity galas, food drives or street fairs, and how your business will be involved this season.

Beef Up Your Reviews

Online peer reviews are more powerful than ever and implementing a few, simple strategies can get positive customer feedback flowing.

During this holiday season, Time Warner Business Class is offering expert tips and guidelines to help ensure businesses are prepared and ready to capitalize on the shopping excitement of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday.  One tip is to make it easy for your customers to post reviews to social media. Include social media icons that link to your review pages in email signatures, on your website and any digital promotional material. Also, include personalized requests for reviews on invoices and receipts.

Set the stage for your customers to chime in on your Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter discussions. Ramp up social engagement with customers by starting an online conversation about your product or service, and encourage your site visitors to register for future updates.  And remember to cross-promote across all of your social media platforms by referencing Twitter posts on Facebook, linking your website to your blog, etc.

Check In

If you get away from your business to enjoy your own holiday celebrations, be sure that you or a designated social media person logs in at least once a day (if possible) to respond to comments and replies. Make it clear to followers that there is a human behind the social accounts. Social media does not take a vacation, even when most of the country does.



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