When I was growing up in a suburb of Atlanta, every summer, in the middle of July, my local town would host a “Christmas in July” event. Being that it was blazing hot, the town would use fake snow (that was actually cold) to create a winter wonderland complete with faux reindeer and festive holiday music.
I loved it! I mean, what kid doesn't like celebrating “Christmas” twice a year. Unfortunately, not everyone feels the same way. But whether you enjoy the holiday season or not, there's no denying that it's one of the most profitable times of the year for many businesses.
Head into any department store right now, and you're probably seeing any number of holiday decor set out specifically to remind you that the holidays aren't that far away.
But what does that mean for your business? If you're a digital brand, it's not as if you can decorate for the season. How do you remain tactful yet timely when it comes to capitalizing on this season's natural tendency for spending.
Today, I'm sharing a 4-step way to ensure that you're prepared for the upcoming season. After all, it's never too early to plan for success!
Are You Ready for the Holidays?
Step #1: Prepare Early
Start today by nurturing your social media audience and keeping them engaged with relevant content. By consistently sharing good content, you are rewarding them for their attention. When the time comes to share your awesome-sauce holiday special, they're tuned in and ready to go!
Also, Make sure you’re staffed with people who can answer potential buyer questions on social media. Hire community managers or delegate this process to several team members so that no comment, question, or concern gets missed.
Step #2: Brainstorm
In order to brainstorm effectively for your holiday social media marketing campaign, start with the end in mind. Print off a calendar for the last three months of the year and select which holidays you are going to run promos for. Don't simply stick to major holidays either. Do a bit of research and look for any holiday that relates to your audience.
Decide on what promotions you’ll run for each holiday. Be festive but also make sure that each holiday has a different promotion. Using a BOGO sale for Black Friday then running a free shipping promotion on Cyber Monday is a great example of keeping things interesting.
Finally, choose which social media channels you’ll use to promote these sales. Where does your audience hang out? How soon should you start promoting? Should you also use other digital marketing strategies like advertising, blogging, and newsletters. Consider all options!
Step #3: Create
This is my ultimate favorite stage: Create! Design some fun and festive promo images using Canva.com. I highly, highly recommend Canva for all you non-designers out there (like myself). It's fairly easy to use and saves you major time when it comes to creating social media visuals.
Go from amateur to pro in creating pretty visuals for your holiday social media campaign.
Next, write sales copy that can be used for social media, emails, blog posts, and other forms of promotion. By writing out a few paragraphs of copy now, you're saving you and your team time for future campaigns. This is also a great place to get a little personal. Share why or how the holidays are important to your business.
Also, make sure to have a nurturing funnel in place for website visitors who don’t purchase on their first visit. Use Facebook pixles, Google Ads, or a newsletter auto-responder to keep in touch with potential customers. You wouldn't want them to forget about you!
Step #4: Track
Figure out Key Performance Indicators (KPI). Besides sales, what other metrics are important to grow during the holidays. Are you looking to increase website visits? How about focusing on growing your social media followers?
Track, adjust, improve, and repost. If you got a ton of website visitors but they didn't convert, then maybe you need to optimize your website a bit more. Or if you posted your promo and no one shared it, maybe it needs to sound more compelling.
Above all, don’t forget to create lifetime value to each and every customer. Someone who noticed your fabulous holiday campaign may not have purchased today, but they could have you in mind for another gift down the road. In thinking about both the short and long term, you're taking care of both your current customer base and future ones to come.
Are You Ready for the Holidays?
Until next time,
Andréa Jones is a social media strategist who works with lifestyle brands to build their online presence through targeted social media and content marketing solutions. She's also the founder of SavvySocialSchool.com – a membership community with everything you need to achieve visibility, growth, and engagement on social media.