Black Friday and Cyber Monday are on the horizon and soon those holiday shipping deadlines will be upon us. While you might have your holiday promotion engine revving at maximum RPM, don’t overlook a critical part of your marketing mix…social media. One of the most powerful aspects of social media marketing is how truly real-time it can be, and generating some strategies right now can pay huge dividends in the thick of the holiday season. Here are five ways to go social this holiday season:
1. Drum Up Some Excitement With Countdowns
Twelve days of Christmas. Eight nights of Hanukkah. Thirty-one days of December awesomeness. Be sure to reward your customers with perks spread across the holiday season. Think about how you might use a daily deal strategy like Microsoft is doing with their 12 Days of Deals promotion.
Countdown rewards can be more than discounts and deals. Get into the giving mood! From prizes to tips to exclusive content, there are plenty of creative options. RentMoola did a great job of this with their 12 Days of PERKS campaign. Not only did they give away some great gifts, but they also leveraged 3 different social platforms in the campaign to have a multiplying effect.
2. Use “Last-Minute” to Your Advantage
If you think you’re running out of time to drum up holiday sales, you better believe your customers are feeling the pressure too. Tap into this sense of urgency by actively communicating shipping deadlines, product availability, and other time-sensitive information across all your social networks. Walgreens did an awesome job of this last year by promoting their Same Day Pickup Photo Cards. This was a double whammy because it nudged them to download their mobile app to take advantage of the deal.
3. Let Your Fans Get In On the Action
The holidays are a perfect time to get your fans to share in the conversation. Ask questions on your social pages to drum up the holiday buzz. Check out what Gilt Man does. Who doesn’t want to talk about dressing up this time of year?!
You can also ask fans to submit pictures or videos of anything from their favorite gift to what the weather looks like where they live. This is a great way to let your customers know that your brand is engaged and interested. Take it to the next level and use a custom Facebook app from a company like PromoJam and turn it into a contest.
4. Do the Work for Them
Chances are, if someone is still looking for gifts late into the holiday season, they could probably use some inspiration. That’s where you come in! Tweet links to your products or set up a regularly updated gift guide on your Facebook page. Think about how you might position your products based on who your fans might be shopping for. This tweet from Michaels Stores, North America’s largest specialty retailer of arts and crafts, appeals to all the artsy people out there.
5. Pay It Forward
Does your company do any charitable giving, employee donation matching, or community service efforts for the holidays? If not, bah humbug. If yes, awesome! Why not share your efforts with your social community? This is a great opportunity to give your brand a bit of personality beyond business as usual. It’s also a fantastic way to recognize your employees for the efforts they make. Win-win!
Need more ideas and inspiration? Check out Everything Holiday, our free marketing resource center. You’ll find a holiday checklist, calendar, guides, e-Books, webinars, and more.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on December 9th, 2011 and has been revamped and updated for relevance.Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community