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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

       

Molly Guendert
With Adrian Schaal

The Holidays are just around the corner. This means that consumers are gearing up for Holiday shopping. From shopping malls to online sites, there are many different shopping options for customers to choose from, so how can you bump up sales during the Holiday season? The answer: social media. Check out these ideas for ways to use sites like Twitter and Facebook to boost your Holiday sales.

Offer exclusives through social media

A good way to reward fans and followers during the Holiday season is to offer coupons exclusively through social media outlets. Not only do these special coupons benefit the customer, but they benefit your business for three reasons:

  • Coupons draw people to stores
  • The coupon’s receiver will tell friends about the exclusive coupon, which will lead to more people following your Twitter or Facebook page.
  • The new follower finds the coupon and tells more people about it, which creates a cycle.

Another way to provide your followers with exclusive content is to post about Holiday sales before other advertising is released. Though you are offering the same information to everyone, tipping off customers about sales before your ads are released will make them come back to your site looking for more “exclusive” information.

Have lots of posts ready

Having a collection of tweets or status updates is always a good idea, in case of time constraints or forgetting the content of the post you forgot to write down. During the Holidays prewritten posts are also beneficial to make sure you let your customers know about all sales, special offers and coupons. When you know when your business is going to have a sale, pre-write a tweet or status update and date when it will be posted so once the sale is here, the post is ready to go.

In addition, frequent, relevant posts make you look more reliable than pages who don’t post as often. While original, new content is always best, pre-written content is a great back up method for busy times, like the Holidays. When utilizing pre written content, it is important to keep an eye on the chatter. Also, always look for opportunities to interact with your followers, don’t just rely on pre-written material.

Connect with customers

Connecting with your customers is always important in making them trust your business and keep coming back, but the increased traffic the Holiday season brings is a huge opportunity to take that connection one step further. Holiday shoppers are often one-time shoppers at stores, meaning they go to a store to get their Holiday shopping done and that’s it. The Holidays are your opportunity to make Holiday customers become year-round customers.

Customers like to give feedback and an effective way to connect and gain customer trust is to ask on Twitter or Facebook about their experiences at your store. Reviews are a great way to get feedback to see what you’re doing well and what needs improvement. Asking for reviews via social media also allows your brand to correct any mistakes in a public way, allowing other followers to see your good deeds and excellent customer service. Customers trusting your business are the first step in getting them to be loyal, frequent shoppers.

In addition, the Holidays is a great time to make your Twitter and Facebook pages even more popular by making them easy to find through offline initiatives, such as in store window clings, on bags, and in advertisements and fliers. Making customers aware of your Twitter and Facebook during the Holidays has great potential to increase your number of year-round shoppers.

Make your posts go above and beyond

Make the Holidays your chance for your Twitter and Facebook pages to stand out from your competitors’. Mixing up posts by incorporating professional, branded messages and then posting something fun, such as an article about Holiday traditions, keeps your followers from becoming bored with your posts. Spice up your page with a variety of post content, including links, photos and videos to be sure your posts don’t become monotonous.

During the Holidays, a different way to provide useful information to your followers is to put together “Top 10” lists, such as Top 10 Hottest Products of the Season, or something a little different like Top 10 Gifts to Help Stick to New Year’s Resolutions. A lot of people love lists, and lists like these spotlights your best products without coming off as pushy. Lists are often shared, which will increase your brand’s visibility online.

Social media sites can be very beneficial tools when used wisely. Tactics like exclusives and building customer trust makes your business stand out from the rest, which will make customers keep coming back to you. Let the Holiday season be an opportunity for your business to turn Holiday shoppers in to year-round shoppers.

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