If you are new to social media or have used it on a limited basis, the holiday season is a great time to jump in, provided you have a well-thought-out plan of action. Planning is the key word for any successful marketing outreach. It is never too early to begin mapping out your goals and objectives for your holiday program, including social media. An ad-hoc, make it as you go along approach will not yield consistent results or allow you to best express your brand voice.
As you consider a social media campaign for the holidays you have to have a plan. Your holiday social media plan can be as detailed or as broad as you wish or need, but it must include an assessment of your holiday sales and tactics from last year, your goals for this season and how you plan to achieve them.
Look at it as a road map. Putting research and thought into a social media campaign is essential for making this valuable marketing tool work for you. The following are three ways to help you plan and strengthen your social media campaigns for the upcoming holiday season.
1. ESTABLISH YOUR GOALS FOR THE SEASON
Ask yourself what you want to achieve. Do you want to increase your gross sales? Are you looking to increase your average ticket? Do you want to increase the amount of commercial work or work done with interior designers? Those are your goals — the broad, general outcomes you want for your business. Once your goals are established you can set out to determine how to achieve them through objectives, the exact steps you will take to reach your goals.
For example a goal might be: I want to design and sell more complicated and premium custom framing. With this goal in mind your objectives might read something like: We will sell 16 shadowboxes this holiday season, an increase from the twelve we did last year. We will increase our sales of llets by 20% in the 4th quarter. Keep in mind that your objectives must be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Bound.
It is better to give yourself a modest goal at first, than to set objectives that would be fantastic but also nearly impossible to reach. Start small to give yourself small victories and build from there. To be relevant and meaningful, objectives must also be measurable. In other words, there should be a number associated with them, such as a dollar amount, number of new customers or leads, or a percentage change.
Notice that the objectives above are based on an increase from the previous year. We need to have a benchmark to be able to set measurable and attainable objectives. Make sure you factor in last year’s performance during the holiday season when creating your objectives. If you ran a social media campaign last season, this is a good time to review how it did, what makes sense to repeat or do more of, and what did not have the impact you’d hoped.
2. CHOOSE YOUR TARGET AND PAY ATTENTION TO HOW YOUR AUDIENCE USES SOCIAL MEDIA
With a clear roadmap in place it is time to start considering who your audience is and how they can be reached. Look at your customer demographics and those of whom you want to reach. A bare bones approach is to simply sit down and think about the customers who are already spending money with you. What is their gender, age and their probable household income? Another great resource is Tru Vue’s consumer research on targeting customers.
Let’s go back to our objective of selling 16 shadowboxes. We can look at any of these, but Pinterest is an especially good network on which to share shadowboxes as a gift idea. We can take this further by also posting on Facebook, not only where many of our customers are but also a place where we can “boost” the post. This is an inexpensive form of advertising that puts your post in front of more people, including those who aren’t yet following you. It is also easy to target very specific demographics, interests and locations, making it a tightly focused effort.
3. CREATE A HOLIDAY CAMPAIGN CALENDAR
Creating an editorial calendar will allow you to carefully think through your message, collect content, create content and post with consistent quality. It will take a lot of pressure off you and actually end up saving you time. The holiday season provides an ideal window for content planning. Too much planning too far in advance can result in content seeming stale and less timely; at month at a time is a good guideline.
Those being said, build in opportunities on your calendar for last-minute additions that leverage timely news and events. Make sure you align your social media calendar with your overall holiday marketing plan. Start by making a note of important in-store events, sales and local happenings that impact your customers. This will serve as a good framework for a posting calendar. You can then start looking at recurring themes that work for your business.
For example, Throwback Thursdays are very popular on social media. This is an opportunity to share past photos of your store or favorite holiday projects you have done. Posting photos of shadowbox projects from years before would be a great way to support our sample objective. Statistics has shown that 64.8% of shoppers scroll through their social feeds searching for the perfect present, so examples of past projects are great gift idea generators.
There is no hard set rule of how often you should post during the holiday season, but a few times a week is a best practice. But remember, don’t just post to ll a quota, only post valuable content that is relevant to your target and ties to your goals for the season. Per Facebook, these are the top holidays for online spending:
- Thanksgiving Day (November 27)
- Black Friday (November 28)
- Cyber Monday (December 1)
- Green Monday (December 8)
It is wise to post around these days and then ll in the rest of your calendar.
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This article is intended for educational purposes only and does not replace independent professional judgment. Statements of fact and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) individually and, unless expressly stated to the contrary, are not the opinion or position of Tru Vue or its employees. Tru Vue does not endorse or approve, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, accuracy or completeness of the information presented.