You may be thinking ‘How am I going to market my brand and stand out when every social platform is so saturated with brands just like mine?’ This can go from a thought to an aching anxiety that keeps you up at night in seconds. I’m sure you’re also so overwhelmed with all the possible ways of marketing yourself during the holiday season that you just want to shut down.
Breathe. Relax. Listen.
The holiday season doesn’t have to be stressful for anyone. I’ve done all the hard work in figuring out the “money moves” that work. All you have to do is apply these steps to your social media platforms. I’ve created the ultimate gift basket of cookies and hot cocoa mixes which you can pick and indulge in a couple or the whole damn basket.
Use Social Buttons on your Website
Using social buttons on your website gives your existing audience easy access to follow and engage with you everywhere. You always want to make yourself accessible to everyone at all times. Your website is your house. It’s where the formal meetings with your friends happen. If you allow someone into your house, chances are they’ll want to have your number just in case the want to come over again. Your social platforms are your number. You want to be the friend that is always there when you need them, but you won’t always make it their house.
Having social buttons on your website also creates a sort of domino effect. The people that are already on your site now have somewhere to follow you. Now that they follow you on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, you’ll up your chances of being one of the pages suggested to their friends and family. The more engagement you’re getting from your audience and the more that audience grows, the more likely you are to be pushed into the next social media tax bracket. This is where you can even use your competition to your advantage. For example, if you own a clothing brand, your page will be suggested to people that follow other clothing brands similar to yours which will help in growing your brand and getting you more exposure.
Everyone likes consistency. You like knowing that your local supermarket always has the deli meat you like. You like knowing your partner will always be available for alone time with you at the end of the day. People like knowing their favorite YouTuber is always going to have a video up every Monday and Thursday. Your social platforms should be no different. People engage with things they are reminded about and seeing consistently. One thing that every successful social influencer has in common is that they are consistent. If you want to increase your engagement, one thing to try is coming up with a content calendar. Think about what days and times your audience engages the most and take those things into consideration when planning your posts. We’ll talk about this a little more later on.
Create Shareable Content
You want to create content that people want to share with their friends and family. It could just be a pretty picture or a link to a solution to a problem that a family member or friend was having. This opens up your brand to a bigger audience. They’ve done the work of sharing your brand to more people without you having to do anything but come up with good content. This also acts as research. Nobody wants to invest in something that they don’t know about. By receiving this content from somebody else that’s already done the background check it eliminates the need for them to ask any more questions. You become the boyfriend that got brought back home for Thanksgiving dinner and was already pre-approved by mom, so everyone welcomes you with open arms.
Engage with your Audience
Engaging with your audience is extremely important especially during this time of year. This helps create a relationship with your audience which makes them feel closer to you and like they have some kind of connection to you in your business. There are multiple ways for you to engage with your audience whether that’s asking questions, conducting polls, or responding to comments. You can even create personal videos to post on your stories on your social media platforms that would still provide that personal touch with a bit less work. By doing all of this, you open up the conversation of letting your consumers tell you exactly what they want that way you can cater directly to them. This also let your followers feel heard and like you are taking time to listen to their concerns. Think of this as a political race. If you want to beat out your opponents, you have to listen to the people.
Promote Special Offers & Giveaways
Everyone loves the word “free.” I think free is everyone’s favorite word during this time of year because it offers an easy gift. Weather the person forgot about somebody to get a gift for or just doesn’t want the work of having to go and look for a gift at the last minute. You have just provided them with a solution. If you own a makeup brand an easy way to do this is to create a spending quota and once a person has reached their quota, they are offered a free gift of a full-size lipstick or a mini eyeshadow palette. Giveaways also worked really well during this time of year. You could offer a gift card in exchange for a person reposting your picture or conducting a photo competition and using your hashtag and tagging friends. This is an easy way to have everyone else do the work of promoting your brand for you.
Support a Charity
This time of year is surround by the theme of giving and being grateful. Everyone likes a nice guy or at least respects them. You could join a campaign or donate a percentage of your profits to a charity you really support. In the moment, this may not be the most profitable thing to do for your business, but it will help build your audience and your business connections. Not only are you doing something good for your community, which should be enough reward in itself, but by encouraging your audience to engage with you and participate in your business, it helps them to feel like they’re doing something good as well.
Invest in Ads
A lot of your engagement is going to come from your existing audience sharing your content. However, you can continue reach more people by investing in ads. This will boost your likes and your followers by reaching people that are interested in you but don’t know about you yet. This, in a way, forces people to acknowledge your brand.
Utilize Key Dates
You don’t want to be inconsiderate. You should be posting about more than just Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year. Not everyone celebrates those holidays and you have a ton of days to post in between those three holidays. This is a chance to appeal to the audience that is often forgotten during this time of year that most companies slap the cliché “holiday season” over to cover everybody. Mention Hanukah, Kwanza, and even days that aren’t a holiday at all such as #NationalCocoaDay. This way you can satisfy everyone and have more content to share. It’s a win-win.
Maintain a Theme
Who doesn’t like things that look good? We choose everything on looks first; our partners, our furniture, the pictures we choose to share. We are visual creatures. You can create a theme multiple ways. The easy way would be to use color to your advantage. Granted this technique works the best on Instagram, but if you’re not on Instagram, do you really exist? Choose a color that will be easy for you to create content around. If you are in the floral business, earth tones may be they way to go. Everyone is buying a wreath, an evergreen tree, tinsel. Use that to your advantage. Advertise those things and you’ve got yourself an easy theme.
Show Off Your Favorite Holiday/Wintertime Products
A great way to promote your product is to show off your favorite ones. The goal is to make people think that they need these products as well. You want to tell them why they need these products as well as how to use them effectively. It may even help you to talk about the story of how these products came about. This is also an opportunity for you to show off the products that you are affiliated with. This not only shows that you are a strong business that uses your own product, but it also shows that you are a business that wants to help other businesses. If you have a skin care brand, you want to promote the products that help with dry skin because everybody gets dry skin during the winter time. You can even use this as a chance to relate to your audience which humanizes you and your brand.
One of the newer trends during the holiday season, specifically December, is Vlogmas. Vlogmas was created on YouTube where vloggers would document their lives everyday for the month of December. You can manipulate this new trend to your advantage. Now, you may not want to show your kids during their playdate with your best friend’s kids. However, if you are in your office, warehouse, or wherever you choose to do your work, it may help you to record a bit of what your doing. YouTubers tend to make their vlogs anywhere from 5 to upwards of 30 minutes. You may not have that much content that you want to share, so you can turn to platforms like Instagram or Facebook where you can do a short and sweet version.
You don’t have to do this everyday and it’s fairly easy to come up with a minute of content to send out. The most work you’ll have to do is editing the content to fit whatever platform you decide to put it on. For example, if you have a new line of toys coming out for the holidays, you can create a short video of you donating some of those toys to children. That way you kill two birds with one stone. You’ve indulged in the giving spirit as help to develop the relationship with your consumers.
This is an easy way to create a personal relationship with your followers. We live in a time where everyone likes to know everything about the product their buying. This includes you. You are apart of your product.
There are 1,000,000 and one classic problems that happen every single year during this time. You want to be the brand that helps solve those problems. Present last-minute gift ideas to your audience from your brand. Present them with gift ideas for the family member that you don’t know what to get for Christmas. There is bound to be someone that will relate to these problems that you can provide a solution for.
Schedule Your Posts in Advance
Scheduling your posts gives you the huge advantage of time. This is how you avoid the stress of trying to come up with content, post, and engage all in the same day. Use can you online services that will automatically post your content for you. Once those posts are up, all you have to do is engage in the comments section. Removing the stress of creating content on the fly, leaves you available to just talk to your audience and be your best business self.
As easy as it is to just follow this list, you need to understand what you’re doing. There has been research done so that brands like you understand the best way to go about promoting yourself. For example, when using Twitter for your brand you want 80% of the things you put out on that platform to be engagement. That means 8 out of 10 things that you post should be in reply to other people or posts that are offering conversation. Only 20% of the things that you post should be about your product. This has been shown to create the most engagement and most response from a brand’s audience.
On platforms like Instagram, you want to show consistency. That means your safest bet is to post at least once a day. Based on data found about Instagram’s engagement, the best time for brands to post is between 12 and 5 PM on the week days. This is the time where Instagram is getting the most engagement and most people are on Instagram viewing post which increases your chances of being seen.
The same goes for Facebook. Most of their engagement is happening between 12 and 4 PM on the week days with a peak at 2 PM.
Track Your Engagement
With most online platforms, you can track your engagement as a business. You want to know what is working and what isn’t working. This way you can increase the use of what is working to your advantage. You want to pay attention to where you’re getting the most engagement and use those numbers to help promote yourself more on that platform. Once you do this, you can edit your content calendar so that you’re getting the maximum amount of engagement on all platforms. If you find that your business is getting the most engagement, the most comments, the most likes consistently around 3 PM on Thursdays you want to use that time and make sure you post at that same time every Thursday.
It is so easy to get lost and fall into a social media black hole during the holidays. With these tips, you can be sure that you’re doing the most to stand out amongst your competition.
Has there been anything that you’ve done that you’ve seen success with? Or have you used any of these tips? What worked for you?