More than at any other time of the year, the holiday season is an integral part of many businesses’ plans at achieving maximum profit. Some entire industries revolve around lasting through the difficult year until holiday sales boost them from the red and into the black.
In order to take advantage of this rush in sales, many small businesses have turned to social media to ensure that every customer possible finds their way to their business. With the Christmas rush and other holiday festivities just around the corner, here are three ways to ensure that you’re maximizing your social media strategy just in time for the holidays.
1. Utilize Imagery as Effectively as Possible
As a Columbia University study shows, visual imagery is more effective with selling in advertising. As the old adage goes, seeing is believing. Consumers are more easily swayed by seeing the products they’re interested in across social media.
Utilizing websites like Instagram to your advantage can set you up for success when selling your products and services online. Many visitors already browse for products there, just to see what others are using, or to see if others have an interest in similar products.
Taking photos of your inventory is one idea. Also asking and recommending your customers share their stories and pictures on social media is another, user generated content is extremely effective. Imagery is one of the most powerful ways of storytelling in marketing, and social media is the greatest stage to get that story told.
2. Plan Special Promotions for Your Customers
One thing that every business small or large needs to do is create a list of buyers. You can do this by as simply as creating an email list with services such as Mailchimp, Aweber or Constant Contact. By offering early notification of discounts or exclusive offers you can entice your existing customers to join and become more avid spenders.
Those who join your list are your loyal customers, so it’s fitting to treat them right. You can offer them exclusive rewards that incentivize them to buy more or share your business with their friends and family. Research from the University of Michigan finds that some consumers are exceptionally thrifty at this time of year, so offering exclusive discounts and personalized emails can be very effective.
3. Study Trends From the Previous Year
By analyzing what products sold well last year or which underperformed you can get a better idea of what you should adjust this holiday season. You should also gain an understanding of which products give you the best return and work to promote them.
You may find a hidden gem in your inventory that your customers would readily buy more of if it was brought to their attention. Items on display have a lot more chance of moving than ones left in the back. By adjusting your plans based on existing data, you can be better prepared to maximize your holiday sales.
The holiday season is a time that many consumers look forward to all year long. By getting your business in a position to share in their excitement with your marketing, they’ll be more inclined to add you to their plans.
It’s important to make the most of the holiday season but also look at ways to continue to nurture your customer base to leverage repeat sales long after the holiday season is over.
Nick Rojas is a self-taught, serial entrepreneur who’s enjoyed success working with and consulting for startups. Using his journalism training, Nick writes for publications such as Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, and Yahoo. He concentrates on teaching small and medium-sized enterprises on how best to manage their social media marketing and define their branding objectives.