Even if you're already made a list and checked it twice, it’s not complete if it doesn’t include networking via social medias. Social media marketing builds word of mouth: the number one thing that brings new customers to your business. The important thing to remember is that social media marketing is social: It’s all about the interaction you have with friends, fans and followers. Here’s how to get the conversation started:
1. Make it easy on yourself: Connect your Facebook page or profile to your Twitter account so you can update your friends, fans, followers and subscribers all at the same time. Click to learn more: https://www.facebook.com/twitter/
2. Give your profile photos a holiday twist: The photos you choose to represent your business need to stand out on a busy news feed. Choose a photo that is easily identifiable and add a holiday theme.
3. Listen. Interact. React. Sell: Customers need a reason to visit your social medias; if all you do is sell, sell, sell they’ll quickly tune you out. Follow this formula for best results:
Listen: You need to keep up in real time. Studies show that most people are on social medias in the morning and early evening, so 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM are good times to check in. Listening on-line means reading what people are talking about and responding frequently and accordingly.
Interact: If you see something interesting, get in on the conversation! Commenting on someone else’s wall or retweeting a message is one of the best ways to get your store noticed. Interact with friends, fans and followers, plus your trade associations, vendors and products you enjoy, even if they’re not related to what you sell. The goal here is exposure.
React: Answer fan posts, comments and tweets in a timely manner – the sooner the better. Smart phones allow you to post from anywhere.
Sell: Plug your products and services about every fifth post; any more than that and your social medias become an infomercial.
4. What to say: Talk about product and services that make great holiday gifts. Short posts with photos or videos get more attention than those without. Add photos and pepper your posts with the words Christmas, Hanukkah and Holiday. Gift cards are always a favorite holiday gift, so promote them weekly.
5. Make a list of great holiday gifts: Create a list of “Top 10 Holiday Gifts”. Post your list on your social media sites and on your website. Have copies to hand out in the store, too. This list makes a great bag stuffer!
6. Give incentives to those who visit your social media sites: Offer coupons and deals that are only available via your social medias. Promote them via your website, e-mail blasts, newsletters, and in your store.
7. Use the Facebook Events tab: The Events tab allows you to organize and promote all of your holiday happenings. You can easily invite friends and fans, and encourage them to invite their friends as well. You can see who RSVPs, comments, and more.
8. Facebook ads: We use Facebook ads to promote our e-book Jingle Bells… Christmas Sells: Events, Promotions and Tips for the Holiday Season. (Shameless plug alert: It's a must read for retailers!) Facebook Ads allow you to reach potential customers by location, age, and interests. Learn more here: http://www.facebook.com/advertising
9. Use holiday hashtags on Twitter to expand your audience: Placing a holiday related hashtag (#), i.e. #Christmas, #holiday, #shopping, #gifts, #coupons or #Santa, at the end of your tweets will help you connect with an audience that reaches far beyond your current followers.
10. Back up your social media marketing in your store: Hang signs throughout your store and in your windows that encourage customers to like/follow you. Award deals or incentives if they check-in while in the store.
The marketing you do on social medias to promote your store during the holidays will translate to other times of the year as well. Build momentum now and carry it through to 2013 and beyond!
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