Black Friday is [today], kicking off the massive holiday season that makes the year for many retail brands. Odds are, social marketing is a bigger part of your Q4 strategy this year than ever before. Here are 5 big themes that will dominate holiday social media marketing campaigns for retailers in the remaining holiday weeks of 2012:
Social Launches: New product introductions and sales events are a staple of Q4. They’re a great way to create buzz and generate customer interest through social marketing. Watch for (and plan) product debuts or events on Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.
Recognizing Great Customers: Even for brands with millions of customers- and definitely for boutiques and local businesses- there is a movement to recognize your best customers. Loyalty programs, membership clubs, even a Customer of the Day promotion. All are simple ways to earn repeat business. Social channels are a natural distribution channel for these programs.
Rewarding Social Engagement: All evidence continues to show that consumers follow brands on social channels to earn an exclusive, an offer, a discount, a preview. Retail brands are in prime position to capitalize. Even for social followers who haven’t converted to customers yet, it is worth the effort to offer a unique opportunity through Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and where ever you have followers.
In-Store Activation: In retail, it’s all about the cash register. Even as holiday spending shifts online, there is still no substitute to brick-and-mortar retailers for motivating the in-store experience. A social promotion that results in a coupon, invitation or other store-driven event doesn’t need to be complex. But it will help convert social fans to visitors who can see your store environment, touch your products, experience your service and convert to new customers.
Mobile Enables Lasting Brand Engagement: Most consumers will be using their smartphones gratuitously in the next 6 weeks. They’ll share wish lists, compare prices, pass along gift ideas and more, using photo, video, text and social updates. Savvy brands will find unique ways to encourage and even facilitate those interactions. Even though the holiday season ends in a mere 6 weeks, try to find clever ways to weave impressions of happy customers into your ongoing brand storytelling.
For specific ideas and strategies to tackle each of these trends, click here.