It's time to amp up and adjust our marketing strategies for the holidays - and if you want to get ahead of the marketing game and stand out from the crowd, check out these key tips and pointers from some of the top social media marketing experts.
Included here are insights from Mari Smith, Neil Patel, Virginia Nussey, Dennis Yu, Lilach Bullock, Lisa Dougherty, Marsha Collier, Sujan Patel and Kristel Cuenta-Cortez.
So let's jump right in - and I'll kick things off with my own number one holiday marketing tip.
1. Run Facebook Messenger Ads | Larry Kim, CEO of MobileMonkey
Ad prices get crazy competitive around the holidays.
Since most of your sales are going to come from customers with pre-existing brand affinity, you should focus the majority of your social ads budget using remarketing as the targeting option, as opposed to trying out new, unproven audiences at this critical time.
People's inboxes will be full of offers, so try reaching your audience using new higher-engagement marketing channels like Facebook Messenger ads in Facebook and Instagram to ensure that your audience actually sees your important marketing messages
2. Go Live on Facebook | Mari Smith, Facebook Marketing Expert
Use holiday-themed Facebook Live videos to really engage with your audience this holiday season.
Facebook continues to favor content that generates meaningful social interaction, specifically conversations between people within the comments on Page posts.
Live video typically leads to discussion among viewers on Facebook, which helps get the attention of its algorithm, meaning you should see even more reach on your posts.
In fact, Facebook states that live videos, on average, get six times as many interactions as regular videos.
Strive to stand out in the News Feed and create "thumb-stopping" live video content that draws your audience in.
- What if you did a whole "bah humbug" Facebook Live centered around how crazy it is that stores seem to start pushing the Holidays earlier and earlier every year?
- Use the broadcast as a fun way to get your audience talking to you - and with one another - about their preferences around the Holidays. You can then retarget your video viewers with different content driving to your website, offers, etc.
- Or, perhaps someone in your office would be willing to dress up as Santa Claus and do a whole series of Facebook Live videos where you do prize drawings and giveaways.
- Or, mobilize some team members to come on live video as "Santa's elves" and show behind-the-scenes of how your products are created, or your service is developed.
Think outside the box and get creative to put a smile on the faces of your prospects and customers, and have your business/brand be top of feed and top of mind.
3. Collaborate with Influencers and Create Gift Suggestions | Lilach Bullock, Content Marketing and Social Media Specialist
It's difficult to stand out during the holiday season when everybody's sharing special offers and discounts.
One way you can do so, and generate better results during this period, is to collaborate with a relevant social influencer, as they can help you reach a wider audience.
But you do need to start working on this campaign way ahead of time: from finding the ideal influencers to work with to planning the actual content, it's a big project, but one that can yield amazing results.
Another tip I have to mention is to create remarketing campaigns on social media, and target all of those people who viewed your products but didn't buy.
Everyone's looking for gifts during this time, so chances are, they're checking out a lot of ideas and products. Remind them of your products at the right time and it can have an amazing effect on your sales.
4. Give Your Social Media Channels a Holiday Makeover | Virginia Nussey, Marketing Director at MobileMonkey
Holiday fever is not just for eCommerce brands - B2B organizations should get hyped for the holidays, too.
Holidays are an occasion for a company to showcase customer appreciation, along with its culture, brand and staff appreciation. And doing so can have a positive marketing impact through visibility and brand affinity during the cheery time of year.
Give your Facebook chatbot and social media avatars a holiday makeover - which will mean something different for every brand.
Your customers (and future customers) may fall a little more in love with you when you take the opportunity to get in the spirit.
5. Curate Sentimental User-Generated Content | Dennis Yu, CEO of BlitzMetrics
My number one tip for the holidays? Ask customers and employees what they're grateful for, and collect pictures and videos.
Then, after getting their permission, you now have a massive library of UGC (user-generated content) that you can mix and match to drive sales without having to rely as much on sales and discounts.
And now you've solved your content issue, too.
6. Run Remarketing Ads | Neil Patel, Founder of Neil Patel Digital
During the holiday season, expect your ad costs to increase.
Consider pushing out more educational content and sharing them on your social profiles. You can even spend a bit of ad money to promote these educational pieces.
From there, remarket to all of those users and pitch them your product/service through remarketing ads. It's one of the cheapest ways to acquire customers from the social web at an affordable rate.
7. Show the Human Side of Your Business | Sujan Patel, Co-founder of Mailshake
Something I've seen that customers and followers of our brand engage with around the holidays is learning more about the team behind the scenes.
We are fully remote, and have employees working literally around the world. We work with our employees to share interesting stories about them with our audience, in order to give people the human side of our business.
People are in "family" mode, not "business" mode around the holidays. Sharing our company family with them pulls on that thread a bit.
8. Start Early | Marsha Collier, Social Media Author
It's a two-pronged approach: Start by reconnecting with your existing customers very early on without a hard sell.
Let them know you're there to help make their holidays easier.
Then during the season, your ads should always go for the hard close - and make sure your offer ads are irresistible.
9. Create Holiday-Themed Content | Kristel Cuenta-Cortez, Social Media Strategist
There's so much truth in the statement "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail," especially when crafting a social media campaign for your brand.
One of the best practices which successful brands follow to ramp up their campaigns is to put together a holiday-themed content schedule based on their goals.
For example, if your goal is to solicit customer reviews and collect user-generated content that you can utilize in the future, you can run a simple photo contest where you ask your customers to submit their entries with a branded hashtag.
Pick a relevant prize and decide on the theme, and find the best time to launch it. Monitor your results and adjust your strategy as you go along.
This can not only provide social proof, but it will also save valuable time and effort, since user-generated content is generally free.
10. Leverage Influencers | Lisa Dougherty, Community Manager at Content Marketing Institute
My number one social media marketing tip for B2C marketers is to work with top influencers in your niche.
People like to scroll through their news feeds looking for gift-giving ideas - I know I do. And, they tend to place more trust into brand recommendations from individuals, even if they don't know them.
But, before you get started, make sure you've set clear goals, which align with your business objectives. Once you've determined your goals, you then need to find the right influencers in your industry to work with.
You can then put those influencers to work as your brand's little elves, creating customized content for your social media channels to help increase visibility, trustworthiness, and generate ROI for your brand.
A version of this post was first published on Inc.com.