Valentine's Day will soon be here. While you're long past the days of giving everyone in your class a Power Rangers valentine and heart-shaped lollipop, smart businesses know that they should offer their customers something on Valentine's Day. Why not use social media to deliver your message of appreciation?
Here are eight fun ways to incorporate Valentine's Day into your social media strategy.
1. Change Your Profile Pictures
Whether you like pink hearts, baby cupids or lacy Valentines, pick something that reflects the holiday. There are sites that specialize in Valentine-themed profile pictures, perfectly sized to upload to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
2. Make Love Central to Giveaways
If you are a business-to-consumer company that offers giveaways via social media, tweak your freebies to reflect the holiday. For instance, last year krill oil supplement MegaRed offered to send free samples to help "the heart of someone you love." It was an easy adjustment and fit naturally with the theme of Valentine's Day. MegaRed also posted a short heart-themed video on YouTube that got nearly 139,000 hits.
3. Embrace the Valentine's Day Vine
Vine is the perfect tool for short love-themed videos. Invite your followers to film a short Valentine to your product. Post the best ones on your social media accounts, and ask people to vote on their favorite. Then put the top vote getter on your web site shortly before Valentine's Day to get people into the loving spirit.
4. Start a Valentine Hashtag
Hashtags are a great way to promote any business on social media. You can easily track how many people are tweeting, Facebooking, Pinteresting or Instagramming about your campaign based on who's using the hashtag. Pick something that's singular to your company. For example, if you're in the plumbing business in Mechanicsville, you might pick something like "MvillePlumbLove."
Don't just throw the hashtag out there haphazardly. Have a greater theme that you invite people to weigh in on. On Instagram you might ask them to post images of a great Valentine's Day dessert. On Twitter you might request a short description of the best Valentine's Day a person has ever experienced.
5. Have a Valentine's Day Chat
Hosted chats via social media are a great way to engage potential customers. By tying your chat to the theme of Valentine's Day, you are making it more festive and relevant, while also getting an opportunity to hawk your products. Plan carefully so that the tie-in does not seem forced; you want it to be a natural extension of a chat you might otherwise host on your social media sites.
For instance, last year Whole Foods hosted a Twitter Chat about chocolate beer. It was an unusual theme, which drew in curious beer devotees, and it played up the many ways to tie hearts and chocolates to beer tastings.
6. Launch a Valentine's Day Microsite
Microsites are a brilliant way to publicize a holiday-themed idea without cluttering up your regular web site with themed content that expires after a certain day. When Valentine's Day has come and gone, you can purge the microsite without worrying about whether you still have outdated pages on your homepage.
The microsite can offer anything you want, from giveaways to contests playing up Valentine's Day. Promote the site heavily via social media to drive traffic.
7. Host a Pinterest Contest
Pinterest contests are a great idea for over-the-top social media engagement right now, and no wonder. They get people involved with your brand at a more personal level, increasing their knowledge and appreciation for your products. You can plan a Valentine's Day-themed competition in many different ways.
Ask people to make a love board, pinning everything that means "love" to them, including images from your site. Or ask them to assemble a board that tells the story of the perfect Valentine's Day.
8. Play Matchmaker
If you're feeling especially bold, you can take a page from Krispy Kreme and try to "match up" customers for Valentine's Day. The donut maker hosted a so-called "Love Roulette" on its Facebook page that paired up people based on what they "rolled" in the roulette wheel. You could also try matchmaking for Twitter users based on the similarities in their profiles.
Image by Bob.Fornal