Article

Lauren Greer
Lauren Greer 20 October 2016

Deploying Social Media the Right Way for Holiday Shoppers

Inventory is ordered and extra staff has been scheduled, but how is your retail business bringing in orders? It might sound obvious, but social media is one of the best bets in the wide range of digital marketing.

According to Pew Research Center, more than one-half of adults use more than one social network and the impact is immediate; it’s now safe to say the one-message-fits-all social media strategy is no longer the way to go and savvy consumers know this. Recent research from G/O Digital explored this preference and shared what shoppers want from each channel while browsing for holiday deals. More importantly, 72% of survey respondents say they prefer to see ads from local businesses. Even more convincing for social media laggers, 55% of survey respondents say a brand’s social media presence has at least some influence on their decision-making process when deciding where to buy during the holiday season.

With such a large amount of focus on social, how are you capturing the attention and dollars of your audience? First, you have to set goals. With goals, you can determine where you will focus the majority of your time. Want more foot-traffic to your brick-and-mortar store? Use Twitter to share secret deals available in-store only. Want more conversations? Use Instagram to build rapport, share ways to use your products, show what’s in stock now and even offer up promotions and sales.

Next, carve out ad dollars to amplify your reach. Who is your customer? Use your biggest fans to help guide when and where you can promote posts with high engagement or when you should go straight to ads. Don’t forget a clear path to purchase: 64% of survey respondents expect an option to purchase online after clicking on a Facebook ad. All social media platforms offer ads with the exception of Google+, so deciding where to place your bet is key. What are your competitors doing? Which ads speak to you? Let these key variables steer your decisions, but don’t be afraid to ask for help from a consultant, or even an agency.

Facebook is still the gold standard for ads, with 66% of respondents saying they are likely to click on a business’ Facebook page after viewing an ad. Remember to plan for retail holidays, like Small Business Saturday to target local ads. 70% of respondents say they are likely to click on a Facebook ad that relates to their area.

Now that you have goals and some power behind your message, go forth and conquer the gift-giving season by making it easy for shoppers to click-to-buy and feel inspired by your products. Use Facebook and Pinterest to curate shopping lists and gift ideas. Facebook and Pinterest influenced 69% of survey respondents for shopping ideas and inspiration, while 38% of survey respondents say they are most likely to turn to Facebook for holiday shopping ideas and inspiration. Keeping in mind, Pinterest users typically plan for the future, whereas Facebook is more in the moment. 73% are most likely to engage with Facebook images of products of interest than any other piece of content.

Keep it going all year with a strategy that tastefully reflects holidays and common interests. Make note of when you purchase items, what inspires you and how you enjoy being marketed to with an eye on incorporating these elements into your brand and strategy. With the right strategy, social media can help you establish your brand identity, while drawing in new customers during high-spend seasons, not just the winter holidays. Keep them engaged with genuine and relevant information and great service. Mastering your social media is never an overnight prospect, but with careful attention, your brand and your business can flourish.

Want to learn more from Facebook directly? Registration for an hour-long webinar on Nov. 1, featuring Brian Neal of Facebook and Jason Fimbrez of G/O Digital at https://goo.gl/XkHHAP.

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