If you want to launch your brand, create awareness, and build lasting customer relationships this holiday season, look no further than these organic holiday social media tips!
For small businesses, the holiday season remains the most fruitful season of the year in terms of revenue. According to the National Retail Federation, Americans will spend nearly $1,105 per person on holiday gifts, goodies, and travel this year. Already this season, US consumers spent $19.6 billion at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday, according to data released Monday from the 2019 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey from American Express and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). Additionally, small businesses garnered $68.2 billion in online sales from Nov. 1 to Nov. 30.
As huge retailers compete for buyers’ attention, small businesses are in a unique position to use authentic communication and build lasting relationships with loyal customers. Respondents of a recent survey agree that shopping at small businesses supports their commitment to making purchases that have a positive social, economic and environmental impact. Authenticity is key to grab and keep the attention of this thoughtful group of shoppers. Small businesses can use authentic organic social media strategies that build awareness and help maintain lasting relationships with customers this holiday season and beyond.
Here are 4 of our favorite holiday social media tips for SMBs this season:
Before we dive into tactical holiday social media tips, it’s best to start by creating or reviewing your social media strategy. Just like you wouldn’t hop in your car and guess the route for your cross country road trip, you shouldn’t dive into social media without a thoughtful strategy.
A social media strategy should at the very least include a good grasp on your ideal customer (aka buyer persona), a decided social media voice, and an editorial calendar. Check out our blog post for 6 steps to create a social media strategy.
To be successful on social media is to be able to adapt and embrace the constant change. If you’re using Instagram or Facebook right now, take advantage of somewhat newer features like stories, IGTV, polls, gifs, and giveaways.
A very successful early adopter himself, Gary Vaynerchuck is all about the new platform TikTok for its power to organically build brand awareness. Whether or not new platforms like TikTok stick around for a while, it doesn’t matter, because the cult-type brand awareness built on them is the true sticking power.
“That’s why we still know who Tila Tequila and Dane Cook are today – they built enormous brand value back in the heyday of MySpace. P. Diddy still trades on the equity he got during MTV’s heyday from crushing it back then. Many of the biggest stars on Snapchat, Instagram, and YouTube popped on Vine first – like King Bach and Logan Paul.” – Gary Vaynerchuck
Consider what valuable information you can offer followers for a free sneak peek/low barrier to becoming a customer. Depending on your business, a potential customer might have a long journey to purchase from you. This journey could be a winding road you know nothing about like google searches, WOM from friends, referrals from another website, and plenty of social media sleuthing. The more helpful information you can provide for followers, the further you’ll take them along the journey towards becoming a customer.
For example, Cozymeal, a super cool company that provides cooking classes in Austin and across the US regularly posts how-to videos on Instagram. How-tos give their followers free information and little tidbits about cooking. As followers get a “taste” of the quality instruction Cozymeal can offer, they begin to see the instructors as a real resource. Every time they rely on Cozymeal for these mini-cooking instructions, they become more and more ready to sign up for a class and learn in person.
One of the biggest reasons why people choose to shop with small businesses is the personal connection they have with the brand, mission, and people behind it all. With social media, businesses have a unique opportunity to share their stories and engage in 2-way conversations directly with customers 24/7. Some of the most engaging content is that shared with an openness. Just like in real life, open, honest communication encourages the same in return and deepens interactions. When creating social content, try not to think like a marketer or a business owner, but as a storyteller openly sharing the heart behind your business.
A great example of open, engaging social media content is Made by Mary, a Utah-based jewelry designer who creates custom, meaningful pieces. The company shares regular social media content that reflects their sentiment and care behind what they do. As made clear by the engagement their posts receive, customers love the heartfelt openness of this brand.
One of the best aspects of social media is that you can quickly learn what works and optimize. As you post more content, be sure to monitor engagement rates to learn and optimize. Many SMB social media tools, like Buffer or Hoot suite, have a reporting section where you can monitor social posts and ads closely to try and find any patterns among the best-performing posts to replicate.
Social media is one of the best and most affordable ways to reach, connect, and grow relationships with your potential customers during the holidays and all year round. When you develop a strong strategy, it can be very impactful on sales, proving great ROI. If you’re looking for a way to boost holiday sales this year, social media is a low-cost solution to start!