Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday are coming. Even if you’ve never logged-on to Twitter or check-in on Foursquare, you can position business to capitalize on these shopping holidays with a strategic approach to social media.
Perhaps you created a simple social media strategy and took a wrong turn along the way. It’s time to emerge from your turkey coma and social media black hole! Planning and management are the keys to an effective social media campaign for the holidays. Proper planning requires a theme, budget, promoting the event, and a variety of activities leading up to the event. Once the leg-work is completed, don’t let your event fall flat on its face due to poor management. Here are some basic steps to help you plan and execute a successful event:
- Set up your management system before you do anything else:
- Use Hootsuite to monitor, schedule, and track interaction across your social networks
- Create an event #hashtag to help follow the event on Twitter and Google+
- Educate employees about the promotion, what to expect, and encourage them to participate
- Make sure customers can find your business:
- Create unique URLs that make you easy to find on social networks
- Check online directories for accuracy, including Yelp, Google Local, Whitepages.com, and others
- Establish basic profiles on each major social network to improve your presence
- Create an exclusive theme, promotion, or giveaway:
- Keep Facebook fans engaged with an extra 10% off purchases coupon or code they can apply to their purchase
- Reserve popular items for an exclusive giveaway to Twitter followers
- Encourage loyal customers to share pictures of their favorite product for a chance to win a prize
- Promote, promote, promote – the excitement should keep people up at night!
- Post signs inside your business that promote the event, encourage shoppers to check-in on Facebook, Foursquare, or Yelp
- Use teasers on Twitter and other social networks to increase excitement
- Tell everyone you see about the event – your hairdresser, the bank teller, the cashier at the grocery store!
- Use the event to exceed expectations and create future opportunities:
- Keep your online audience updated throughout the event
- Give away more than customers expect to keep people talking & increase loyalty
- Thank new followers on Twitter, Facebook, and everyone who participated
After a successful event it is imperative that you continue engaging your audience. Evaluate analytics to understand what aspects of the promotion were effective and areas for improvement. Encourage people to share feedback on reviews sites like Google Local, Yelp, and Angie’s List. Use this information to make your next promotion an even greater success!