E-Commerce Social Media Marketing Tips for the Holiday Season
Yikes! The Holidays are Coming!
Yes, we know. You are not quite done enjoying your summer, and here we come with e-commerce social media marketing tips for the upcoming holiday season. And while we do want you to enjoy the holiday weekend you need to start focusing on how you will market your e-commerce presence this season. And yes, time is of the essence!
While there are 32 shopping days between Black Friday and Christmas Day in 2018, a one day longer shopping season than last year, online retailers need to maximize their online exposure in order to stand out from their competitors. Most likely you have already considered your holiday email marketing, and perhaps even paid search marketing. But you also need to focus on your e-commerce social media marketing!
E-commerce social media marketing is an excellent opportunity especially for smaller brands to attract and convert more consumers this holiday season. Social media helps you extend your brand reach, build awareness for your promotional efforts, and support your overall e-commerce holiday sales activity.
To help you get started with your e-commerce holiday marketing, here are 10 social media marketing tips you can employ this holiday season.
10 E-Commerce Social Media Marketing Tips
1. Don’t Focus Only on Social Media
If you want your e-commerce social media marketing to succeed you need to focus on more than just social media. Yes, we know that sounds weird, but it works. You will do much better if you use social media to support your other online marketing strategies. Think multi-channel and integrate social media into your e-commerce holiday marketing instead of using it as your only tool.
Add social sharing buttons through AddThis to your key product and service pages on your website. Then create content that people will want to share, as well as social network content that links back to your e-commerce site.
2. Decorate for the Holidays
You most likely will decorate your brick-and-mortar store for the holidays. You may even send out holiday-themed emails, have holiday events or promos in your store, and perhaps you even send out Christmas cards. But are you decorating your social profiles for the holidays?
Almost every social platform utilizes profile images and cover graphics. Some, like Twitter, also include background images. First you should check out the type and size of image for the most common social platforms to make sure your holiday art will fit exactly. Put your shoppers in the holiday spirit by updating such imagery with seasonal themes.
Don’t worry if you are not very creative, or don’t have the budget to engage a graphic designer. There are many great tools available to help you create your own holiday art, including Ripl, Spark Post, Canva, and Pixlr.
3. Create Engaging Content
During the holiday season we are all bombarded by sales messages. If you want to succeed with your e-commerce social media marketing we recommend you dial back the sales messages, by a lot! Your online audience will be much more receptive to content that is focused on topics of interest to them.
Include creative seasonal decorating tips, a list of ways to reduce stress during the holidays, ideas for making the holidays more meaningful, inspirational quotes, and more.
4. Get Visual
One of the biggest e-commerce social media marketing trends for the 2017 holiday season is the rise of visual storytelling. From holiday-themed videos to large hero images, duotones and even graphics and infographics you have a lot of variety to choose from.
Include a visual element in all of your social posts. And don’t forget to include a featured image in your holiday blog posts so that when visitors share your content on their social platforms your image will appear along with it.
5. Inspire Shopping Ideas
Another very effective e-commerce social media marketing strategy is to inspire shopping ideas for your audience. Many holiday shoppers are looking for brands to provide them with ideas as well as sell them products or services. So oblige your audience by providing ideas for everything from holiday decorating to the perfect gift idea.
Both Instagram and Pinterest are very effective for visual storytelling. Even better, many people frequent these platforms over the holiday season specifically for getting holiday ideas from people like you! So be sure to create holiday-themed stories and boards for your e-commerce social media marketing.
6. Run Social Media Contests
Another very effective e-commerce social media marketing strategy is to run social media contests. You already know about the “Ugly Christmas Sweater” contest. But how about running contests for the best holiday decoration, the worst Christmas wrapping disaster, or the most unusual gift idea?
7. Send Personal Holiday Greetings
Contrary to popular belief sending out Christmas cards to your customers is a very effective strategy for your e-commerce social media marketing. Especially during the busy holiday season a personal note will really make you stand out!
Strategies you can implement include creating an Instagram video and posting it, sending out direct messages to followers on Twitter, or host a Google Hangout with your most loyal customers just to say hello. If you happen to be friends with customers on Facebook you can send them an e-card using an app like 123 Greetings.
This may sound super old-school, but if you REALLY want to stand out and get noticed why not send out a handwritten personal note to your best customers or most loyal brand advocates.
8. Use Social Influencers
This strategy is unfortunately frequently overlooked when it comes to e-commerce social media marketing. Most of us trust our friends more than commercial brands. You can use that fact to your advantage! By drawing upon your customers’ social influence and having them share or recommend your products and services you will reach a much bigger audience.
Offer your social audience incentives for recommending your products. Rewards can include discounts, featuring their business on your social platforms, or inviting them to a special after-hours invite only holiday event.
9. Support a Worthy Cause
This is another often-overlooked e-commerce social media marketing strategy. People’s minds turn to giving during the holidays, and that doesn’t mean just friends and family; charitable giving tends to rise, too. You can tie in to that emotion by supporting a worthy cause for the holidays.
Aside from the benefits charities receive, supporting a worthwhile cause, such as your local food bank, homeless or animal shelter is a great way to build goodwill between you and your customers that can result in increased brand recognition and loyalty.
Based on recent events you may also want to consider supporting the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Here is how you can help Hurricane Harvey victims.
10. Consider Paid Advertising
Especially for new or smaller brands e-commerce social media marketing alone may not be enough. In that case you can get an additional boost from paid ads and marketing.
Facebook ad campaigns are very cost-effective when compared to other forms of social media advertising. Therefore they are a great way to increase your reach and introduce new people to your brand or products, especially if you have a long conversion funnel.
Overwhelmed by E-Commerce Social Media Marketing?
Like many other digital marketing strategies, e-commerce social media marketing can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you are just starting out. So let’s take this one step at a time.
Select Your Primary Social Platforms
Start by identifying your primary social marketing channels. Most likely they are the ones you use most often, like the best, are the easiest for you and your team to use, etc. Focus your e-commerce social media marketing on those platforms first. You can always add more later.
Plan Your Strategy
Decide which of our e-commerce social media marketing tips are most applicable to you and your business. We did not say you should use every one of them! But you can if you like!
Once you identify your social platforms and plan your strategy you can create the content for your e-commerce social media marketing campaigns. Keep in mind that the holidays can be a touchy subject depending on your social audience.
Remember that there are several different holidays at the end of the year. Many of our clients and associates celebrate Kwanza, Hanukah and Festivus in addition to Christmas and New Years. Be sure not to exclude a segment of your target audience during the holidays.
Use a Social Media Management Tool
You have plenty of other things to do during the busy holiday season. By using a social media management tool you can make your e-commerce social media marketing both more effective and less time-consuming. Score!
Develop a Posting Calendar
Keeping your e-commerce social media marketing on track during the busy holiday season becomes much easier if you use a social media calendar for planning. Here are a few key e-commerce holiday marketing dates you want to keep in mind as you plan.
Here are some additional social media marketing resources from our ESPRESSO Shots Blog. (Feel free to use them throughout the year!)
- Social Media Marketing Guide for Business Owners
- 9 Social Media Marketing Mistakes Most Businesses Make
- How to Choose the Best Social Media Tools for Your Business
- The 5 Best Social Media Management Tools of 2017
- 12 Steps to Social Media Marketing Success
- Converting Small Business Social Media Into Sales
How Is Your E-Commerce Social Media Marketing for the Holidays?
OK, now that you have our highly caffeinated e-commerce social media marketing tips you are ready to rock your holiday marketing! And since we are always interested how this works out for other brands and product companies feel free to share your own results and feedback. Did your sales improve over last year? Did you get more engagement from your social audience? Inquiring minds want to know!
And do you have anything to add to our e-commerce social media marketing tips? Please leave your comments below so our audience can benefit as well, and grab our feed so you don’t miss our next post! And give your audience an early Christmas present by sharing our e-commerce marketing tips with them!
Thank you! We appreciate your help to end bad business websites, one pixel at a time!