festive-social_159153635-thumb-380xauto-3215Marketers are moving away from simply increasing a brand’s fan base. Social media can drive sales and provide tangible results. In fact, this holiday season, 67% of companies plan to spend more on social media. Facebook is the main social network they plant to leverage with 92 percent of respondents saying that they plan to spend the majority of their marketing budget on the platform. With the holidays right around the corner, it’s time to prepare your holiday social media marketing plan. Follow these tips to drive more holiday sales.

1. Prepare Your Social Network Profiles for the Holidays

65% of shoppers look at social media when looking for the perfect gift – so make sure to prepare your social media profiles so you page is ready for the season.

Change your Twitter header and your Facebook cover photo to something winter or holiday related to get people in the holiday sprit. Think of your featured images as billboards, promote the information that’s most important during the holiday season. Direct your fans enter a holiday contest, showcase holiday products, promote seasonal deals, and encourage interaction!


2. Exclusive Offers Behind Like-Gated Facebook Page

Like-gating allows you to restrict certain content to only Facebook users who have liked your page. Delight your fans with a holiday discount and increase your sales by giving exclusives to your Facebook fans.

Increase your fan count by enticing people to like your page for a freebie or discount. If people like your page, offer them a 25% off discount code to use toward holiday shopping, offer a like-gated contest entry, or hide information behind a like-gate. Many people will become fans of your brand page if they like your company and want a discount, an entry, or exclusive information.

However, don’t just stop there. Your fans should continue to receive exclusive deals after liking your page to keep them from unliking it after receiving the first offer. During the holiday season, offer a discount, giveaway, or exclusive deal every week to keep your fans coming back.




3. Time-Bound Offers Only Announced on Social Media

The holiday season seems to creep up on us quickly, and before we know it, we’re crossing our fingers hoping packages will arrive on time and making quick decisions to make sure all our gifts are under the tree.

 Even if there is still a good amount of time left before the holiday hits, you can recreate this quick decision-making with time-bound offers to create a sense of urgency and inspire customers to visit your page at certain times. By giving them time-restricted benefits, customers will feel the need to act immediately or risk missing out on a good deal.

Some examples of time-bound motivators are reducing prices for a set amount of time, offering a limited number of your product or service, and offering seasonal sales prices.


4. Use a Consistent Holiday Hashtag

Hashtags are a popular way to share information and discover topics on social networks. They allow us to target users interested in a specific topic, make posts easier to find, and can increase brand awareness.

Come up with your own company hashtag to use throughout the holiday season to get people to talk about your brand in their social media posts. Make sure to use it consistently on all your social channels. Some examples of successful holiday hashtags last year were:

#MacysBelieve – used by Macy’s for the third year in a row, encouraged kids to send letters to Santa at Macy’s stores. For every letter received, one dollar was donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Macy’s used the hashtag across all social channels to drive awareness.

#MyKindOfHoliday used by Target, encouraged fans to share their holiday traditions on social media. Macy’s also included the hashtag in weekly challenges on Instagram and shopping tips on Twitter. For those shopping last-minute, the photos and videos marked with #MyKindOfHoliday provided inspiriation.

#SweaterGenerator used by Coke Zero, encouraged fans to design a festive sweater on a microsite and share with friends using the hashtag. Fans were incentivized to share because the 100 most popular sweaters were sent to their creators for Christmas.

These hashtags inspired customers involvement and as a result were successful at spreading brand awareness during a crucial holiday shopping period.


5. Tie Holiday Offers to Social Sharing

90% of online consumers report that they trust recommendations from people they know. So, in order to set your holiday campaign on fire, offer fans an incentive for referring their friends.

For example, you could host a holiday contest and make it so everyone who enters automatically wins a discount code to your website. For a chance to win a larger prize in addition to the discount, make it so users have to share the contest with friends on their various social media profiles. This way, your brand will spread quickly via word-of-mouth and will be top of mind when consumers make holiday purchase decisions.



6. Include Testimonials on Your Brand Page  

Gathering and sharing customer testimonials is a powerful way to increase holiday sales. One of the most influential types of testimonials is a video of a customer talking about your business, service or product. In fact, this type of testimonial can boost your marketing efforts by 19 to 25%!

To collect these testimonials, run a video contest with specific guidelines such asking users to say why they love your products or services. Because creating a video takes a little time, entice people with a great prize such as a cash award, a chance to meet the CEO, or limited edition items.

Make sure to promote your contest on all your social media networks and your website. By the end of it, you’ll have a great collection of passionate customers telling how much they love your products. You really can’t find more authentic, convincing marketing.



7. Post Customer’s Holiday Themed Photos 

Sharing photos on social media greatly increases engagement but sharing authentic photos taken by your customers is every better! Be sure to offer some guidelines,  such as asking consumers to take a picture or selfie enjoying the holiday season with your product or service. You can simply ask users to contribute on their social networks by using a hashtag or you can increase engagement by offering a prize for the best photo such as making it your brand’s cover photo or giving the winner a free product.


The Wrap Up  

Social media marketing is a driving force behind many holiday sales.

This year, marketers will use Facebook and Twitter’s new commerce capabilities, run holiday campaigns on Instagram, and even experiment with Vine and Snapchat. It’s time to get serious and leverage your social networks to drive more holiday sales.