How to Make Social Media Work for Your Business This Holiday Season

As we enter the holiday shopping season, a good social media marketing campaign can have a huge effect on sales during the biggest shopping season of the year.

A social media campaign is oftentimes a brave new world for small business owners who are not used to putting so much focus on their online presence.

“All of this is new for small businesses. They’ve not been used to using social media actively,” says Christina Shaw, chief marketing officer at Blue Fountain Media, a marketing consulting company.

Why Social Media?

Nearly 30% of small business owners expect at least a quarter of their holiday sales to happen online, with 14% of those surveyed expecting their percentage of online sales to be as high as 50%.

With so much holiday business happening online, it only makes sense to make the most of a business’s online presence. There are lots of ways to boost sales through social media.

What Works

Facebook and Twitter are the two biggest social media platforms to focus on. If you already have a Facebook page, and a Twitter page, great! But how are you using them? If you’re just sharing photos and promoting sales, then you’re not making the most of these platforms.

Monif Clarke, owner of Monif C. Plus Sizes women’s clothing store in New York, was using her company’s Facebook to post pictures of inventory and promote upcoming sales,¬†before realizing that wasn’t enough.

“We need to reach the customers we have in a more effective way and attract new customers,” Clarke says.

You want to try to drum up interest in your social media pages, in order to get as many likes and shares as possible. A great way to do this is through Facebook- or Twitter-exclusive contests.

You can determine the prize, but the important part is that entry in the contest should require liking or sharing your business’s official page. This will spread the word about your business, and its special holiday offers.

Twitter is often used as a platform for reviewing products and services, and this can be particularly valuable to you during the weeks leading up to the holidays. The more positive feedback your company and its products are getting on Twitter, the more likely users will decide to do business with you.

Making It Work

The tricky part is, good social media strategies aren’t cheap. A comprehensive social media marketing strategy¬†can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $20,000, with the industry average being between $4,000 and $7,000. Unfortunately, many small businesses don’t have that kind of money lying around, especially this time of year when advertising budgets are already stretched thin.

There are resources out there that can help a small business grow, and those resources are no better utilized than during the holiday season. A new and improved social media presence can bolster holiday sales, even enabling the social media campaign to pay for itself.

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