In the midst of last year’s holiday shopping madness, IBM’s Jay Henderson wrote a super detailed post on his company’s Smarter Planet blog about how social media affects holiday shopping. He concluded that social media isn’t just “another channel to have a personalized dialog with a consumer.”
They key to using social media for holiday marketing, he wrote, is motivating consumers to share their purchases, their experiences and their likes with their friends. And yet, as any business owner knows, it can be challenging to get news about your deal, your special event or your new product heard above all the rest of the online noise.
In that spirit, here are some ideas for well-crafted Facebook posts that your fans and followers will Like and want to share with their friends.
According to Forbes, 79 percent of consumers Like a brand on Facebook exclusively for offers, discounts and incentives, making Facebook one of the best places to advertise sales. A simple status update that highlights a sale can reach a large number of your business’s existing fans.
When crafting sale-related posts, think about why people have become fans of your business.For early access to sales? For access to monthly giveaways? Whatever the reason, use status updates to deliver offers that are special to your fans only. Kate Spade often offers Facebook fans early access to online sales. The example below is seasonal — from Halloween — but you could easily do the same thing for any upcoming holiday.
The clothing brand J. Crew recently made headlines for posting its entire fall collection on its Pinterest Page, giving Pinterest users a first look at the brand’s new clothes and the opportunity place pre-orders.
They then used a Facebook status update to share their “November Style Guide” with their fans. This was a well-executed idea for how businesses can use social media to focus attention on new and/or soon-to-be-released products during the holidays.
In their post, J. Crew did two things right:
1. They created a feeling of exclusivity. Using the phrases “Get a first glance” and “Before anyone else” made J.Crew’s fans feel like they were discovering something about the brand before anyone else. The takeaway here: Use your post to make fans feel like you’re letting them in on something special. Try this sort of update during the holidays to get more engagement on your updates.
2. They cross-promoted another important platform: Pinterest. When you use your most popular social channel (for J.Crew, it’s Facebook, where they have one million fans) to promote one of your other social channels, you often see a boost in followers on your lesser popular platform.
The reason? Your fans are now aware that your brand is active on another platform! When fans see that your brand is posting unique, quality content on your other social accounts, they’ll want keep up with your brand on those platforms, too.
Don’t underestimate the power of visuals. A good image can effectively share a message and get people to react quickly, allowing your business to gather insightful data from followers. Such is the case with Everpurse’s status update featured below.
Without even reading the copy of the post, fans know what they should do: select their favorite design. Fill-in-the-blank posts on Facebook are generally effective and this is a visual version of that idea. Everpurse received more than 68 comments on their status update — those 68 comments will no doubt influence their upcoming production decisions.
You can use the same principles of Everpurse’s status update to create Facebook posts that help your business get fast feedback from your fans this holiday season. Then use the data you collect to decide which items you should spend more of your promotion dollars on.
Besides the audience-appropriate question and the mouthwatering photo, the small downtown- Reno restaurant SoDo has done two other smart things with their Facebook status update: They have a crystal clear call to action and share a link to a webpage where people can make a reservation.
If you own a restaurant or other reservation-based business, like a salon, try a similar post. In the post, link to a reservations webpage or create a reservations Facebook app (like this one) so that Facebook users can make reservations directly from your brand’s Timeline profile.
According to Nation’s Restaurant News, in 2012, 14 million consumers were expected to go out to eat on Thanksgiving day. If your business is open on a major holiday, use a Facebook update to spread the word and bring in new leads, i.e., reservations!
Good storytelling skills are essential for social media success. On Facebook, try using status updates to tell a story that will motivate people to visit your brick and mortar business.
Hub Coffee Roasters, a small coffee shop promoting their new riverside location, for instance, used a compelling photo to convey the feeling of the season. And their post copy makes you want a cup of coffee, pronto!
Despite having a small Facebook following of 2,500 fans, they garnered 57 “likes” and eight comments on their non-sponsored post. That’s what I call awesome engagement!
These are just a few examples of ways that brands can use Facebook updates to promote seasonal or holiday products and events.