The holiday season is in full sleigh bell swing, and businesses are seeking to boost revenues in the final weeks leading into Christmas. What was once a marathon now has become a sprint.
B2B companies understand it makes sense to engage with their audience on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere and sending them best wishes for a safe and happy Christmas, as well as offering tips on gift-giving and other aspects related to the holiday season.
Even for those who don’t partake in the festivities, there are still businesses and consumers looking out for the best deals possible and considerable discounts on their favourite products. Christmas transcends across cultures in North America.
But how can you best harness the holidays to engage with your audience in a way that feels seamless and approachable without looking too forced?
Facebook vs. Twitter vs. Everyone Else
Brands make the error of placing their entire Christmas social media campaigns on Facebook and Twitter. Although this is a step in the right direction for many marketers, don’t neglect other venues where your fans regularly congregate.
As a growing number of both businesses and consumers are visiting image-friendly networks like Pinterst and Instagram, merchants need to showcase their products on these platforms, especially during the festive season. With Christmas being the epitome of imagery – think lights and decorations and Santa costumes – this is an opportune time to have some festive fun with images and captions.
With that being said, Facebook and Twitter are still ideal for small- and medium-sized enterprises to garner new customers and eyeballs to the product.
Retargeted ads on social media accounts are immensely popular for marketers. When a visitor arrives to a web portal without purchasing any product then the company can list a Promoted Tweet the next time they visit Twitter, for instance.
The same type of strategy can be applied to Facebook as well because businesses can reach their audience once they have visited a certain website to learn about its products or services.
Remember, customers are likelier to purchase something from a business if there is an exclusive discount offered only to social network account followers.
The Good and the Bad
Like anything else in life, there will be firms that are performing this type of holiday engagement very well on social media, while there will be others making all the wrong mistakes. Some will be engaging heavily with their audience, and others will be light on the tweets. There has to be a happy medium.
Here are four things businesses shouldn’t do on social media during the holidays:
- Being Too Holiday-Friendly: Sometimes, the stress of the holidays can be overwhelming and you may just want a break from Christmas. The last thing you want to see in your feed are businesses inundating their followers with reminders of Christmas, holiday promotions and every single message including Santa Claus for some reason. Don’t overdo it.
- Avoid Popular Unrelated Hashtags: Every brand wants more followers and more eyes, especially at Christmas. However, social media users may actually roll their eyes when they see a software company use popular hashtags that are completely unrelated to the brand’s industry. Remember #GiveGregTheHoliday?
- Endless Self-Promotion: If your business is continually promoting its Christmas sales, discounts, promotion and news then it could very well alienate the audience and appear to be rather supercilious. Instead, users wish to gain important information or content from other related firms during the holidays. Write tweets not necessarily about the competition, but about partners or other companies you admire.
- Engaging Off-Hours: Indeed, social media stretches across the globe. Unfortunately, when a B2B company is primarily located in Canada then it’s likely the shared content or message won’t be read at 4:30 a.m. The most effective times are definitely during business hours and in the evenings. Don’t overlook weekend posts, too.
Do you want to have a positive and successful social media campaign this holiday season? Here are five more tips for your marketing plan for the next few weeks:
- Subtle Christmas Décor: To show that your business is in the festive spirit, lightly redesign your social network accounts with Christmas décor, such as revising the profile picture, the background template, etc. Of course, don’t go overboard.
- Holiday Engagement: Rather than promoting your brand’s celebration of the holidays, ask your consumer audience to post images, videos, messages and happy memories of Christmas when they were kids themselves or something that happened while on Christmas vacation.
- Tips & Discussions: Another popular way to engage with the audience is to offer a number of tips and tricks to cope and thrive during Christmas, such as methods to cook a turkey, decorate a tree or gifts for a pre-teen. Also, solicit opinions from your followers on how to solve such Christmas issues.
- Countdowns: One of the most prevalent hashtags this month is #24days. This type of hashtag generates a countdown mentality on social media. Businesses should take advantage of this by having their own type of countdown, including daily prizes, incentives, promotions and content.
- Office Documentary: Employee profiles, images of the holiday office party and a showcase of the office decorations are great ways to humanize the business and show there are real people behind the company.
B2B companies can harness the benefits of social media all year around, but the holiday shopping season remains one of the most important times to employ marketing techniques. Connection and engagement continue to be effective traits for successful businesses, and bringing a bit of Christmas cheer to your tweets and posts will get everyone in a positive mood.