By now, you’ve probably heard about the importance of using social media to promote your business during the holidays and throughout the year.
You might have even seen some stats on the value of social media, like:
Two-thirds of shoppers use social media to find the perfect gift.
No matter how much inventory you put in the numbers, when it comes to vacations, you know how important having the right plan can be in reaching new customers and getting people to your store.
And even if you’re not a social media fan, with the right plan, you can achieve significant social media results this holiday season.
Creating a social media plan starts with understanding what each network can do for your business.
For the holidays, you’ll want to focus your efforts on a select group of social media sites that will offer the right features to connect with your audience.
Here’s a look at how each network might work for your business.
- Facebook: As a small business, you’ve probably already seen how Facebook can be used to engage with fans and promote your business throughout the year. On Facebook, you can use different types of content, including text, images, videos, and links, to engage your fans. You can also take advantage of Facebook’s advertising capabilities to target nearby consumers and drive local success. Finally, with a third of Facebook users now only mobile, Facebook is also one of the most powerful networks for connecting with local consumers on their mobile device.
- Twitter: Twitter is one of the best networks for engaging with your audience and sharing useful and engaging content. But did you also know that Twitter is a valuable platform for customer service? People love Twitter because it gives them direct access to the people and brands that are important to them. By monitoring your Twitter activity and responding to questions and comments from followers, you will never miss the opportunity to turn a social interaction into a new opportunity for your business.
- Pinterest: People approach Pinterest with more of a buying mindset than they do on other social sites. In fact, 47% of U.S. online shoppers say they’ve purchased something as a result of a Pinterest recommendation. While you can use other networks – like Facebook or Twitter – strictly for engagement purposes, on Pinterest you can connect with consumers at a single stage of the buying process: the research and find stage. navigation. Pinterest is the perfect platform for showcasing gift ideas and showcasing everything your business has to offer this holiday season.
- Instagram: Instagram is one of the best networks for creating engaging content for your business this holiday season. Its user-friendly tools make it easy to create images and video clips that your customers and prospects will love. You can snap photos of staff members preparing for an upcoming holiday sale or show off gift ideas with creative images your audience will love.
- Youtube: The holidays are a great time to create and share your business videos. Your videos don’t have to be a big budget production. Something as simple as a video from your smartphone wishing customers a happy vacation, or an interview about upcoming vacation activities, can go a long way in establishing a more personal connection with your audience. Best of all, you can easily share your videos on your various social networks or even add them to your vacation emails.
Now that you understand what each network can do for your business, it’s time to start building your schedule.
To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of perfect creative post ideas for each of these popular networks:
Use these ideas for inspiration. Pick the ones that are meaningful to your audience and add the unique personality of your business to make them your own.
The last element of your social media plan will be deciding how often to post on each platform.
Below we have outlined the recommended frequencies for all the different social networks. Remember that it is your social media plan. Focus on the networks that you think offer the greatest opportunity for your business. These frequencies can provide guidelines when you start to create your schedule.
(Note: Frequency will be greatest on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. On YouTube, you will likely be creating one or a series of videos and not needing to focus on daily or weekly posting.)
With your content ideas and posting plans defined, you can now start filling your calendar.
As you begin to set up your social media plan, keep these important official and unofficial days and holidays in mind:
- Thanksgiving – November 27
- Black friday – November 28
- Small Business Saturday – November 29
- Cyber monday – 1st December
- #GivingTuesday – December 2
- Hanukkah – December 16 – December 24
- Christmas Eve – December 24
- Xmas – December 25th
- The day after Christmas – December 26
You’ll want to take your other marketing activities into account as well. For example, look for ways to coordinate your posting schedule with your email marketing schedule. Remember, you can easily share your vacation emails on social media and use social media to encourage fans and subscribers to join your mailing list.
Here’s an example of what your calendar for December might look like:
As you begin to create your calendar, look for ways to save time and keep things going.
If you are a Constant Contact customer, you can create and schedule your vacation emails in advance. You can also use tools like Facebook’s native post scheduler, which lets you schedule your posts in advance. Try to incorporate a number of time-saving tools to schedule posts before things get too hectic.
Also, be sure to take advantage of the convenience of mobile tools. Download the mobile apps for each of your most important social sites. You can also download the Constant Contact mobile app and create reminders and email announcements right from your mobile device!
Ready to start?
Start your holiday posting calendar with Small Business Saturday in mind.
Have a great Saturday deal for small businesses and use your various communication channels to spread the word.
Remember, your schedule should include a mix of content designed to promote your business and content designed to entertain and engage your audience. It’s okay to put more emphasis on promotion when trying to publicize an offer or drive last minute sales, but be sure to mix up other posts that people will want to share and respond to.