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Leveraging Social Media Marketing for the Holiday Season

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Preparing for the holidays is something that businesses must do, and much of the planning must be done ahead of time to get campaigns, promotions and plans in place. Here is a list of 5 out of the 11 tips [URL="http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/2121752/leverage-power-social-media-2011-holiday-season"]ClickZ listed in their article[/URL].

[LIST=1][*][B]Timing is everything.[/B] One of the most effective tactics a brand can implement is strategically planning the roll-out of critical communications during the holiday season. To do this, take the time to analyze critical response patterns including what day/time of day your consumers are most likely to engage with your social media posts and build your social posts accordingly.[*][B]Integrate and coordinate.[/B] Support promotional efforts across multiple channels - and coordinate your social posts with direct mail drops, email communications, and banner activities - to maximize sales. Test the effectiveness of sequencing these efforts to better optimize overall conversion and response rates.[*][B]Tag and track.[/B] Add tracking codes to all social media efforts. Measure your social media's impact to lift overall response rates as well as each channel's conversion contribution and impact on sales. Tag marketing programs with social addresses in order to engage consumers further.[*][B]Listen, respond, and remind.[/B] Monitor conversations and sentiment to identify and understand who might be talking about your brand, promotions, products, or services and what they are saying. Staff up and respond in real time. Go beyond offering holiday gift suggestions and be prepared to answer a range of inquires via social media you may not normally be accustomed to; such as questions around product availability, return policies, pricing, complaints, and more. Take the time to prepare and train all front-line personnel to properly address consumer questions. Remind users of critical deadlines and dates such as the last day to order online to receive by Christmas and offer last-minute ideas such as e-certificates.[*][B]Localize and alert.[/B] Use social media to update consumers about local events, extended store hours, price changes, and even product deliveries at local locations - particularly as it relates to hot products. Using the geo-targeted posts on platforms like Facebook can help optimize sales both online and in-store at the local level.[/LIST]

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