With more and more consumers turning to social media to dictate their shopping decisions, social media marketing is becoming an increasingly valuable tool for small businesses. According to Hootsuite, 45% of global internet users said they turned to social media when researching products or services in 2020. During the busiest shopping months of the year, social media can be a great way to attract new customers, increase sales, and build strong connections with your existing community.
To help you continue to prepare for success this year, we’re sharing five ways you can leverage social media for your business this holiday season.
Use polling features to check in with your customers
Social media polls are an easy way to check in with your customers and get immediate feedback from them. They’re also an opportunity to create loyal customers by showing your commitment to your community’s experience and making them feel heard.
Instagram Stories offers several ways to poll your community. You can ask a question with two possible answers using the poll sticker, or add more possible answers using the quiz sticker. You can also get open-ended feedback using the question sticker. Facebook can also be a good place to pose open-ended questions to your community, and if you have a dedicated Facebook Group for your business, you can create a poll there as well.
There are several types of questions you can ask to get valuable feedback from your customers. For example, try asking consumers who they’re shopping for this season or what they’re putting on their own wish list. Poll followers on which of your products is their favorite or ask what they hope to see in your store for the holidays. If you’re testing out a new product line, polls are a great way to get immediate feedback on its performance. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for constructive criticism. Ask your customers what pain points they’re experiencing or improvements they’d like to see made. If you end up implementing changes based on this feedback, don’t forget to post an update to show your customers that you listened and took action.
Excite customers with photography
Quality photography is a quick way to get customers interested in your product, and your social media account is a great place to show off those photos. Many consumers turn to social media for inspiration on gift ideas for the holidays, and your photos may be the first impression they get of your brand. Instagram is often the chosen platform for photography and product imagery. In fact, according to Instagram, 90% of users on the platform follow a business account, and 50% of people have visited a website to make a purchase after seeing a product on Instagram.
If you have holiday-specific products, be sure to feature plenty of photos of the items throughout the coming months. You can also intrigue and encourage customers to visit your shop in person by posting pictures of your seasonally decorated space. To give non-seasonal products a holiday spin, do a bit of quick photographic styling to give your photos a festive feel. You don’t need to have a professional camera or a photography studio. Just add seasonal props to your product photography like twinkle lights, greenery, candles, or candy canes, and snap some pictures on your smartphone.
When featuring product photography, remember to include information on how and where customers can buy the featured items by including a link to your online store or information on your brick-and-mortar space.
Share behind-the-scenes footage with video
Social media is an opportunity to show the people behind a business, and video is a great medium for doing so. In recent years, video has become an increasingly popular form of content across all social media channels.
This holiday season, use video content to give your customers a sneak peek of what it’s like to be an entrepreneur during retail’s busiest time of year. Instagram IGTV, Reels, and Stories are popular options for posting video content, and depending on your audience demographic, TikTok can be a good option as well.
Video offers several opportunities to give viewers a more in-depth look at your business this holiday season. Take customers on a tour of your retail space including a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of the store. You can also share videos that showcase a few of your best products and explain in-depth details that may be missed in a photo. Introduce viewers to your retail team or film an unboxing video with footage of opening a highly anticipated product. Finally, today’s consumers like to know who they’re purchasing from. Video is a great way to introduce yourself and share your business’s story, or to show what a day in your life is like as a small business owner.
Show customer appreciation with a giveaway
The holidays are the perfect time to give back to your community, and social media giveaways are a great way to do so. Giveaways that encourage your followers to share a post can also increase your visibility on social media and introduce your business to new customers. Instagram and Facebook tend to be favored platforms for giveaways, but they can be done on any social media platform with an engaged audience. There are many types of giveaways you can run this holiday season and several rewards you can offer, from gift cards to products or even a gift bundle of several products.
One popular giveaway method is a photo contest. Encourage customers to share photos of your products being gifted to a loved one and select the best entry as the winner. You can also run a comment or likes contest where you post a photo of the giveaway item and enter everyone who likes or comments on the photo into a raffle to win. If you want to thank more of your customers this holiday season, you can share an exclusive coupon on social media that only your followers will have access to.
Share updates and reminders
Finally, social media can be a tool to help share important dates, reminders, and updates with your customers amidst a busy time of year. With shipping delays and supply chain disruptions affecting this year’s holiday season, keeping your customers in the loop is especially important for building customer loyalty. Use your chosen social media channel as a way to inform customers about any holiday deals or events like Black Friday or Small Business Saturday.
Remind customers of varying holiday hours and provide clear shipping information including cutoff dates and any delays. With Covid-19 safety still on consumers’ minds, social media is also a good place to outline the steps you’re taking to make customers feel safe in your store this year and to direct them to alternatives such as online shopping or curbside pickup. Lastly, be sure you include information on your social media profile of how customers can reach you should they have further questions.
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