Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Social Media Marketers Prep for the Holiday Season

Have you already walked into a retail store and thought, “Christmas decorations and gifts already—and it’s not even Thanksgiving!!!” If you haven’t, my guess is that you haven’t been shopping for the last couple of weeks. It appears to me that as soon as Halloween decorations went out, Christmas merchandise came in. Whether you like that or not, it is time for retailers, large and small, to get serious about planning holiday promotions if they are not already in high gear. See a good article from Ad Age Digital (free registration required).

I recently ran into a good post on how to prepare your social media channels for the holiday season. Here are the recommendations:

1. Give your social media profiles a makeover. That includes making sure your profiles and maps are complete and correct on Google Places and Yahoo! Local Search.
2. Build your followers and connections. They are valuable themselves; they also offer connections to their networks.
3. Get more reviews. Product reviews are incredibly important, whether on your site or on third-part review sites. Encourage your followers to review your products or services and to share them.

4. Special offers for your followers. What can I say? The Target site already has offers up. Many of these are appropriate to both large and small retailers. It’s interesting that they seem to be focusing on Cyber Monday instead of Black Friday.
5. Engage in the conversation. Do you have a Facebook page? Are you responding to customers when they complain or ask for information? Take a look at some of the recent traffic on the Hanes Wall on Facebook. They answer information requests, apologize for things like out of stock items and thank people for compliments. All good!
6. Integrate social media with other marketing. That’s essential, whether it’s your website or broadcast or print advertising, or some combination. Integration is key to getting the message out and experiencing positive results.
7. Commit to creating some quality holiday content. I was in a local retail store over the weekend and heard a video featuring Ming Tsai, one of my gurus. I think he was promoting a line of cookware. The one-unit local retailer has a good website, but I didn’t see any evidence of product videos. My guess is that Ming would have been glad to have them link to or upload his promotional video. Make use of whatever good content is available and create your own when necessary. This store also has some acceptable local TV advertising; no ad videos seen on the site. Opportunities missed!

Also be sure to inventory your search marketing, whether optimized pages or PPC. According to a recent report:
• More than three-quarters of respondents search to learn more about a product or service after seeing an ad elsewhere. • Before moving on to a different information source, searchers will modify their search and try again (89%), try a different search engine (89%), and go through multiple search results pages if necessary (79%)

Is this all worth the effort? According to Ad Age:

Nearly 80% of consumers plan to do at least some of their shopping online this season, according to the National Retail Federation and BigResearch. One-sixth will do more than half of their holiday shopping online.

That’s a target audience worth cultivating!

Still looking for advice? Here’s a helpful report on holiday email marketing and two more good recent articles.
• Retail Email Holiday Guide
Holiday Hit List
Get Prepared for Q4 2010


Nikhil Daiya said...

Really great post... thanks for sharing such a great source with all.

Thanks For Sharing.
SEO Freelancer India

social media marketing company said...

Nice Blog,
Social media marketing is getting more importance since it has become the popular trend on internet.