November 13, 2014 By BJ Cook,
Ah, the holiday season is upon us once again. For most it’s time to relax, spend time with family and friends and eat delicious food. But for digital marketers, it’s also go time! Social media has become increasingly more important to holiday campaigns. This is also prime time for social commerce initiatives. Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, holiday-related content and customer service inquiries, having a solid social media plan is essential in order to achieve holiday success. Here are 5 tips to help you succeed:
Find the balance between real-time and scheduled updates
Social media never sleeps but you can’t be expected to do the same (believe me, I've tried). Luckily, most social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, along with dashboards like TweetDeck or Hootsuite, allow you to schedule out updates. If you’re managing Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals and offers, schedule out your posts ahead of time, but make sure to check your links if the sales are slated to go live at a certain time i.e. midnight on Thanksgiving. Let your posts roll out as planned, scheduled a few hours apart, checking them periodically to make sure that links are working and that there is still inventory. Live updates should be for things like engaging with customers, letting them know if an offer starts to run low or sells out, or to share user content as it comes in.
We all know that this time of the year can cause a lot of stress. Minimize any potential miscommunication by giving as much info as you can, as often as you can. If you have, say, a coupon code limited to 100 uses, make sure to include that in your post. Include things like expiration dates, sale price vs. regular price, and things like “excludes tax” or “free shipping” when sharing deals on social media. Since shoppers are focused on the offer, no need to get fancy with your wording. Give them all the details you can about the sale. Because attention spans are short and characters are limited, have a central location of all your deals and offers on your blog in addition to your website. Maintain an updated list and make sure that any restrictions like “US only” or “percentage off based on MSRP” are clearly stated there are well. Drive to this page periodically for the people who want to see all your holiday offers. Pro tip: If you have a holiday deals post from the prior year, update it instead of posting a new one. Change the deals and the date. Chances are your prior year post has been indexed by Google, helping with SEO and showing up in search results.
Designate team roles and responsibilities
Holiday is a crazy time for us all and you shouldn't go it alone! Social media can be a beast on a regular day never-mind over the shopping weekend. Dividing and conquering the workload is the best way to handle all content, questions and concerns without losing your sanity. If you don’t have a customer service team monitoring social media, designate team members to do specifically that. Have another monitor the conversation in general. If you have a larger team, have team members take on different channels. Get together ahead of time and craft messaging together so it’s complete and you have unified messaging, voice and tone across all channels. While you're at it, create an ultimate social media support plan for the team with all logins, tracking codes, monitoring shifts, post times, who is responsible for what channel, your customer service process, and any other key information so it’s available at a glance for everyone involved. Using a social media platform is also recommend here so that you can all see what posts are scheduled, what posts have been responded to, etc. The more organized you are up front, the better.
Don’t be afraid to try new things
Holiday might seem like a time to stick to what you know but it’s also a great time to try new things! Have you been meaning to test out Promoted Tweets? Maybe you’re ready to launch your Instagram presence. With so much attention on holiday deals over the Thanksgiving weekend, this gives you a natural boost to your new program or channel. Capitalize on those extra eyeballs that are hunting for the best offers and shopping for gifts.
Remember to breathe
This can be an overwhelming time for a regular person, never-mind a digital marketing professional. While holiday is critical time for many business looking to solidify revenue numbers before the end of the year, remember to take time for yourself too. Plan ahead as much as you can, leverage your team, and kick back with a nice hot cocoa at the end of the day...or something stronger if you need it.   Contact us if you want guidance or more information regarding success in social commerce.  

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