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Increase sales with social media this holiday season

· advertising,social media,facebook

This blog was contributed by our in-house consultant, a senior branding communicator for Singapore Small Medium Enterprise and a certified management consultant in branding and digital transformation recognised by Enterprise Singapore.

Physical retailers are making a greater effort to attract shoppers as e-commerce eats into their earnings. The Christmas season is particularly important. A survey by supermarket operator Giant shows that most Singaporeans are likely to spend $100 to $300 just on gifts during the festive season, and one in five Singaporeans is putting aside more than $500 for their festive shopping.

With consumers now increasingly multi-channel, these well-informed consumers are purchasing 3 times more merchandise than single channel consumers. So companies must have a plan for each marketing channel. Social media is a powerful channel that merchants typically forget about. Social media influences lead to 34% of online shoppers making a purchase, and 71% of shoppers will recommend a company if they had a good social media experience.

In Singapore, a country with 85% penetration rate for Facebook, more people are researching a product online before they buy. Spending a little extra time and resource to craft meaningful posts and target effectively will pay off in the long run.

Here are 3 actionable tips to help you get started:

1. Run holiday offers

Offering extras such as annual sales, free shipping, member-only discounts, and other rewards influence more purchases than any other social media strategy. If you ran offers in the past, see which ones performed best and make them better this year. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Annual Sales / Bundle Sales: Offering discounts is still the best way to get consumers to look at your products. 
  2. Free Shipping: Offering free shipping may not seem possible for small businesses, but it most certainly is. Treat your customer by offering free shipping when he or she spends a certain amount of dollars.
  3. Time-Based Events: Offering extra loyalty points on certain days, or running a buy one, get one free deal on complimentary products during a certain time of month is a great way to gain momentum.
  4. Customer-Generated Content Contest: Engage with your customer and gain free, holiday-themed content by starting a contest for your customers. 

During the holidays, marketing your business via social media can increase brand awareness and sales. Make sure you are well prepared for the influx of sales that’ll be coming your way. Try automating the process of emails, social media posts, responses with marketing automation software or make use of an outsourcing company. This will allow you to focus on any customer service issues that may arise. You will have a piece of mind that all enquires are responded and are continuously engaged.

2. Use Visuals

Take your social media posts to the next level with graphics. Most Singaporeans are captivated visually. Facebook posts with images see up to 2.3 times more engagement than posts with just text. Twitter posts with images are retweeted 150% more than those without. In addition to images, videos are a great way to increase engagement. Product videos can increase purchases by more than 140%. Embrace the holiday spirit and imagery. The extra time you spend creating unique posts will give you a competitive advantage. Here are a few ideas for you to try out:

  • Create graphics: Create a theme for your business to use during holidays. Make sure they are professional graphics and images. Use a tool like Canva or PicMonkey, or hire a freelancer. Give your brand a cohesive look this festive season and help bridge multiple channels together.
  • Add a hashtag: Using a hashtag is a great way to utilise word of mouth marketing, create consistency for your brand across all social channels, and engage with your customer. A few great examples of successful holiday hashtags include: #BetterWorldforBabies, #TrumpKimSummit
  • Use holiday-themed product videos: Infuse your product videos with holiday spirit. 
  • Get emotional: Capitalise on the heartfelt sentiments during the holidays. Make sure your posts and videos embody the love and cheer of the holidays because campaigns involving emotional marketing do twice as well as those not using it. Share a story showing a customer connecting to your product, send a message of thanks to your customers, or add an employee appreciation story.
  • Don’t forget about fulfilment: Complete the customer experience by adding some holiday cheer to your boxes. Offer gift-wrapping options for those busy shoppers. Whether it is a simply thank you note with the same imagery from your holiday campaign or a fully-designed box, adding those extra details will take your business to the next level.

3. Plan ahead

Planning a social media campaign is hard work. You must plan your campaign, identify your audience online, put together a schedule, stick to the schedule, monitor your campaigns, tweak them, engage potential customers, close your customers. It's a lot of work. Or you can spend a little marketing budget to outsource all this work and time before the holidays and really concentrate on closing the sales and servicing the influx of customers.

Let an outsourcing company manage things like;

  1. Publishing of campaigns around special events 
  2. Creating posts to incite shares, click-throughs, sign-ups 
  3. Creating stunning graphics and images cohesive with your brand
  4. Generate inbound traffic with proximity marketing 
  5. Remarket, Reengage, Re-email and Repost
  6. Customer relationships management 
  7. Automation of the entire social media marketing process - a turnkey product provided to brands
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