How to devise a Christmas social media marketing strategy

In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s almost Christmas.

But the festive season is not just about crackers, roast turkey and dodgy jumpers.  For many companies Christmas is their busiest trading period of the year.

The next few weeks can make or break many a business, and a carefully considered marketing plan could be the difference between the tills merrily ringing out for Christmas or a nasty case of ‘Bah Humbug’.

Not all of us can afford to splash the cash on animated trampolining penguins or poignant wartime re-enactments for high profile TV campaigns, so for SMEs it’s a case of making the most of what we have at our disposal.

A recent study by Crowdtap revealed that nearly 65% of shoppers use social media to find a gift for a loved one, so a well thought out Yuletide social media strategy could be key to a bumper festive season.

Choosing the right channel for your business is important. For B2C businesses, Facebook is a good platform for running a festive marketing campaign – it drove four per cent of all visits to retail websites during the 2012 Christmas season.

Twitter is also a big player, with users often seeking out reviews or recommendations from their army of followers. LinkedIn is the social media channel of choice for the B2B market but ignore other sites at your peril.

Image sharing sites such as Pinterest and Instagram are big business this Christmas. During the festive period, customers will be using these platforms to gain new ideas and inspiration and uploading high quality product images is a great way to engage with modern, image-centric consumers.

Who doesn’t love a picture of a beautifully decorated tree adorned with glistening baubles and surrounded by gift-wrapped presents? Get in on the act and encourage your network to share their most striking photos.

With social media, timing is everything. There’s no point in posting great content when your audience is still asleep or away from their computer, phone or tablet. You need to know when you can reach them.

According to Entrepeneur.com the best times for interacting on Twitter and Facebook are between 1pm and 4pm, whereas sites like Tumblr have an optimum engagement window of 7pm until 10pm, Instagram, from 5pm to 6pm, and Google+ between 9am and 11am.

It’s also worth ramping up how often you post, and make sure it’s shareable. Give your audience something they can send around to their friends. Nothing is stronger than word of mouth.

Social media plays a major role in customer service, which comes under increasing pressure during the busy Christmas period, when customers tend to have a higher than usual number of questions, requests and issues.

With 42% of consumers expecting a response within 60 minutes, the key to using social media as an extension of customer service is a prompt and meaningful response.

Put yourself in the shoes of the customer and treat them how you would like to be treated yourself.

Would you like help with your social media? Get in touch with us on 07909 916668 or email daniel.owens@ojpr.co.uk.