Social media marketing (SMM) is no longer a nice-to-have strategy but an absolute necessity for brands. The reason is simple – most people today use one or more social media platforms. Consider also the trends in recent years in which holiday sales continue to increase year over year. No doubt there is much revenue to generate from holiday shopping – more specifically, online holiday shopping.
2022 Holiday Sales Trends (Deloitte):
• In 2022, holiday shopping may increase by 4 to 6 percent, while eCommerce sales will likely grow from 12.8 to 14.3 percent, year over year.
• Holiday sales of retail and consumer products will likely reach $1.45 to $1.47 trillion. eCommerce, meanwhile, will generate between $260 to $264 billion.
Attract Customers Using a Holiday Marketing Strategy FAQ
Before developing a marketing plan for social media using the latest holiday marketing tips, find out first why it is both advantageous and necessary, especially for small businesses.
Why Create a Marketing Plan for Social Media and Other Digital Channels
According to Google, 4 percent of holiday shoppers did not use digital shopping channels. This figure suggests that over 90 percent of shoppers are online.
In the United States, there were 270.1 million active social media users in 2022, accounting for 80.9 percent of the total population. So this means businesses can reach all kinds of consumer demographics, spending capacity and shopping behavior in social networks. So creating a holiday marketing strategy for each network and customer segment is essential to grab a share of the holiday shopping rush.
Why Create Holiday Marketing Campaigns
Running holiday campaign strategies to capitalize on the holiday shopping rush is advantageous. The reasons, according to McKinsey & Company’s 2022 Consumer Pulse Survey, are as follows:
• 55 percent of U.S. respondents said they are excited and have savings for holiday shopping.
• 56 percent started holiday shopping as early as October.
• Almost 50 percent said they would switch stores if they found a better price from another store.
The key takeaways from McKinsey & Company’s survey are as follows
• A significant number of consumers have money to spend.
• More than half of the holiday shoppers prefer to shop early instead of waiting until later in the season.
• Price remains one of the critical factors in purchasing decisions.
Why Holiday Marketing Campaigns Are Necessary for Small Businesses
“For many businesses, the holiday season is a make-or-break time. This should be a joyful time for businesses, so it’s important to take advantage of your successes and capitalize on those during the giving season,” said Rachel Czeszewski, Thrive’s Sr. Social Media Manager.
In its third year, the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the economy. A recent survey of small businesses by Goldman Sachs revealed that 71 percent were negatively affected by the rise in COVID-19 (Omicron) cases, with 37 percent forced to scale back or temporarily close their operation.
Table 1. Percentage of Consumers Spending More or Less During the 2022 Holiday Season Compared to 2021
Some 37 percent of U.S. consumers are likely to spend roughly the same amount they did the previous holiday season. Meanwhile, 41 percent planned to spend more. Small businesses, in particular, can generate up to 40 percent of their annual revenue from holiday sales.
Table 2. Importance of the 2022 Holiday Season to the Financial Health of Small Businesses Compared to 2021
In the USA, 79 percent of small businesses consider holiday shopping vital to their financial health. But due to the stiff competition, the only way to survive in these uncertain times is to put proven digital and social media marketing tips into action.
The Importance of Expert Marketing Plans
Among all digital channels, social media is the best way to reach consumers and improve customer experience by engaging them to disseminate information, answer questions and offer help. There must be a general social media marketing plan for this to happen. Since each platform is different, there must also be specific marketing and advertising campaigns.
A Strategy Gives Brands the Power of Targeting
Typically, a small business, without the help of a social media expert, would try to gain organic social media traffic by making random product posts on various channels. Some may even try paid social media ads as the platforms make it easy.
The problem with this approach is that the posts and ads are not targeted. Visuals, for instance, are a critical element in catching user attention. So, the images and videos used must be of high quality. Together with the text content, they must evoke an emotional response to be more persuasive in compelling users to take the desired action.
Even with high-quality materials, many strategies come into play. Research, in particular, is the foundation of any marketing campaign. Identifying customer segments and the most appropriate channels for brand messages and timing are essential to successful campaigns. Furthermore, it is also necessary to tweak many parameters to reach the target audience at the right time. All these require access to analytics and tools, technical skills and knowledge.
Expertly Executed Campaigns Promise the Highest ROI
Especially for paid social media campaigns, one of the best holiday marketing tips for social media is to hire a specialist. A search engine optimization (SEO) and social media expert can help brands develop solid strategies for the holiday shopping rush. While their services come with a cost, they increase success rates and improve return on investments (ROIs).
Marketing Tips for Social Media 2022
Fundamentally, the distinction between a general social media marketing strategy and a holiday marketing strategy is the theme and timing. So here are some social media marketing tips for any marketing activity, not only for a holiday campaign.
• Besides providing users with relevant information, improve the customer experience by simplifying the process. These include one-click access to the shop from any social network or website and direct links to a specific product/service.
• Build stronger relationships by offering free items relevant to the product purchased. For example, a restaurant can include disposable containers and utensils for food delivery. Remember that a small token goes a long way in building customer relationships and loyalty.
• Help customers achieve their goals. One example is providing relevant content that not only helps them learn how to use a product or service. Consider, for instance, exercise equipment. The company can send newsletters that provide different ways to use a product and healthy living.
• Typically, products can be presented by marketers to consumers in different ways. So one of the most recommended marketing tips for social media to attract target customers is to address their pain points or needs. Samsung, for example, focuses on the camera technology of the S22 to appeal to consumers who value high-quality photos and videos. This strategy is evident on the product page, where photography-related content comprises a considerable portion of the entire page.
• Understand the target customers. Marketers can achieve this by researching and analyzing the market segments. Tailored marketing campaigns can only be developed once there is a complete understanding.
• Trigger a sense of urgency and provide special discounts or offers. Time-sensitive offers often work well. So this strategy is used all year round to “persuade” consumers to take action before it is too late.
How To Develop Holiday Marketing Campaigns
As alluded to, a holiday campaign is a traditional marketing plan for social media that incorporates a special occasion. Other than using proven techniques and processes, these holiday marketing tips are factored in to attract paid and organic social media leads and customers.
1. Know the Holidays and Attract Customers Early
Creating a social media marketing plan starts long before the actual holiday. So here are important dates to mark on the calendar.
• September 22, 2022. The start of the fall equinox marks the beginning of the holiday season. Since many consumers shop earlier, consider running campaigns as early as July.
• October 31, 2022. How early do consumers begin buying Halloween-related products? According to Google, the global search for “family Halloween costumes” increased by 90 percent from June to August 2021 compared to 2020. As this trend will likely continue in 2022, brands should begin running campaigns as early as June.
• November 11, 2022. Single’s Day started as an “anti-Valentine’s Day” for unmarried couples in China. However, it has since spread to many parts of the world, giving rise to double-digit mega-sales events in eCommerce platforms. Nowadays, double-digits such as 12/12, 10/10, 9/9 and so on have become common, thus letting brands clear their inventory by offering huge discounts.
• November 25, 2022. Black Friday starts after Thanksgiving, and for three days until Sunday, it will be the busiest period for shopping in the U.S. One reason is that it caters to half of the consumers who already know what they will buy but are only waiting for the products to go on sale. So sell early by running marketing campaigns at least a month earlier.
• November 26, 2022. Small Business Saturday is one of the busiest holiday shopping periods in the U.S. In 2021, over 50 million people participated, and some 71 percent said they specifically shopped during this day. In preparation, brands can begin promoting products early and provide special offers.
• November 29, 2022. Last year, more than 30 million people participated in GivingTuesday. Also, a survey by Kantar indicates that almost half of consumers are willing to invest time and money in businesses that try to do good. So more than merely providing discounts, companies might want to reinforce their image as a socially responsible organization. One such holiday marketing strategy, for example, is donating a portion of product sales.
• December 17, 2022. Super Saturday has been great for businesses with a physical store for years. Search terms such as “in stock near me” and “gift card where to buy” increased by more than 80 percent compared to the week before. So create campaigns that drive in-store sales.
• December 20, 2022. For most carriers, this is the last day for express shipping. Around this time, three-quarters of holiday shoppers prefer purchasing from brands offering free shipping. So one of the most effective marketing campaign messages is highlighting free and fast shipping.
• December 24, 2022. According to Google, the search term “last minute Christmas gifts for” grew by 700 percent in the week before Christmas in 2021. Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to ship products because of the holiday shopping rush. But companies with physical stores can create marketing campaigns to let customers know they can pick up items.
• December 26, 2022. On Boxing Day, some 30 percent of consumers plan to reward themselves. So the marketing message for this day should ideally appeal to this desire.
• December 31, 2022. According to McKinsey, around a third of consumers said they are uncomfortable attending public indoor events. For consumers shopping on New Year’s Eve, the ideal products relate to self-care, home refresh, resolution and planning.
• January 1, 2022. Many consumers wait for the holiday season to be over and take advantage of any promotions to fulfill their wish lists. This behavior is evident as the search term “cheap and best” increased by 40 percent compared to the previous year.
2. Know What Customers Want
Holiday campaigns can be more effective if they appeal to the desires of consumers.
According to Coresight Research, around 60 percent of holiday shoppers want to receive physical gift cards. Furthermore, they expect to spend 20 percent more on gift card purchases. A report by 84.51° also showed similar trends. Due to rising costs, 57 percent of consumers are looking for sales, deals and coupons.
Another trend to watch out for is shipping time. In 2020, 14 percent of consumers expected to receive their holiday gifts within two days, according to Radial. But for this year, 33 percent indicated that the reasonable timeline is two to three days. Meanwhile, free shipping remains the top factor in deciding to purchase.
3. Determine the Right Social Media Platforms
Facebook and YouTube are generally acknowledged as the top social media platforms in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and many other countries. But such an assumption may not always work well for some companies.
Consider the chart above. Facebook held a 71.98 percent market share in July 2022. Since then, its percentage share has continuously dropped. By October 2022, its share was 56.86 percent.
Where did Facebook users in the U.S. go?
As of October 2022, three networks that have increased their market shares were Pinterest (15.34 percent), Twitter (12.84 percent) and Instagram (10.86 percent). For all-year-round marketing campaigns, focusing on total monthly users and market share is reasonable. But for seasonal marketing and advertising campaigns, considering which networks people use at a particular time is also essential.
YouTube, for example, is the world’s largest video-sharing and streaming site. So, if a company wants to create videos for marketing or advertising, it is the first site that comes to mind and usually accounts for the bulk of the marketing budget. But as the chart shows, its market share was only 2.17 percent in October 2022. So rather than focusing only on YouTube, it might be better to focus on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram, as they all allow brands to post videos.
When selecting channels for seasonal marketing campaigns, always review the latest trends in usage rates and market shares for particular time frames. Remember that users’ social media usage behavior changes as the holiday season approaches.
4. Create a Holiday Campaign
Every campaign must have a goal that fulfills one of the stages of the buyers’ journey. At the start of the sales funnel, usually, the objectives are to spread awareness and generate leads. Then, narrow down the funnel to qualified leads before converting them and closing sales.
Timing is also crucial. For example, it makes no sense to focus on awareness on the day when the expectation is for customers to buy products.
By incorporating the above principles, the holiday campaign would be more successful. But there are a few other things to keep in mind.
• A social media expert can conduct A/B testing to compare campaigns and choose the best-performing campaign to improve ROIs.
• Aim to improve customer experience, from products to customer service. The holiday season is not only to increase sales but also to engage and build customer loyalty.
Maximize Holiday Campaigns With a Social Media Expert
Creating holiday social media marketing campaigns is a no-brainer. Consumers are ready to buy, so running ads and promotions early are necessary to capture more qualified leads.
Two things to keep in mind when developing a holiday or seasonal social media marketing strategy are as follows:
• Know what customers want. For 2022, gift cards and discount coupons are the hottest trends.
• Know which social media platform to use. As users’ behavior changes, find out which networks the target customers use.
For more information on specific strategies to use for the holiday season, contact us at 866-908-4748. Our social media specialists can discuss how we personalize seasonal marketing strategies to drive leads to your business.