10 Easy Ecommerce Social Media Tips for the Holidays
Search marketing specialists at Volusion expect holiday ecommerce sales to reach $84 billion in the United States this year. A study from 2014 holiday purchasing behaviors showed that 47 percent of shoppers used social media to come up with gift ideas.
There's no denying that social media needs to be a part of your small business ecommerce holiday strategy. If you're late getting started, the following easy holiday social media tips will help shoppers get into the spirit and find the perfect holiday gift on your website.
Plan Ecommerce Social Media Messages in Advance
Finding the time to maintain a social presence during the holiday season is a big challenge. Employees in every department are busy with important holiday tasks, and most ecommerce business owners have their own plate full of holiday chores. Still, the last thing you want is to close up for the day and realize you haven't engaged on Twitter or Facebook since early morning—or even worse: since yesterday.
The good news is that a number of social media engagement strategies take only minutes to do. First, try a social media tool like Hootsuite to draft and schedule posts that you can share across multiple social profiles. If you don't have time to learn a new tool, use Microsoft Word to prepare holiday messages in advance, and then copy-and-paste the messages to your social profiles in the coming weeks.
Of course, you can use this ecommerce social media strategy all year 'round.
Decorate Ecommerce Social Media Profiles for the Holidays
A red bow here and a stuffed stocking there can help shoppers feel the holiday spirit. While your ecommerce website is no doubt adorned with holiday themes at this stage of the game, don't forget to bring that holiday cheer to your social media marketing.
Each social profile has different spaces where you can add holiday images. This includes profile pictures, and cover images. You can also embed images directly in tweets and status updates. Be creative and incorporate a mix of general holiday images, staff holiday pictures, and festive product shots. If your business is on Pinterest, you can create holiday boards to highlight different categories of products (top gifts ideas, gifts for him or her, holiday discounts, and so on).
Here's a money-saving social media tip: If you have a slim budget for general holiday photos, ask friends and staff to contribute their favorite pictures. This social media image size chart will help you optimize all your ecommerce social media images—for the holidays and beyond.
Engage Social Shoppers with Holiday Content
While it's tempting to send out product shots and buying-related messages every day, avoid annoying customers on social with a barrage of "Buy Now!" messages. Instead, follow this general ecommerce social media tip; selling messages should make up around 20 percent of your posts. Design the remaining 80 percent of messages to engage your audience socially—without selling.
This is where basic how-tos, tip lists, or holiday social media contests come in handy. Keep in mind there's nothing wrong with offering tips that directly relate back to your business. For example, if cookware is your specialty, offer tips on how to cook a turkey to perfection. If you have a large inventory of knit scarves to sell this season, offer shoppers a tips on how to properly care for this type of material.
The options to create engaging content are endless, but be prepared to read comments and open a dialog directly with your shoppers.
Share a Special Holiday Greeting
The holidays are a perfect time to share a special greeting with shoppers. You may still use your postal and email lists to sends cards, but social media is another channel where you can let your customers know how much you appreciate them.
Holiday social media ideas for a personalized greeting include working with your staff to create a Vine or an Instagram video and post it to your social profiles. You could host a Twitter chat or a Google Hangout with loyal customers just to say hello and to pass along an unexpected greeting and an exclusive holiday deal.
Support a Worthy Cause This Holiday Season
As shopping increases over the holidays so does charitable giving. It's important to show customers your good side, and this is the perfect time to demonstrate your generosity. Crowdfunding sites, such as Go Fund Me or YouCaring let you publicize your charitable giving and invite your customers to donate or volunteer as well.
Be sure to emphasize the connection between the donation and your business. For example, let customers know you will match donations up to a certain dollar amount or make a donation with every purchase on a specific day.
Remember this social media tip: share your donation milestones and updates on all your social profiles. Both you and your customers will feel good about supporting a worthy cause.
Offer Exclusive Deals and Sneak Peeks
Exclusive offers and deals will encourage shoppers to visit your product pages. If people like and share the deal, you may find that it brings new followers and creates social discussion around your business and products.
Keep in mind that you can use the same deals in social as you offer on your website, but spice it up and make the social aspect exclusive. Here are two ecommerce social media tips to help build social discussion around your sale:
- Build anticipation on Facebook; let shoppers know you'll reveal your daily deal when you reach a set number of Likes
- Offer an exclusive sneak peek at the holiday deals by posting images on social media in advance of the sale
Remind Shoppers of the Last Shipping Day
According to the National Retail Federation, procrastinators and bargain hunters alike take their time getting started with holiday shopping. Last year, 45.6 percent of holiday shoppers hadn't started shopping by mid-November.
Ecommerce social media tip: make a social event out of reminding shoppers about the last day they can buy from you and receive guaranteed delivery on or before December 24. Create a Facebook Event on your page; use the last day of shipping as the event date, and then invite your followers to join. As the last shipping day gets closer, they'll receive notifications of this "upcoming event" in their newsfeed.
You can also add text—like the last shipping day date and other gentle reminders—to general holiday images and post them in status updates. Bolster the urgency as the final shipping day approaches.
If you don't have time to learn a new graphics program to create shipping-day reminders, open Microsoft Word, copy-and-paste your image to the page, and then add the shipping-day reminder text. Use the Windows Snipping Tool to capture the document and save it an image to share on social media.
Be Available to Answer Questions
Ecommerce business owners are experts, and there's no better social media engagement strategy than to answer questions and offer advice during the holidays. Start a conversation, and invite shoppers to share their experiences and to ask questions about your products.
During the holiday selling season, you can expand on this theme by posting images, ideas, and FAQs about specific products that make great holiday gifts. Encourage your customers to ask questions and share advice, but don't forget to check for new messages so you don't leave holiday shoppers waiting for a reply.
Set up a calendar reminder to log in to social accounts; that will help you get messages out and respond to shoppers during the holiday crunch.
Make it Easy to Share Product Images
While many of our ecommerce social media tips revolve around making the shopping season great for your existing social customers, it's important to bring social actions to your ecommerce website. That will help you to gain new social shoppers.
If you haven't integrated social sharing on your ecommerce website, now is the time to do it. The goal: let shoppers immediately share product information and photos with their friends on social media—with a single click from your online store.
This may seem like a big task, but thankfully services such as Add This or ShareThis will lighten the workload and get those share buttons on your site in no time. If you use an ecommerce software platform, check to see if the vendor offers integrated social sharing buttons.
Use Ecommerce Social Media Buy Buttons
It's important for ecommerce business owners to leverage buttons that help shoppers purchase directly from a social post or a profile page. "Buy buttons" will save you time sharing your products. Use Buy buttons on social media sites like Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook.
Many ecommerce shopping carts and online service providers offer social buy button integration. If yours don't, these ecommerce social media tips can help you add Buy buttons to your social profiles.
- The Twitter Buy Now button is available to businesses in the United States. It lets retailers add a Buy button to tweets and also to display the price of the product
- On Pinterest you can add Buy It Buttons for pins. It places all buyable pins in newsfeeds, and shoppers can make a purchase without leaving the social platform
- Facebook has been working on a new advertising feature for merchants that adds a "Buy" call-to-action on ads and Page posts, but you might consider a third-party service, like Shopify, to integrate a shopping section on your Facebook Page
It's not too late to increase your ecommerce sales this holiday season. Just follow these seven ecommerce social media tips for small business.