Every year consumers turn to the web to scour for the best holiday shopping deals. Black Friday has practically become a holiday of its own, with retailers jumping on the bandwagon earlier than ever to satisfy deal-hungry consumers.
This holiday season you have an opportunity to leverage social media channels for trackable giveaways and discounts that can not only boost your holiday sales but improve your social media presence.
1. Direct Message Discounts
If you're looking for fun and innovative ways to drum up your follower count on Twitter, or create more engagement between you and your customers, consider offering direct message-only holiday discounts.
Here's how this could work. Come up with a holiday deal that is significantly better than any of your existing promotions and make sure to share it with your entire team. Then use your social media channels to send out shareable clues about the promotion. You could tweet something like, "exclusive holiday Twitter deals on X,Y,Z, DM us for details."
For this type of promotion to work, it's all about the details. First, make sure you follow new followers back so that they can send you a direct message. Also, determine whether or not you want this to stay underground, or whether you're open to having the deal spread online. The benefit of the former approach is that select customers feel privileged, but the downside is that you'll need to generate a new discount/offer code or "password" for each person.
On the flip side, if you have one password/coupon/discount code, then anyone can get it via direct message and share it with their friends, which means you could get more mileage and buzz, but fewer followers. Figure out what your goal is and go with it, full steam ahead.
You might even get more mileage out of the deal if you offer a double deal (double whatever the original deal was) when you hit X amount of followers before a certain date. That could give deal-seeking customers the incentive to promote you in the hopes of saving even more.
2. Facebook Freebies
We're seeing more and more brands use their Facebook Fan Pages for fan-only deals, discounts, and coupons, and there's no reason why you can't use the holiday season to do the same for your small business.
This works for both online and offline retailers, but should you have a physical store, using your Facebook Fan Page to create a holiday coupon for an extra X% off already discounted merchandise would be an instant way to gain more fans and please holiday shoppers on the hunt for a bargain.
Since Facebook is so ubiquitous, if you go this route, make sure to inform your team members to tell customers about the deal while they're shopping. You can even teach employees how to show customers how to become your fan on Facebook from their mobile phones, thereby making them eligible for the extra savings instantly as well as getting a new fan on the spot.
3. Social Media Sharing
Whatever your sales goals are this holiday season, chances are you want to sell more of your products and services, but usually it's your customers and super fans who do all the real selling for you. Here's where social media can help.
Use your email newsletter, Twitter account, Facebook Fan Page, and website to encourage your customers to share what they love most about your small business online. Encourage them to upload a photo, create a video, or pen a blog post about the products or services they love most. Also make sure to instruct them to tag the content with a predetermined tag. You can make the incentive whatever you want it to be, but offering each participant an X% discount off existing sale prices would be well received.
This approach works best if you make the announcement on your own blog and request that participants include a link to their shared media in the comments section of the post. Also, remember that due to new FTC guidelines, you should encourage participants to disclose the deal or discount.