Is social media going to be a big part of your holiday marketing plans this year? True, it’s already December, but the beauty of social media is if you haven’t yet planned a holiday strategy, you still have time. Russ Laraway, head of small-business accounts at Twitter, says the research shows there’s a “huge opportunity for small businesses to connect with their audiences on Twitter in order to keep their brand top of mind during this key shopping season.”
A recent survey conducted for Twitter by a third-party research agency found that Twitter users are ready to spend this holiday season. On average, consumers on Twitter plan to spend $768 on holiday purchases, which is roughly the average amount the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Holiday Consumer Spending Survey says Americans will spend this year ($804). The good news is a lot of this spending is going to be at small businesses. The survey shows 80 percent of consumers want to support small businesses during the holidays, 95 percent of Twitter users plan to shop at small retailers and 35 percent will shop on smaller e-commerce websites. These Twitter consumers plan to spend about one-third of their shopping budgets at small retail shops and websites.
Making a List
Twitter users plan to spread their spending around this year, so it’s likely your business will see some of these dollars. What will they be buying?
- Gift certificates: 69 percent
- Apparel: 68 percent
- Electronics: 55 percent
- Home goods: 53 percent
- Jewelry and accessories: 50 percent
- Beauty products: 41 percent
Obviously the more followers you have, the more you can sell. And the survey shows 60 percent of shoppers already follow a small retailer (brick-and-mortar or website) on Twitter. Thirty-eight percent of consumers will rely on social media more this year than they did in 2013. And 24 percent specifically plan to use Twitter as a holiday shopping tool.
Many consumers intend to spend more time and money online, mainly to avoid long lines and crowded stores. This is not just theoretical—the statistics are impressive:
- 52 percent of Twitter users have already seen something on the social platform that prompted them to make a holiday purchase.
- 30 percent saw a tweet from someone they follow mentioning a particular product or retailer.
- 25 percent found out about a sale via Twitter.
- 24 percent saw a promoted tweet or ad on the site.
Attention Twitter Shoppers
If you want to get the attention of Twitter users, you should tweet “helpful tips or provide exclusive access” to products, as well as promote sales and discounts. Specifically, what types of offerings do Twitter consumers want from you?
- 44 percent are looking for exclusive deals and specials.
- 44 percent want “sneak peeks” or first looks at new merchandise.
- 36 percent would like to see holiday shopping and gift ideas.
- 35 percent want a link to your online store.
Of course, the regular rules of Twitter still apply. Customers want you to answer their questions via Twitter; in fact, 33 percent have already been asking for holiday shopping advice. And they’ll “pay you back” by tweeting about their holiday purchases (39 percent) and sharing positive experiences (62 percent).
Still trying to figure out how to best use Twitter to boost your holiday sales? Twitter has some suggestions:
- To stay on top of what’s going on in your industry, use the Twitter search feature (search for your competition by name or look for key terms, such as “holiday deals”).
- The free Tweet Activity Dashboard identifies the content that best resonates with your audience.
- Experiment with Twitter Cards, which can be customized and allow you to attach rich media, such as photos and videos to your tweets. Twitter reports that tweets featuring rich media get 313 percent more engagement than tweets without.
- Take a crash course by attending either an in-person or digital event to help you optimize your Twitter holiday strategy.
- Create a custom agenda to stay organized throughout the holiday season.
- Add relevant topics to your agenda, allowing you to keep track of your Twitter promotions, as well as your other marketing activities.
- Access resources, such as research, success stories, blogs and e-books directly within the app.
- Be the first to know about new #SmallGoesBig initiatives.
Twitter can be a valuable tool for reaching holiday shoppers this year, but you have to get started immediately.
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