Social Media Marketing Ideas for the Holidays

Social Media Marketing Ideas for the Holidays

The holiday season is lucrative for almost every type of business. Consumers are shopping till they drop, and manufacturers are doubling their inventories to prepare for it. The social media marketing you’ve done all year has led you to this season. But, what now? How do you leverage your social marketing efforts and capitalize on all those wish lists? Here are three ideas to make the most of your social media marketing during the holidays.

  1. Get Personal

The holidays are a competitive time for businesses, especially B2C. Every one of your competitors is paying the inflated cost for social media ads and Google ads. To stand out, take a different route: get personal with your audience.

Today’s consumers want to buy from brands that they can relate to, identify with, and trust. That means showing the human side of your brand. We already know how amazing video content performs on social media. So, consider doing a daily Facebook live where you interview one of your team members and ask them about their favourite product from your brand. Talk about the causes your business supports. Get real about how your products or services can change consumers’ lives. There’s no better time to show your brand’s authenticity.

2. Make Holiday Content

Get in the festive spirit with consumers and start celebrating the season on your social media pages. That doesn’t just mean adding red and green to your brand colours (although that can be a fun idea). Consider your business goal for the holiday season and then create content to help achieve it.

Let’s say you want to collect user-generated content that you can use for the following year. Hold a holiday-themed giveaway for each of the 12 days of Christmas. For people to enter, they must send you a selfie of them with one of your products. Or, perhaps your goal is to follow up with those customers who showed interest but didn’t buy throughout the year. Focus your ad budget for December on retargeting those users with holiday reminders of the products they showed interest in.

3. Stay Consistent

It’s easy to get overwhelmed during the holiday season with increased orders and dwindling time. You might start putting social media on the backburner and neglect new messages in your social inboxes. However, there’s never been a more crucial time to be consistent with your social media marketing. Even if you don’t use a social post scheduler during the year, consider it for the holidays. You can pre-write a ton of posts and schedule them to go out every day of the week (or whenever your target audience is most likely to see them).

On Facebook, don’t let your engagement fall to the wayside. You can create Facebook Messenger drip campaigns that ensure every person who reaches out to your brand gets a response. Mobile Monkey published a super helpful article on how to set up your first drip campaign on Messenger.

Our final tip is to work with a reputable social media marketing agency to boost your leads and sales, especially during the holidays. Contact us today to learn more.

Authenticity is Key

Authenticity is Key

It’s the buzzword of the year: authenticity. Something millennial businesses have in spades and older generations can’t seem to find the formula for. Consumers today would rather shop from businesses they trust, can relate to, or share the same values as. For companies that were always successful with traditional marketing methods, it’s never been more important to get with the times. How can you be authentic in your marketing?

Storytelling is the crux of authentic marketing. It’s what gives your brand a personality, a history, and a purpose. The contents of your brand story are what make you different from your competitors. In the past, marketing campaigns would focus on products or services. Now, it’s better to use your brand story to explain a problem that we can all relate to. Then, as the solution, naturally suggest your products or services.

Next to having a brand story, the second-best way to market your businesses authentically is to have a social purpose. Look at the shoe brand, Toms. This multi-million-dollar B-corporation connects with socially conscious consumers (i.e. most of today’s consumers). For every pair of shoes purchased, Toms donates a pair to a child in need. Consumers can buy a pair of shoes and feel good about their money also supporting a worthy cause. Toms has expertly crafted their brand story and used their social purpose in their marketing.

So, how can you apply these strategies to your business?

First, you need to do a deep dive into your brand’s mission. Why did your business get created? What problem does it solve? What obstacles has your business faced? How have you overcome those challenges? What is your why? Consider working with a brand strategist to help you craft your story in an authentic and marketable way.

Second, get charitable. Is there a charity or organization your company aligns with and could support? For example, if you’re a women’s clothing brand, consider supporting a women’s empowerment organization. If you offer tutoring services, consider supporting an organization that provides books to low-income libraries. Find a cause that aligns with your business.

Third, be transparent. Be open about your business practices and the ways you’ve improved to be more socially conscious. It’s okay if your company didn’t start as an eco-friendly, fair-trade business. Highlight how you’ve improved, who you are now, and the ways you’ve grown as a brand.

Fourth, get personal with your audience. The face of your business needs to be a face, not a logo. Networking is a major facet of your marketing strategy that needs to be authentic and social media is the perfect channel for it. Give potential customers a real sense of who you are as a brand through your posts, live videos, stories, and engagement. You could post behind-the-scenes live videos, interviews with experts, and success stories (not one-and-done testimonials!). Respond to comments and direct messages like a human, not a customer service bot.

Is making the transition to being more authentic is stressing you out? You’re not alone. This is a challenging obstacle for many brands who’ve always relied on traditional marketing. If you need help developing your brand and getting authentic online, send us a message or give us a call.   

Why Video Content Performs Best

Why Video Content Performs Best

Video content has become an integral part of successful digital marketing, especially on social media. Once considered a side-strategy in diverse marketing plans, brands are now devoting entire marketing teams to develop their video content. What changed? You could say the proof is in the pudding. Video content outperforms all other types of digital content. 

Why does video content perform so well? What makes it shine brighter than images and text?

There are a few reasons. First, in 2018 we saw the emergence of “authenticity” as the most desired trait in a brand. Today’s consumers want to see real, transparent, and human brands with a conscience. Brands that use video can show their customers a more raw and exclusive perspective of who they are. Video is amazing for telling stories, explaining a problem, and demonstrating a solution. A 2019 study reported that consumers prefer lower-quality, realistic videos over highly-edited and top quality ones. To them, the lower quality of video comes off as more authentic and less manipulated by a marketing team. 

Here are some statistics showing the impressive performance of video content:

  • Consumers say they want to see video content 50% more than any other content from brands
  • Saying the word “video” in your email subject line increases the open rate by 19%
  • Landing pages with video increase conversions by 80%

Then, there’s the shareability of video content on social media; it’s the revolutionized word of mouth marketing. 92% of video watchers share the content with their peers. If a brand makes one compelling video that viewers resonate with, it could be shared to thousands or even millions of people. Of course, you shouldn’t create a video with the hopes of it going viral because that would be inauthentic. The point is that doing video content well can lead to an explosion of awareness.

So, what are the most successful types of videos to make?

If you sell a product, demonstration videos are crucial to showing customers how to use it. You should have an easy-to-understand version on your Facebook page as well as your other social profiles. Then, tap into influencer marketing; hire an influencer to do a product demo on their social channels. Next, turn your case studies into video format. These are your success stories that show just how effective your business is at solving a problem. You don’t want to only show a customer giving their testimonial; tell a story. Let the audience get to know the customer and relate to them. Some other effective types of videos are expert interviews, behind the scenes, event promotion, company culture, and vlogs.  

On social media, live videos are the way of the future. Users are already spending three times as much time watching live videos than pre-recorded ones. It can be intimidating to put yourself out there on live video, but you’ll be rewarded with higher engagement and more traffic. Contact us to learn more about video content and how to include it in your social media marketing efforts.  

Why Instagram is Hiding Likes & What it Means for Your Business

Why Instagram is Hiding Likes & What it Means for Your Business

WhenInstagram started, it was meant to be a creative, community-based social platform. It was a way to share your images, micro-blog in the captions, and find your tribe with hashtags. In the last couple of years, we’ve seen the dark side of Instagram emerge. Popularity measured through likes and follows overtook the desire to post authentic content. Self-esteem and self-worth for many users hung in limbo as they waited for the likes to roll in. The mental health of these users declined as they continued to compare themselves to others. Instagram is now trying to change that.

In Canada, Instagram is running a “hidden likes” test. If you post an image, you’ll be able to see how many users “like” your post. However, users cannot see how many likes your post is getting. This removes our ability to compare our posts to others based on likes.

Why is Instagram doing this? What does it mean for influencers, brand ambassadors, and social media companies? It means we need to take a more human approach to the digital space. The constant judgement and comparison on social platforms are causing mental health problems for users, most notably for teenagers. With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, Instagram’s new test couldn’t have come at a better time.

Removing the visibility of likes from posts encourages users to stop deriving self-worth from their social media accounts. It’s crucial that younger, more impressionable users don’t depend on Instagram for their self-esteem. Low self-esteem can lead to anxiety, depression, and more severe mental illnesses. We applaud Instagram for realizing how their features were contributing to the decline in mental health among their younger users.

In terms of businesses and social media companies, we need to shift the metrics we focus on. Likes seemed a critical metric, but they were never the most ideal form of engagement. Comments and direct messages are more valuable. At SocialEyes Communications, we believe in growing your genuine engagement rate.That means creating content that your target customers find true value in. Some posts were known to get more likes, but now it’s time to focus on posts that boost other types of engagement. This is a positive and exciting change for businesses.

Forget comparing your numbers to your competitors. Improve the quality and authenticity of your content to boost engagement, and thus, conversions. What are some ways you can do this? Engage with your followers’ accounts and comment on their posts. Show the love you want to receive. Ask relevant and genuine questions as your CTAs. Interact with the users who answer in your comments. Don’t respond by simply liking their comment; engage and start a conversation. Show the human side of your brand in this digital space.

If you need some help updating your Instagram strategy with the new hidden likes feature, contact us today!

5 Year-End Practices Every Business Should Implement

5 Year-End Practices Every Business Should Implement

At the close of another year there are a few housekeeping tasks to take of care before the holiday season hits. Prepare your business for success in the New Year by tying up loose ends and planning for the challenges ahead. Make sure you have these top five year-end practices on your checklist!

Thank You Announcements

In the season of giving, it’s only natural to give thanks! Whether it’s in the form of a newsletter, a social media post or a personalized email, don’t forget to thank the people who are vital to the success of your business. On your thank you list should be customers, employees, business partners, referrals and advertising partners. Additionally, incorporating giveaways, gifts or coupon codes into your thank you notes can be an excellent way to ensure your business remains top of mind throughout the hectic holiday season.

Review the Successes and Failures of the Past Year

During your year-end review dedicate some time to exploring the big hits and misses your business experienced over the year. Touch base will all of your vendors, employees and partners to gain important insight that might have escaped you earlier in the year. By reviewing your track record and assessing the “whys” and “hows” of each important milestone you will enter the coming year armed with the knowledge to ensure growth. Learn from your failures and your successes. 

Set Goals for Next Year

What are you working towards in 2019? Setting goals gives your business direction, which can be beneficial not only for the business as a whole, but also for your team’s morale. Set clearly defined goals for growth and new pursuits, and communicate these ideals with your whole team to ensure everyone knows their role and can contribute ideas for crafting a winning strategy. Any growth you achieve in the future is more likely to be a permanent development if you have a clear idea of what the future of your business will be. 

Review Your Finances

The successes of your business can be measured in a few different ways, but the shape of your finances is a good place to start. Review your cash flow, track down all of the necessary paperwork you need from partnerships, and verify that all of the appropriate documentation has been filed for taxation. Depending on the size of your business, it may be time to create a full-time payroll department or outsource those responsibilities to an accounting firm. 

Update Your Social Media Policy

To keep up with the rapid changes throughout the social media world, it’s imperative that you update your social media policy (or establish such a policy if you haven’t already). An expansive social media policy should cover rules for employee use of social media, marketing guidelines and even recruiting practices for hiring departments. Avoid the pitfalls and mistakes made by other businesses who have fallen victim to social media scandals by creating clear, actionable guidelines on what is and isn’t acceptable.  

When you’ve covered all of your bases in your year-end review, you can dive into the New Year with the knowledge that you are as prepared as you will ever be. If you need help shoring up your social media strategy for 2019, contact us today!

Our Review of Sprout Social (A Social Media Management System)

Our Review of Sprout Social (A Social Media Management System)

Sprout Social is a social media management software that helps businesses of all sizes manage their social media presence. Tools like Sprout Social are essential for anyone looking to get organized and make the most of social media. Here’s a quick look at its top features: 

Scheduling and Publishing

By connecting your social media accounts to Sprout Social, you can create and post content from one place. Plan and make your content ahead of time and schedule it to publish across all of your social media platforms exactly when you want. Not only will this feature save you time, it can also give you the breathing room you need to perfect your content before it goes live.  

Stay Organized and Collaborate

There are a lot of balls to juggle when managing your brand’s social media accounts. To help you stay organized, Sprout Social has features like a media library where you can upload and tag media in preparation for publishing, image editing, workflow management tools to streamline collaboration between your employees, and bulk scheduling of up to 350 messages at a time. 

Managing in Engagement

There are built-in tools available to help users communicate with customers and followers. Create customer surveys, manage help requests, integrate with helpdesk tools, moderate comments, save premade replies, and collaborate and delegate with team members all from one dashboard. 

Analyze and Track Your Progress

How will you know if all that hard work you’re putting to your social media content is paying off, if you aren’t tracking its performance? 

With Sprout Social you get in-depth reports that cover valuable information like how many people are engaging with your posts and at what time of day your post perform the best. Gleam important information about your key demographics and optimal posting times for your content. With the Keyword and Competitor reports you can gauge how the market in general is performing in your niche and uncover new avenues to pursue in your social media strategy. 

To manage and enhance your brand’s social media presence, software like Sprout Social is essential. Social media is vital to surviving as a business. To learn more about managing your social media presence, check out the other posts on our blog, or contact us for an expert opinion!