Christmas tree with social media iconsSocial media interactions are now responsible for up to two-thirds of all Black Friday purchases, according to research from Fast Company. Moreover, 80 percent of consumers who interact with a brand through social networks end up making purchases from that company.

Social media has become a powerful engine for driving consumption, whether it comes through online retail venues or through physical retail locations, and the holiday season presents one of the greatest opportunities for businesses looking to cash in on their social savvy. At the same time, a resistance to embrace social marketing opportunities could be costing your business huge opportunities, not only during the holiday season, but throughout the year. Whether you embrace the ‘click here‘ strategy or hitch your holiday horse to the hashtag, social opportunities are yours for the taking. With the holiday shopping crush fast approaching, here are some tips to leverage social marketing for huge seasonal gains.

Get Busy on Your Social Profiles

Business activity may slow down during the holiday season, with employees taking time off and national holidays imposing breaks in workflow. This inevitably leads to increased activity beyond business life, and social media is a beneficiary. As a result, it’s even more important during the holiday season that you diligently manage your social activity. Post at least once a day on Facebook, and several times a day on Twitter, to engage consumers who may be shopping for the holidays or simply procrastinating on their work. To appeal to consumers with the holidays on their minds, incorporate holiday-themed posts and related content. This will help establish you as a holiday destination among your consumers.

Develop Holiday Promotions and Start Plugging Them Now

When the holidays hit, shoppers are looking for deals. If you want to cash in on the sales surge, you need to come up with your own holiday sales and promotions. There’s no better venue for sharing these promotions than through social media. Come up with these promotions well ahead of Black Friday and start plugging them early on social media.

You can even make special offers available before the official start to the holiday shopping season. This could net you some extra sales ahead of the most competitive part of the year. Some businesses might even want to integrate social media directly into promotions, offering discounts for social shares of content, retweets on Twitter or other forms of engagement. Whatever you do, remember the value of social media in creating shopping buzz, and use this to your advantage.

Show How You Celebrate

The holiday season is heavy on consumerism, but it’s also a festive period. Consumers like to see the holiday being embraced by businesses, and not just by means that directly drive sales. As notes, social media can offer a glimpse into the innerworkings of your business, and how the holiday spirit has infected your operations. Consider using social media to showcase ugly sweater contests, holiday parties, office decorations and other events that bring the holidays into your workplace. Not only do these activities boost workplace morale, but they endear you to holiday-minded consumers. They also can be a launching point for additional social sharing and social engagement.

Keep the Conversation Flowing

Through all of your various social efforts, you should stir up some elevated conversation on your social profiles. This is a valuable asset that you can encourage by facilitating a continued dialogue. As Fast Company notes, consumers are much more likely to make a purchase when they are engaged or responded to by brands via social media. Whenever you receive a comment, question or other type of engagement through your social profiles, be sure to respond to it — the faster, the better. This reciprocal conversation is one of the best ways to build brand loyalty. By doing it during the biggest shopping season of the year, you can spur on a tangible increase in sales, all thanks to your social diligence.

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