This is a guest post from Megan Ritter
For marketers this time of the year causes mixed emotions – you either love it or you dread the stress of the season. Regardless, the holiday gifting season is quickly approaching, and it is time for both consumers and marketers to start their preparations. On the consumer level, it is fairly simple – determine who you want to buy gifts for (including treating yourself), what you want to buy for them, and find out where to get the best deals.
If you’re in advertising, on the other hand, things get a little more complicated. It is most definitely time to ramp up your social media marketing efforts – especially since this is the time of the year that most companies go into the black (there’s a reason that the Friday after Thanksgiving is referred to as Black Friday, after all). But there’s no need to fear it – look at the increased user participation in ecommerce and gifting in gener opportunities!
Social Media Marketing For Black Friday And Beyond
Marketers are investing quite heavily in social media in order to meet their holiday marketing goals – and for good reason! For the majority of brands, their target audience is seeking out deals, coupons, and other special offers as well as getting gift and product recommendations from their personal social networks.
Naturally, the standard sites like Facebook and Twitter are the obvious choices, but other more visual-centric networks like Instagram or Pinterest can be equally valuable, especially if you are marketing apparel, accessories, or anything else where looks definitely matter. And don’t hesitate to get creative in order to stand out – special online events, promotions that apply only to fans, and secret offers for followers all can work.
Keep It Exclusive: How To Make User-Generated Content Work For You
What’s more, encouraging your audience to submit, share, or even vote on posts, images, and videos of them interacting with your products or other topics related to your campaign is a growing trend – and for good reason. Not only does the company doing the advertising gain from the awareness and overall discussion that occurs around the content, it can be a source of free media going forward (just be sure to get your terms and conditions in order before you launch your campaign).
Social Media And The Buying Process
Consider how people interact with brands – and each other – on social media, depending on where they are in the buying process. Users often leverage their own social networks when they are looking for more information or recommendations about a type of product when they are considering a purchase – social media has become a standard part of the path to conversion.
What’s more, advertising can be an easy way to amplify your social media marketing efforts. And most of the time, that can be done fairly inexpensively if you plan it correctly and target your exact demographics. Which leads us right into…
The Cost Of Social Media Marketing
Brands are definitely increasing their investments in social media marketing across the board, but Facebook seems to be dominating the overall advertising spending this year. In fact, 92% of marketers plan to spend the majority of their budget there (but 62% are spending more on social media overall). It makes sense with the tools that the platform offers along with its relative ubiquity – almost everyone has a Facebook account. That said, Twitter may also be the darling of the social media advertising world in 2014, particularly because of the many new tools the company has launched this year.
How is your company going to spend the holidays? By going into the black, we hope!
Megan is a journalist specializing in business, SMM and eCommerce. She aims to open her own marketing and reputation management firm in 2016. Thanks for taking the time to read her article, and she encourages you to check out all the other great content offerings on Sociality Squared!