The holidays are here!! It’s time to start marketing your products and services like never before! So what’s your plan? How do you intend to grasp and hold your customer’s attention so they purchase your product? How will you stand out from all the other social media posts crowding their feed?

Before you go to Facebook or Instagram, create 20 quick ads in an attempt to find the right audience, take a step back! There are a few simple, yet effective, ways to direct and keep your customer’s focus on you. Here are three tactics that always work.

Right Place, Right Time

If you’re a small-business owner who’s been even remotely interested in social media, you should first understand that choosing the right social media platform is critical to communicating with your audience. One of the biggest pieces of advice I can give you is this – Don’t jump on the bandwagon of one platform or another because it seems everyone else is there. Find your audience and work there.

For example, Instagram is still really hot right now,  but I can almost guarantee no one is looking for an attorney on this platform, meaning it’s not their space. Online clothing retailers and boutiques are trending right now, but Twitter is not the best platform if you’re trying to showcase your product. Take a look at this infographic with suggestions on the best platform for your industry and content.

Now that you have a better idea of your ‘right place’, you should also be aware of the right time. Here’s a quick tip. Most social media applications have built-in analytics that allows you to review your content’s past performance. This same data reveals your followers’ behavior, too.

Facebook and Instagram data will tell you what day and time your followers are typically active on the application. Use this to your advantage and post during the times they’re typically thumbing through.

Facebook Insights

In addition to best times and days, Twitter data also provides detailed demographic information about your followers, like your followers’ average household income, where they might spend their money, and even their possible interests.

Twitter Analytics

Know, Like, and Trust

As business owners, we sometimes get tempted to create a post or social media ad, slap a product image on it, post it, fully expecting the audience to be wowed. Why wouldn’t they? I mean, it’s a great product, right? Except that 30 days later, you haven’t sold a thing!

What happened? Well, it could be a myriad of things.  But, consider that your potential customers don’t know you, don’t like you, or simply don’t trust you enough just yet to spend money. So how do you fix that?

Open up a bit and let them in.

When you’re creating content, how much of your true personality shines through? How much does the audience really get to know you? How much do they really know about your company and why you do what you do?  

Remember the old adage ‘people buy from people they like and trust’?  That idea may be old school, but it still applies 100%. A couple of really quick ways to do that include:

  • Offer your true personality and share company culture
    • For example, if you’re selling branded T-shirts, communicate why or how you came to sell them. Explain why you do what you do.  Post behind the scenes images or video with employees filling orders or your creative process.
  • Speak in the second person, allowing the audience to feel you’re speaking directly to them and your shared experience.
  • Before you try to sell something, offer ‘value’ content, meaning information that benefits your audience

The 80/20 Rule – Offer Value

Which brings me to the next point. You must consistently provide more than just purchase opportunities. At the beginning of the holiday season, October through early November, only about 20% of your posts should promote your product. The other 80% of your posts (yes, the MAJORITY!!) should provide value and are great opportunities for your audience to get to know,  like, and trust you.

Consider this – if your audience has no idea who you are and comes to only recognize you as a product-pusher, they’ll eventually become frustrated and irritated with your posts, making it easy to ignore and tune you out. From that point, it’s not a huge leap to unfollow you, altogether.

Valuable content is a great way to elevate their knowledge and relationship with you. Offer information that, in some way, makes the audience’s life easier. This blog you’re reading right now is a great example of that! It offers you, the small or mid-sized business owner, as you try to create your best social media, holiday posting strategy.

So, how do you offer value? Remember the earlier mentioned t-shirt company? They might consider taking their latest t-shirt design and offering ideas on how to pair it with a certain jacket or boots for the holiday party season. While this type of post still includes the t-shirt, it’s not directly telling the customer to buy, buy, buy. Couple that with great images or video of someone on their team putting those items together and voila! They’ve created a great value post!

As the holiday season progresses, you can then wrap up your holiday promotion post. Starting around mid-November your posts can be as much as 40% promotional.  Going into December, you can wrap it up even more to 50% promotional posts.

The bonus of following the 80/20 rule? Your followers will come to view you as an expert or trusted resource of information! If you’re a trusted resource, followers are more apt to anticipate what you’re going to say next and later, make a purchase!

Video, Video, Video

It’s pretty common knowledge now that content including video has better engagement then that without. According to  WordStream, social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined, no matter which social media application it is. A few other statistics to consider are:

  • 64% percent of consumers make a purchase after watching branded social videos
  • Video drives a 157% increase in organic traffic from search engine results (SERPS)
  • Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in a text.

Now, I understand that many people are just not comfortable using video as part of their content, especially if that means they’re in front of the camera! But, the numbers don’t lie. Including video as part of your content works wonders. Whether you’re recording a short product video, offering value as a way to connect, or simply creating a behind the scenes piece about your company’s culture, finding a way to use video when marketing to your customers can only benefit your business.