As winter holidays come into full swing, MDesign Media’s Founder, Marie Furman, reveals how businesses can leverage social media to promote their holiday specials.
Deloitte’s 2011 Holiday Survey found that 44 percent of consumers claimed to use social media in their holiday shopping. The founder of MDesign Media, a web design and marketing firm, comments on how businesses can use social media to drive holiday sales.
“People now turn to the web to aid in their shopping process. They use the Internet to find discounts, research products, and read reviews. So businesses that want to maximize their holiday profits must meet the consumers where they are spending their time: online,” said Marie Furman.
A recent survey of more than 500 consumers conducted by email marketing firm Yesmail showed that many retailers are not using social media enough to promote deals.
The study showed that consumers are generally open to social media promotions.
However, holiday-themed promotions often fared worse in terms of engagement when compared to non-holiday promotions.
In fact, campaigns aimed at getting people into the holiday spirit were much more effective at generating engagement than campaigns aimed at getting people to buy something.
“This is akin to the difference between the ‘hard sell’ style of advertising versus the one where you build trust before your call to purchase,” said Ms. Furman.
“The ‘hard sell’ style risks alienating consumers because they become overwhelmed with all these sales offers at this time of year. It risks hurting the long term relationship with customers. If you focus on engaging your customers, you can use that as an opportunity to take them through your sales funnel. Not taking them through your sales funnel often results in you making the offer before they are ready to see it,” she continued.
The study showed that 34 percent of consumers have bought a product because of a social media promotion.
It also showed that the best times for businesses to run their social media promotions are from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.
However, most retailers in the study ran their social media campaigns during business hours—when consumers are working in their jobs.
“This finding was intuitive: people generally shop when they’re off work. However, sometimes findings can be counter-intuitive. So the only way to really know what is best is to run tests on your campaigns first before doing a full scale one,” advised Ms. Furman.
Businesses who want to utilize the power of social media to maximize their holiday sales can contact social media experts at MDesign Media.