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Social media tips to market during the holiday season

With the rise of online shopping and browsing around the world, social media is becoming an ever-increasing part of a successful marketing campaign.

As consumers spend more time searching for products and assessing brands online, the opportunities to engage with them on social media have increased. Therefore, holiday seasons throughout the year are the perfect time to launch social media campaigns – whether it be the Lunar New Year, Valentine’s Day or Halloween.

Participating in any festive shopping season not only capitalises on consumers’ willingness to browse and buy, but also allows brands to reinforce brand loyalty and gain incremental customer data.

Perhaps even more importantly, with the rise of ad blocking (especially now that it has been added to iOS 9), native advertising on social platforms will gain even more traction.

Create a “holiday-specific” voice

The first step to maximising social media over a holiday period is to launch a campaign early, creating a narrative and brand persona for the season. The messaging must be consistent throughout the entire holiday shopping season, reflecting how consumer sentiment will vary according to the season, from the New Year to Halloween.

A good tactic is to create “social-specific” offers to attract more eyeballs on social networking sites by using promotional ad units like Facebook Offer and Instagram ads. Again, put plenty of thought into the promotion ahead of time and when planning special deals it’s important to take into account the expected online traffic at the time. The key is to make campaigns customised for a specific holiday, as much as possible.

A video speaks a thousand words

Using video on social media is a great way to maximise reach and frequency, with Facebook video ads gaining increased presence. Statistics suggest that Facebook ads are being watched more frequently, with video view rates as high as 37% according to a recent study by web marketing agency, 39 Celsius. Since advertisements and video fit naturally into social platform content, they tend to appear less obtrusive, reducing the automatic ‘customer shut-down’ reaction that online advertisements can sometimes have.

Plucking their heart strings

Holiday seasons provide an excellent opportunity for engaging consumers with heartfelt messaging as well – a time when people are perhaps at their most receptive to messages of goodwill.

Aside from offering a bargain, remember that a subtle brand-building exercise offering peace and hope can go a long way, over and above the direct sales push. A well-thought out video or graphic on Facebook promoting a strong company spirit will often be shared and will also garner a lot of “likes” due to the festive nature — working its magic on consumer sentiment.

Even during the summer holidays, consumers are more engaged than usual as more people are out and about and are more likely to engage with social media. It is the perfect time to capture a share of the market with a social media campaign and anyone not participating will miss out on their share of voice.

The writer is Zachary King, senior director, Southeast Asia, MediaMath.

(photo courtesy: Shutterstock)

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