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TODD SMITH — Social marketing tips to bring luster to your holiday branding

TODD SMITH

TODD SMITH

As the holiday season shifts into high gear, it’s important to consider social media as part of your holiday marketing mix.

Facebook, in particular is a great platform for holiday branding. Social Media Examiner has developed 10 tips to leverage visibility and extend your reach during the holiday season. Here are the Top 5i

1. Create a Content Calendar With Key Dates.

Looking to increase holiday sales? Make sure you know the key dates. Following the post –Thanksgiving Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there’s a sleigh full of big holiday dates: Small Business Saturday, Christmas, Chanukah, and other celebrations.

Create a word document or spreadsheet, or use a project management tool to keep track of what holidays you want to cover on social media. Remember, you can play off of all of the holidays, not just the traditional ones. Consider getting a copy of Chase’s Calendar of Events each year or at least look at the special month holiday celebrations.

To really stand out, be the first in your industry to start posting. For example, ecommerce site Nanigans is at the top of my mind, since they were one of the first I saw post this season.

Once you decide which holidays your company will celebrate and highlight with your content, work backward to ensure timely, relevant content is created, tested, and scheduled.

2. Emphasize Strong Visual Elements in Your Content.

When planning your holiday posts, keep in mind that Facebook is a visual platform. Use videos, animated GIFs, and images to grab attention.

For example, My Baking Addiction used this image of crumbly mini cherry cheesecakes to stand out in the news feed. It’s a bright visual with an interesting perspective that received more than 4,000 reactions and over 600 shares. In fact, nearly all of their posts are images and videos that make your mouth water.

As it gets closer to the end of the year, users’ news feeds will be bombarded with a lot of holiday content. Facebook recommends using motion to grab attention during the holidays. Use visuals to stand out, catch eyes, and stop your readers’ thumbs.

3. Share Your Brand’s Story.

Use the end of the year as a time for your fans to get to know your business and the people behind it.

For instance, the Arlington Club, a restaurant in New York City, highlighted the backstory of Executive Chef Frank Cervantes. This image post featured a photo of the chef and a quote explaining what started him on this career path.

Invite people into your business’s world. Take the opportunity to share a milestone with your audience, do a series of posts showcasing your employees, or both.

Australian fashion retailer Country Road shared its brand story in a visually rich Facebook ad campaign to promote its Holiday 2015 campaign. The campaign proved to be almost five times more effective at driving in-store sales than online sales. Country Road wanted to position itself as the store for holiday gifting to maximize Christmastime sales across its women’s, men’s, children’s, and home ranges.

It’s all about storytelling, and doing it in a personal way.

4. Connect Emotionally Through Content.

There’s a reason Facebook added reactions (love, laugh, wow, cry, and angry) to the Like button. People want to express their emotions when a story evokes different feelings. Your business content has to compete with posts from your audience’s friends and family.

Engage your audience by creating highly relatable, emotional, human-interest content that will tug at people’s heartstrings, draw them in, evoke sentiment, or make them laugh. You want your audience to see a post and think, “Hey, that’s me, too!”

Iberia Airlines created an emotional video ad series featuring Santa Claus handing out presents to families during a flight. The company wanted to develop an internationally engaged community, on the move, reuniting with friends and families scattered across the globe to celebrate with loved ones. The video campaign garnered 4 million views and a reach of 46 million.

People check Facebook to see what’s happening in their friends’ lives. So when you create posts or ads, make sure you’re contributing positively to their day and their Facebook experience.

5. Craft Content for Maximum Shares.

The goal of any post is to get a lot of engagement since engagement (especially shares) leads to even more comments, likes, and shares. Be intentional with the content you create.

Craft content that’s worthy of amplifying with paid reach. In other words, whether you choose to put budget into a post or not, each piece of content you publish should pass your “boost-worthy” test. Before publishing, ask yourself these questions:

» Is this post potentially “thumb-stopping” for my audience?

» Does it capture their attention sufficiently to want to stop, read/watch, engage, and/or share the post?

» Is this post in context within the news feed? In other words, while Facebook users’ friends are sharing warm personal stories and fun videos, does this post fit in, yet still stand out?

» Does it offer educational and/or entertaining content?

» Does it meet the needs of your audience and their audience?

Google predicts most popular gifts this year

Google has released its predictions for what will be this season’s most sought after toys and gifts and – surprise, surprise – the top results may be more than a little difficult to find.

The company used search data for the first two weeks of November to come up with its predictions:

» Topping the list is Hatchimals – toy creatures that “hatch” out of an egg after you buy them. Unfortunately, you might be out of luck if you were hoping to get one in time for Santa. The toy, which typically retails for around $60, is already so popular many retailers have sold out, according to the company’s website, and resellers are reportedly selling the toys for as much as $200-$300.

» Next up is another item that has already proved difficult to get: the Nintendo Entertainment System Classic Edition. The $60 mini-console is already in short supply, according to Nintendo.

» Other toys on the list may prove a bit easier to get: Baby Alive and Trolls come in at No. 3 and No. 4, respectively, and Sony’s PS4 Pro (No. 6) may prove to be an easier find than Nintendo’s throwback console.

» If tech toys are what you’re looking for, DJi’s Phantom 3 and Phantom 4 drones will also be in high demand, according to Google, as will the new robot companion Cozmo also makes an appearance.

» Rounding out the list are Pokémon, Num Noms and RC Cars.

Golden Mic | Tony Romo puts character, team above self

Florence Henderson – who played Carol Brady on the iconic TV show “The Brady Bunch”– was one of America’s moms, a television icon that endured through generations. Her death at age 82 of heart failure caught us all by surprise.

Henderson played the Brady mom from 1969 to 1974 on “The Brady Bunch,” a show that became a huge hit in syndication.

When “The Brady Bunch” ended, Henderson continued to be a figure on screen and on stage. She stuck with her musical career for a while, reviving her role as Annie Oakley in “Annie Get Your Gun” in 1981. And, of course, she brought back Carol Brady for numerous “Brady Bunch” spinoffs and specials.

She was the matriarch of one of the greatest TV brands in the psychedelic 60’s and 70’s, and brought a reasoned sensibility to the chaos of the time. She was indeed a lovely lady and a man named Brady, a widow and widower with three children each. And her charming character with the sparkling blue eyes and contagious smile will always be remembered.

» Todd Smith is president and chief communications officer of Deane, Smith & Partners, a full-service branding, PR, marketing and advertising firm with offices in Jackson. The firm — based in Nashville, Tenn. — is also affiliated with Mad Genius. Contact him at todd@deanesmithpartners.com, and follow him @spinsurgeon.

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